Murder at Tall Oaks.

The invitation to Reginald Arcain’s 54th birthday party arrived in the mail about a week and half ago.  Addressed to Ms. Simone Carlton and Father Carmine O’Malley (a single lady and a priest at the same address…scandal!), it gave the who, the what, the when, the where, and the how for the party.


Conveniently it also came with a guest list (complete with descriptions of characters), and a guide on what to wear. Per the guide, Simone had chosen to wear a sexy evening gown, and the good Father was in his regular cassock and “dog collar”.

I did happen to have an evening gown lying around the house (a favorite worn to a Mayor’s Ball several years ago), and a few clicks online had Moon Costumes sending a priest outfit our way.



On the day of the party, we played dress up and drove across town to the event.

Our hosts had decorated the room with Happy Birthday banners and signs for good ol’ Reggie (may he rest in peace), and set the table for dinner with character name labels at each place setting.


We each had a booklet with our character’s name emblazoned on the front.  We were instructed to read the first few pages of the booklet, stopping when told by the book to stop.  Each book gave specific character details, carefully indicating the information that should remain secret unless the character was directly asked about it.  It mapped out how that character had spent his or her time through the evening of the murder.

It clearly stated in my little booklet:  “You are the murderer.”  Well, shucks – guess I know whodun’it.  I, as the guilty party, was allowed to lie, but the book cautioned me about spinning too many tales and mixing up my stories.

We introduced ourselves to the group to get started.

There was the doctor, the maid, the nurse/secretary, and the drifter – an old friend who had served in Vietnam with the victim.


There was the publisher and the victim’s lady friend.


And you’re already acquainted with the priest and the attorney.


Kudos to the cook and the cop for making the event run so smoothly from start to finish.


The cop read the police report.  Then our top-notch hostesses, my Aunt Edna and Carolyn – aka the cop and the cook, served us a salad course, a dinner course, and a dessert course as we interrogated one another, begrudgingly sharing information about our characters that would contribute to establishing a means, a motive, and an opportunity.  Our books also clued us in on information about our fellow party-goers that could potentially incriminate them.

After all the information was out there, we each made an accusation, detailing why we thought that person had the means, the motive, and the opportunity.  The doctor, the priest, and the maid (who we discovered was also the victim’s long-lost daughter) were the most popular choices.  Simone, in her high heel shoes and mermaid evening gown, escaped the accusation round unscathed.

But alas – the murder mystery result booklet pointed its typewritten finger right at the attorney and explained how she had pulled off the violent crime.

It was such a fun party.  Edna and Carolyn and the rest of my family who played along are the most wonderful and genuine people you can imagine.  Kevin and I loved being included in the excitement!

And now if you’ll excuse me, I simply must Google “murder mystery party kits” and see what I can find.  I’ll be hosting one soon!

Have you ever attended a murder mystery party? 


10 thoughts on “Murder at Tall Oaks.

  1. That sounds so fun! You must have been a good actress if NO ONE accused you! I, on the other hand, am horrible at games like this and I would have been found out immediately. I wonder if it’s a much different experience playing this game with people you know really well than it would be playing it with strangers on a murder mystery dinner cruise or something…

  2. This is seriously the coolest thing that I’ve ever heard. We’ve known for years that you were good under interrogation. “I held it. For three days.” Ha! What a fun party—Edna and Carolyn are the coolest!

  3. OMG! This party looks amazing! Oh, and no one has pointed it out, but you look so lovely in your dress! That is seriously such a fun party! I want to do something like that!

  4. You are a great actress, I am not surprised that no one accused you of murder, plus you look too great to be a killer…..

  5. Oh my goodness. My best friend and I wrote a murder mystery dinner in college. That brings back so many memories. Looks like you had an awesome time!

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