November 2013 - South African Style Murder Mystery Party
When my son said he wanted a murder mystery party, I panicked. My first thought was that these things were written for adult parties. After you graciously sent me your copy I got to work and distributed the character invites early so everyone could get their parts to prepare early.
My son's school had just had their annual school play and the boys were all still in the excitement of the play so getting new characters was a bonus and they started playing their new characters at school and calling each other by their new character names.
My son goes to an all boy school, so I roped in cousins, aunts, friends etc to play the female parts. IT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS, and the compliments I got afterwards from parents directly or from face book were marvellous.
Thank you for sharing your talent with us.
First of all many thanks!!! My son's birthday was last Saturday and the party was great! I found a lot of enthusiasm in everyone, getting dressed in fantasy costumes, so curious and interested in what was happening....
I had only 3 weeks to translate your material to Italian and adapt it to 15 guests I had. I changed the plot steps a little bit, but the result was OK. What a lot of work in organizing everything!! ... my husband said that I had no time to prepare dinner, as I was too busy with the organization :-)
If you need the Italian version, I can send it to you.
Many thanks again for your amazing idea to make a great birthday party.
Just thought I would thank you again for sending my the murder mystery info. The party turned out amazing. It was for my daughters 13th birthday and 7 of her friends. I had a trunk full of dress up clothes at the front door for the girls when they arrived. Although the majority of the characters were male, the girls didnt seem to mind as they all put on wigs and sticky mustaches I had bought at the dollar store. My husband, son and other family members helped out with the characters that were organisers, and left over, so worked out well. All enjoyed.
The best compliment that I received was from a mum that I met at the store the next day. She had just picked up her daughter from another birthday party that day, and realised as they pulled into the driveway at home that they were still talking about our party and she didn't ask her about the party she was just at. I love the fact you can still have a great party with out dumping a load of cash on activities and entertainment. Thats the way it should be :)
Thanks again Trevor.
I will recommend your site to others.
I used Kent's version and it was perfect for the amount of time we had (about one hour). There were a couple of anomalies (I would need to go over it again) but it didn't matter as everybody got in characters and had a good time.
Judging by this you must have spent a huge amount of time writing it all. That said the kids appreciate doing something a bit different, especially if it involves dressing up.
Thanks again for all your great ideas and hard work!
All the best,
We finally hosted our murder mystery for our 10 year old daughter - it was such a blast! We had many inquiries from parents about the idea and the storyline, so I have forwarded your email to a few of the more earnest inquiries. I think most parents were surprised that we had taken on such an endeavour - in their minds, a big endeavour!
My husband spent a fair amount of time editing and reconstructing the plot. The most difficulty we had were some of the last minute changes in attendees. We kept the UK wording and themes so that everyone could speak with an accent :) Everyone commented on the originality of the idea and on how much fun all the kids had!
Like others have commented before, my daughter mentioned how students would act out their roles, speak in their accents and converse in character with one another at school! I was surprised that they were all able to follow the convoluted script. One of the girls was the murderer because she had stolen the Baroness' son, Ian Beasts (another surprise) analogue and wanted to protect him and give him a better life.
All of the girls and boys dressed in character and admired each others' outfits -- it was great fun and entertaining for the adults who watched, as well. There were some classic lines, which have been repeated at school, of course! We had a number of props, many of which were African artifacts and Arab ones as well. We definitely set the ambiance...
Thanks again for being so generous with your time and effort. My daughter had requested that cash gifts be brought to donate to an orphanage or for cans to be donated to our local food bank. Glad that we could fulfill our side of the bargain in using your script!
We played the murder mystery game at my son's birthday and I thought you would like to know that it went very well. I modified it a fair bit for 9 players and cut it back a bit because the kids were younger. I also made a version of the will. Let me know if any of this resource material would be of use to you.
Hi Trevor – thanks for your reply. We already had the party but I worked with what you had on-line and reworked the plot for the number of kids that we had.
The kids had a great time! We weren’t sure how well it would work for 8-9 year olds but the kids did surprisingly well. My daughter had such a great time that we are already talking about next year and inviting the same people in the same characters with a new plot. We’ll have to start working on it.
Thanks again for sharing this.
Well, 27 10/11 year olds departed our "manor" yesterday evening with great big smiles on their faces!
We had held a murder mystery party for Sam last year, when he was 10, for about 6 friends, and he enjoyed that one so much he wanted to expand it this year to include his whole class. I was a bit apprehensive but it worked a treat. He gave invitations out in school several weeks ago which created a huge amount of excitement as everybody started to get into their characters. We served non-alcoholic cocktails on arrival, and I adopted your idea of a musical "theme" for each character prior to their introduction (thanks to televisiontunes.com). I embellished the script a bit adding some "in jokes" as well as a treasure hunt and a code that needed to be cracked, but all of the hard work was yours.
It was an absoluletly fantastic party and I thank you for the work you did and in particular for your willingness to share it.
Many thanks, Marc
Just to let you know that the party went brilliantly! We adjusted the plot to cater for just 23 children and they all had a lot of fun - they said it was the best party ever!!
Thanks again for providing the info, I have been recommending you to all my friends!
I just wanted to write to let you know that we had our murder mystery a couple weeks ago. It was an amazing success and I really have to thank you for all those materials. I definitely would not have had the time to write the entire script on my own, and it was thanks to you and your wife that we were able to have this evening for the campers.
Again, thank you very much for your hard work and for sharing it with the Internet Universe.
Sakura, ESL Teacher, CISS at Quest U, Squamish, BC Canada
Just a few lines to say thanks again. Our murder mystery morning was last Monday. The children came in character. We had a fantastic time. They are now greeting me each morning with, "When can we have another." A super time had by all, children and adults.
Thanks again Heather
Thank you so much for your help! I am just writing to say that the party was a tremendous success. My daughter’s friends all said it was the best party ever. They certainly enjoyed dressing up and calling each other by their mystery names.
We changed the story quite a bit though, because we decided to centre it around a stolen treasure rather than a murder. So we added a map and went on a walk around our neighbourhood (all in our costumes, quite a sight!) and had to discover who had stolen and hidden the treasure.
I have two younger daughters who will also have the same party when they turn 11 or 12. I can’t wait!
I am a school teacher for junior students in Newmarket Ontario. I would love to do your murder mystery as an end of the year activity. Can you e-mail me a copy of the invitation so I can change it to suit my needs. Thanks and it looks like a blast. Have a great day!
We have just finished our Murder Mystery Luncheon. We changed the name to CSI Luncheon. Thanks a million for access to the invitations, scripts and the plot. It was an amazing hit! Have a super day!
Just wanted to email and say a big thank you for putting your murder mystery party on line, we had a fantastic evening yesterday, my daughter and 11 of her friends (age 10) had a brilliant time. I edited the script and rewrote parts of it to fit 12 female characters and changed the ending so that one of the girls (Madame Foo Foo - she was so desperate to get her hands on the clock that she resorted to murder!!) was actually the murderer. If it would be helpful to you I am happy to send over the edited script and guest instructions should anyone approach you and say they are doing it for this number of children, but a huge thank you from this family!
Many thanks for all your help on this - went off very well!
I made a couple of changes to things, basically because there weren't that many adults (me as lawyer and my wife as maid) so the murderess had to be one of the characters, as did the long lost daughter.
Kept 16 9 year olds occupied for two and a half hours, so can't be bad. Most really got into it and a number said it was the best party they'd been to.
Worth all the effort - on your part and mine!
Thanks again. Best regards, Jason
Thanks very much for letting me know how it all went. Glad you managed to cut down the plot in the spreadsheet for fewer characters - and presumably all female characters too!
A favour: would you consider letting me add your few kinds words to my citations page?
Kindest regards, Trevor
I ran my daughter's Murder Mystery party yesterday and want to thank you for a highly entertaining afternoon. It was a monumental success!
Ten girls, dressed up to the nines! I had to change the plot and characters a little to suit the guests. We had Marauder Plunder the antique dealer/counterfeiter, Martini Bond, PI, Hermione Blackjack, gambler and card sharp... You must have a slightly criminal mind to have thought this up in the first place - so glad you do!
Lots of parents have been interested in how this came into being and I will be happy to pass on your website address.
How on earth to follow this for next year's party is my only problem...
Kind regards, Rebecca
I wanted to get back to you on how the Murder Mystery Party went with the campers. There was some problems with say the props (objects and such) but over all it was a blast. The kids loved getting into characters more than anything. I would definitely recommend it to future counselors, it's a lot of work but entirely worth it!
Thank you so much for all the help!
Just got back from Guide camp, where your Murder Mystery party played a major part. The girls were given their character two weeks before. The party was spread over a day, which the gilrs really enjoyed and got into, again lots of noise. Your hard work certainly made my job a lot easier.
Thanks very much,
Sue, Amersham Guides UK.
We had a very succesful evening using your murder mystery although I think 36 children is too many!! It just happened that way as it was a leaving school party for my daughter and she wanted to ask everyone. I managed to write the extra parts which did take longer than I expected but was great fun.
If I was doing it again I think I would try and give them less rather than more lines as it did go on rather a long time - however they did all seem to enjoy it. I changed the murderer to be one of the children and was rather pleased than none of them guessed apart from the murderer herself!
Thank you again for your generosity in sharing all your hard work - it was great fun and so much more interesting than yet another disco!
Thanks very much for the editable party materials.
After making a few changes to suit our guests and my daughter we went and had the party on Saturday. What a success, kids all loved it, had all entered into the spirit of things and we all had a ball.
Never had so many texts telling me how much a child has loved a party as I received on Saturday night.
So thanks once again for allowing your hard work to be used by others. I may even have a go writing my own script sometime!!!
Thank you from a happy mum and 20 happy girls.
I just wanted to let you know that we held our party on Friday night and it was a huge success! All of the kids came in costume and many had even memorized their parts. It was a great time! Thanks so much for allowing access to this script. It was a great resource for a wonderful night!
We had the party on Sunday afternoon (January 25) and it simply was a...SUCCESS! The kids loved the concept and many of them got into the spirit by arriving in costume. My daughter came home from school yesterday and reported that they are still discussing the fun they had and are even calling each other by their character names. Thank YOU!
I made a few minor changes to the script, changed some names (so that real first names were not used) and added additional domestic staff (1 helper assisted 4 guests). My helpers read the parts of the ones who were unable to attend and everything seemed to flow smoothly. My husband played the part of "Mandelbrot Brown - father of Evie Brown" who was the murderer and he was arrested by his Dad who was the "Inspector". What fun! After the party was done, several kids came up to him and arrested him using their finger-cuffs (from the Inheritance bags).
Once again, our thanks to all of you for creating such a fun party theme and making it available to all who are interested. Many parents thought it was a GREAT theme and asked if I had created this. I have been telling them where I got my information from and all who stayed to watch the show made many complimentary remarks. Our success is your success!
Searching online for a murder mystery for our Girl Guide Group. Daunting at best... Local group would have cost $200. Thank you for your kindness in sharing.
3rd Goulds Girl Guides of Canada
Thanks for all the info on hosting a mystery party. I plan to host a mystery party for my 10 year old for up to 20 guests. I have tried to open the spreadsheet and other links on your web page, but have had no success. Don't suppose you could email them to me?
Glad to hear that you found the information useful, so far.
The stuff on the website is in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format, so you might try downloading the (free) Acrobat reader from www.adobe.com.
In any case, I could send you the spreadsheet and invites in MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint format. Would this be useful to you? (I'll need to get to my other computer at home to do this.)
Kindest regards, Trevor.
I am having a murder mystery party based off of your website and the one thing we are having trouble with is the goodybags. This party is for 13/14 year olds and old little plastic bags won't work. We wanted to have mini magnfying glasses mini notepads and mini flashlights and mini pens and a confidental file with all the info they need for the party. We don't know where they can store all this info. We thought at first a old looking messenger bag would do the trick but for a party of 13 people it is very difficult to find large quantities of bags for a low price. Any suggestions of what to store the items in?
Glad to hear that you are hoping to use my material.
As a suggestion about Goody-bags, how about large brown (Manilla) envelopes? Or perhaps those padded bags used for mailing ("Jiffy bags")? You could mark the outside "Top Secret", or some such, and they should be big enough for all the things you might need. (Think "Mission: Impossible")
Good luck with the event. Regards, Trevor.
I found your murder mystery party while searching the internet for ideas for my daughters 10th birthday party. This looks like great fun for the kids and is much simpler than some of the teenage parties that I've come across on other websites. We live in Cairo, Egypt so party options are extremely limited over here and it is not possible to buy things like this in Egyptian shops. We also have lots of problems using credit cards from Egypt to buy downloadable products from the internet.
I wondered if it would be possible for us to copy your party and for you to send me copies of the invitations that you made so that I can edit them with the names of my daughters friends.
I appreciate that you have put in a lot of effort to create this murder mystery party. Let me know if I can send you money as a contribution towards your efforts.
Good to hear from you. I'd be delighted if you re-used the materials that Tracey (my wife) and I wrote for Sebastian's party a few years ago.
I will send you source materials (powerpoint, excel and word) under separate cover, so you can edit them yourself. The key thing to remember is the master spreadsheet expects an exact number of participants, so you will have to do some work here if you are inviting more (or less) children.
There's no need for payment, but please don't send on material to anyone else. Rather, direct them to my website and email. I'd appreciate it if I could quote your remarks on my own website, too.
Good luck with the party. Kindest regards, Trevor
Dear Trevor - just a quick note of thanks. I am preparing for my daughters 10th party and your site has provided some useful pointers and guides - especially the names of the characters! I think the overall party will be slightly different but I just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration anyway.
Good luck with everything.