We recently moved house and I have wanted to give everyone who assisted us in moving by cleaning and shifting things or lending us boxes to be repaid for their help. I didn’t know what would be best to do to repay them or how to do it. Luckily we were sent a murder mystery game- Diamonds, Daggers and one Classy Dame by Paul Lamond Games. This would be a perfect way to have our first dinner party and invite everyone who helped.
When I received the murder mystery box it is packaged like a board game and includes invitations and a party planner booklet. The game needs 10 people but is able to be played by 12. We invited 10 and Matthew and I selected their characters- the invites included ideas for costumes of the characters. Next we had to decide what we were cooking! Wow this caused some rows as Matt was extremely stubborn on what he wanted to cook.
I realised it needed to be something that would take little effort and wouldn’t have us up from the table a lot. We decide on- Camembert and Pate to start with a selection of breads and chutneys. The main was Beef bourguignon and Cottage Pie with vegetables and Mash. The dessert was White chocolate cheesecake and an almond and apricot pie. We used a table top hostess Trolley and pre prepared everything the night before. This worked really well as it didn’t interfere with game play.
We had to extend our dining room table with an extra table and set everything up. Items needed to play the game as a CD player! I don’t have one and I had to steal Erin’s Karaoke machine!! One thing I learnt is prep before you open the champagne and read things properly!!! I had to change seating arrangements as I realised two of the characters had to be seated together. There are also booklets and name cards for each player.
When people arrived the costumes were fantastic! We had full German uniforms, cross dressing- even the accents that guests adopted to suit their characters were fantastic and really made the night. We started the game and we had our first course of the meal and got going. As hostess I had to start and pause the CD. Read ahead to the next part of the instructions and hand out the pieces of ‘evidence’. You do need to be on the ball and not let the champagne go to your head! The first bit you need to read scripted dialogue and then ask questions to each other with your questions and responses noted in your booklet.
This part is quite difficult as your guests sometimes get a little confused on who’s asking what and when. Every round is the same and we had a course in-between each round. The Cd is great as this summarises everything that should have been discussed in the round. Which leaves unanswered questions solved so if you get it wrong it’s not a big issue. There are some great twists and turns in the game and finding out the murder Is great! Even the murderer doesn’t find out until the last round so the suspense is built and everyone is second guessing everything.
The only downsides to the game is it needs a lot of concentration and an assertive host. Everyone needs to concentrate- I think this could be solved if the characters are given a copy of the rules and told how it’s going to go beforehand but as it had told me not to read on I didn’t. It also cost us a small fortune to host dinner for 10 people with drinks but that wasn’t so much of an issue as we would have done it anyway as a thank you. We also could have made it a lot cheaper by asking guests to bring a bottle and had a simplified meal.
The game is only £14.99-£18 dependent on website to purchase so it doesn’t have to be an expensive night. I really really enjoyed it and had so many positive comments from all of the guests on how much they enjoyed the evening and what a great game it was. I would definitely do another murder mystery again and if you were ever considering doing one you should!