You know that wild and annoying friend who is always trying to convince you to do stuff? She’ll tease and cajole and the next thing you know, you’re throwing spoons while yelling “YOU ARE TEARING ME APART, LISA!” or you’ll be painfully aware you are, by far, the youngest –and yet most enthusiastic—group attending an ABBA cover band.
That friend is me. And I made my friends go to a Murder Mystery Dinner. And, yes, you’re welcome, friends.
I’d been wanting to attend a Murder Mystery Dinner for quite some time– since I was 5 and insisted on being Miss Scarlet in Clue. That was my playing piece. Mine.
So back in January I bought a Groupon for a The Dinner Detective, and proceeded to invite 3 different gentlemen in the next 4 months to the event. All said they would go, but then we stopped dating. I was cursed.
Finally I asked someone who was a friend, whom I would never date, to come to Murder Mystery Dinner, and he accepted. Now we are dating, and he tells me I’m beautiful at least 10 time a day. He also gives me massages and tells me I’m the best girlfriend ever.
I’m not saying getting tickets for Murder Mystery Dinner will guarantee that you’ll find your true love, but I’m also not saying it won’t. Also I’ve had some wine.
It’s not just my personal passion for Murder Mystery Dinners/game of Clue/anything Agatha Christie that leads me to strongly believe this is an amazing group date activity –let’s not forget I’m a Real Relationship Examiner. I’m an expert. And you know that because this article is on the internet.
I’ll break down my experience at Murder Mystery Dinner and some tips below.
Why is Dinner Detective the perfect group date?
Excellent for bringing people you like OR people you hate!
Because sometimes those two people are part of the same couple. If you’re inviting only people you like, great! Maybe get them to dress up in outfits from Clue and talk in fancy and absurd accents.
If you’re forced to invite people you don’t like, no problem! Sit them on the other end of the table and anytime they say anything, you can dramatically “SHHHH!” them, point to the actors, and stage-whisper “I’m trying to solve a murder!”
What is the experience like?
Very similar to your basic CSI episode. Everyone gets to the dinner, sits down, and suddenly SOMETHING DRAMATIC HAPPENS! YEEEEEEAHHHHHHH! “I think,” you say as you take off your sunglasses because you’re indoors “That now I need to become the Dinner Detective.”
Oh, you seriously want to know what the experience was like? I actually took notes, but now that I’m reviewing them, they aren’t super helpful. The notes say things like “Shot in the gut? Would have bled out sooner,” “#1 suspect is the guy singing Bon Jovi,” and “More wine please.”
Basically you’re sitting in a hotel ballroom, and …things happen. I don’t want to give anything away, but it did involve murder, many suspects, a lineup, what looked like potential domestic violence, and some horrible (and amazing) impressions.
So I’m just watching a show?
Au contraire, mon frere. Yes, there are detectives coming in and talking about the murder, and yes, there are actors in the audience. * But Dinner Detective goes out of their way to ensure the evening is interactive. *
You’ll have a chance to interrogate all the attendees, and one person in our group was named a main suspect. Another had to do an evil Mickey Mouse impression, and a third had to re-enact the murder as the victim. They’re not messing around at Dinner Detective. You’ll be involved.
*I didn’t know this until we were there but you can pay more to be in the show! Perhaps a victim or THE MURDERER. That would be my Kevin Spacey moment in that movie where he walks away and all of a sudden isn’t limping. Only it would be a mystery dinner and no other criminals would be harmed.
Where is it located?
At the Marriot in Mesa, on University and Mesa Drive. If you go on their website, they have this event in other cities as well.
How much are tickets?
I’m not sure what the Groupon specials are, but on their website it says $59.95/person. That was much less than I was expecting, because a night out at a fancy restaurant is usually $60 minimum.
Is the mystery hard to figure out?
No. But have something to drink and it will be.
What were the most fun parts?
Ohhh…that’s tough. Interrogating (or “asking questions”) of the other attendees was pretty fun, especially since I was just going up to people and yelling “You’re the murderer, admit it!” (I did that to the actual murderer, but didn’t know it at the time. I figured my chances were good for scaring the crap out of at least one person.)
The detectives were pretty hilarious, with a lot of innuendo, so I wouldn’t recommend bringing your second grader. And be prepared to get called on to read something out loud or stand in a lineup.
The best part was going with my friends, us all dressing up in Clue characters, and everyone thinking we were part of the show. So I highly recommend that. But you don’t have to do Clue, you could do Sesame Street or M.A.S.H. The sky is the limit.
What are your tips?
Ok, here we go. If I had to do this again (and let’s be honest, I probably will), here’s what I would do differently.
1. I would eat before I went, because even though our show started at 6, dinner wasn’t served until 8:30 and at that point there weren’t enough mashed potatoes in the world to satiate my hunger.
2. I would also purchase alcohol beforehand and arrive a tiny bit buzzed. Alcohol makes jokes funnier, clues trickier, and suspects more convincing.
3. If you do decide to buy alcohol, and you don’t live in that area in Mesa, buy it from a store you know before you leave your area. I don’t need to go into details on that, just trust me on this one.
4. I would remember that this is not a real murder. This is a situation I get into all the time—I just read a book I didn’t like to find out the surprise at the ending and then realized the “surprise” wasn’t really any surprise at all and I’m not super impressed with Jodi Picoult. But anyway, keep in mind that they want at least some people to solve the murder, so the answers will actually be in the clues.
5. If you’re going to drink and not eat much, luckily this venue is at a hotel. I would recommend booking a room before you arrive, just in case.
Do you have any regrets?
NONE. That pertain to this. I went with 5 other people, and several of them reached out to me after that telling me they had an awesome time, even though they didn’t think it was going to be that fun.
Because that’s how things like Murder Mystery Dinner go. It’s a little out of our comfort zone, we don’t know what will happen, and that’s scary. I get that. Then you go, and you’re having the time of your life. Because nobody puts Baby in a corner.