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My Blog

Murder Mustery Party on the High Seas

Good morning to all.  I hope this day will be a happy one for you.  I am thrilled to have a cool morning to wake up to.  Today has already begun for me with painting.  I had nine turkeys sitting on the table and they needed to be finished and varnished so I can put them away.  I am now waiting for the end portion.  I will then clean up the paints and clean off brushes so that I can set the table for this evening festivities.  I have a couple of runs thins morning.  I need to pick up taffy apples and cotton candy.  It just wouldn't be a County Fair without them. 
I have my line up of stories for todays performance.  It is for the remembrance Care and I have been requested to do a light and funny performance.  I think I have just the proper stories to fill the bill.  
As to today's blog, I thought I would touch on my first Murder Mystery Party.   If you have been a follower of this blog, by now you will have picked up on the fact that when I do something, I do it all the way.  So the First Murder mystery I planned was to be on a Cruise ship setting.  After I sent out the invitation instructing each person as to their personality, I then began the planning stage. 
I bought some Butcher paper from a local butcher store and measures it out to fit the whole wall in my living room from floor to ceiling.  I then began drawing the windows that would me found on a ship.  In the center of the windows were the waters and island scenery. 
This was quite a long time ago.  So there were no computers or things to use for informational research or anything like that, so off to the library I went.  I was able to rent albums with music of waters and ships their horns.  I also took out various cookbooks as well so that I could research ideas for the menu. What a difference todays computers make.  Almost everything you want is at your finger tips. 
I made a tape of the ocean liners taking off ,along with music of the waters and then music typical of the late 20's.  That was the era that the party was set in.  I went to the thrift store and picked up champagne glasses that were filled with confetti for the take off which occurred on my deck. It must have been a sight to see as we began our night to the music and champagne, throwing confetti overboard. I often wonder what goes through my neighbors minds when they see some of the things I do, or better yet, as guest arrive in costumes and it is not any where near Halloween.  We then went back into the house where I had turned the annex to the kitchen into a gambling room.  Everyone enjoyed a game of two of craps and then we entered the living room which is where we began the actual mystery.  The game came with a tape of the inspector who tells us of the murder.  Each of the guests are suspect in this and the object of the game is to uncover who did it.  We each received a docea of our character and is portioned out in four stages.  In each stage you are told information that you must reveal through that stage, but must keep in character and work it into the conversation.  You also are given bits and pieces about yourself that you really do not want revealed about yourself, yet someone else may divulge.  You need to be on your toes and divert everyone's attention when the spotlight it pointed at you.  It is quite interesting and challenging, to say the least.  We did round one while we enjoyed the appetizers,  Round two was done while we enjoyed our dinner..
Since on a cruise their is usually a Buffet...I served in the same manner.   I made various soups and breads and salads for my guests to enjoy.  Flags  hung over a nautical set table with a ship and floral arrangement as a centerpiece. 
Next onto stage 3 as we enjoyed some coffee.  The guests were wonderful.  Each dressed to the hilt in their character set in the 20's.  I had old photos framed around and even had borrowed an old phonograph to help set the mood.    In phase 4...you reveal who you assume is the guilty person.  The very last page of our books reveal one by one who and how the murder was committed.  We had a toy gun and some handcuffs for the murderer to be taken away in.  We did this phase while we enjoyed dessert, which since the meal was more on the simpler side, I had gone hog wild with desserts.  I remember it being the first time I had ever made a Charlotte Russe. along with homemade cream puffs made into swans and cheesecakes. 
We had one memorable evening.  We laughed till the wee hours of the morning.  It was a way of enjoying each others company and at the same time not spending a whole lot of money.  We all chipped in for the event.  Something I think people seldom do, and consequently, when all the cost lies on one person..it is .seldom that anything gets planned. 
When I look back at those days, I remember the thrill and the excitement that went into the party.  I wanted to create something that would stay in ones mind to treasure in the years to come.  I am not sure how the others feel today, so many years later, but I smile when I think about the man who played the jewel thief in his White tuxedo jacket and diamond rings on his fingers.  I recall the woman who portrayed the Duchess with her diamond tiara and her ribbon sash long blue tea length dress and dripping in jewels.  I remember myself in a typical flappers dress with headband and feather around my head.  We took it to the extremes, but that was what made it so special. 
We had subsequent murder mystery parties, each different and special in their themes.  I still enjoy the pleasure of hosting one on rare occasion.  We have even done them where it was all women and half portrayed a male character.  We just figured if Shakespeare could have men play women's parts, why not do the reverse.  It is all up to our imagination. 
And speaking of imagination...isn't that one of the most valuable gifts around?  Even if it is only for a short evening...we were allowed to become someone else.  We were allowed to pretend to be in a place and time we might never have been or would be.  I am grateful to have been surrounded by such wonderful people in my life who choose to go on those crazy journeys with me.  If you are ever looking to do something fun, I whole heartedly recommend doing a murder mystery at home.  You  can purchase kits for different types online.  Sometimes I even find them in the thrift stores.  They are well worth the money, time and effort.  You can put as little or as much into one as you wish.  Spend a night with friends.  Make a memory.  You won't regret it years down the road, when you look back and recall those special times.  .  

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