|The roaring 20s have come back to Kailua|
If you follow this blog, you might have read about the Downton Abbey themed murder mystery dinner we did about a year and a half ago (you can read about it here). We had so much fun at that dinner, it was time to do another one! First on the list: pick out a script. I went to Shot In The Dark Mysteries, the premier murder mystery portal, and looked at all the different offerings they have. We knew we wanted a dressy costume party (it is NYE after all), and ended up picking "The Sly Mr Foxx", a roaring 20s flapper mystery - a'la The Great Gatsby.
|The tables are set for dinner, the scene is set for murder!|
Next on the to do list was to determine the exact head count. In order to be able to distribute roles in the mystery, we needed RSVPs confirming the number of ladies and gents attending. We had 22 confirmed guests (everyone was excited to come!), so we got the package with the maximum number of characters - 18 - plus an expansion pack of two more. Our hosts, Kathy and Keith graciously decided to forgo having roles, and spent their energies making sure all guests were happy while also taking part in solving the mystery.
Two weeks before the party, each attendee received an email with his or her character. It included background information, tips on what to wear and how to act, and blueprints of Land's End, Mr. Foxx's lavish mansion. Leigh Clements, AKA the "Mystery Maiden" over at Shot In The Dark Mysteries gives wonderfully detailed instructions not only for the hosts of the party, but for each guest attending. Steve and I practiced our characters on a plane ride home. To give you a little sampler of the mystery, here is the trailer to "The Sly Mr. Foxx".
|Party like it's 1925!|
Because of the numerous guests needed to be seated, we decided to rent tables and chairs, as well as place settings. The pretty white floral centerpieces were brought by my friend Jodi - the cute blonde on the photo above.
Kathy and Keith put together a fabulous 1920s menu for the evening: Old Fashioneds and Gin Ricky cocktails, and champagne and oysters for starters, and then for dinner Waldorf salad on endive, poached salmon, grilled flank steak, roasted brussels sprouts and green beans, and pasta bolognese. Dessert in a decadent "Gatsbyesque" style was of course a chocolate fountain with fruits and other follies to dip.
Everyone arrived in character. Everyone looked fabulous. Since there were over twenty of us, it took a little while to figure out who was which character. We chatted and mingled, some people took written and others mental notes, and drank champagne and cocktails. By the time we sat down to dinner we all had an idea of everyone's character. No murder yet, however...
|Oysters and champagne, the perfect NYE combo|
Some time after the oysters and cocktails, a guest noticed there was a body floating in the pool. Oh no! It was a young woman named Dahlia Sparrow. Who could have killed her? The mystery was on! We all sat down to dinner and started questioning each other in earnest. All the while poor Dahlia kept floating in the pool.
|Oh no! is that poor Dahlia's lifeless body floating in the pool? Like an Energizer bunny, all night she just kept floating and floating and floating...|
After the first course we traded places and mixed up the tables to make it easier to talk to different characters. We also played the recording of a phone call that was instrumental to the plot. Though dinner soon finished, the sleuthing went on for a while longer. Suspicions grew. Soon we were ready to fill out the accusation slips. Once those were collected, it was time for the big reveal. Shot In The Dark Mysteries has audio files for all their reveals. Eagerly we gathered around, and listened as the whole sordid story unfolded.
|Trying to solve the mystery during and after dinner|
So that was who did it! I had my suspicions about that character... After all was revealed, Kathy tallied up the accusation slips and announced the results. Five or six of us guessed correctly - great job! The rest of us can continue to improve our detective skills - there is always next time.
Oh, wait. I never told you who the killer was. It was.... drumroll.... ah, never mind. You will just have to zip over to Shot In The Dark Mysteries and play the mystery yourself!
|Keith and Kathy: our hosts with the mosts|
After the big reveal, it was time to put on our dancing shoes and shake to those 20s tunes. Yes, we did the Charleston, we shimmied and twirled until the clock struck midnight.
|Debbie's got moves!|
Another fabulous New Year's Eve experience! Mahalo to Kathy and Keith for hosting, and for the fantastic food; to all who helped with organizing and setup; and to Leigh of Shot In The Dark Mysteries for another phenomenal mystery.
It is indeed very lucky that we have the entire 2015 ahead of us to figure out what to do for next New Year's Eve. This one will be hard to top! Ideas, anyone?