Friday evening arrived sunny and HOT and HUMID: perfect party weather. My 8 year old cleaned like a crazy man, my 10 year old spent time theorizing about the details of crimes, my 6 year old dreamed of being allowed to decorate the house all by himself, the birthday girl panicked, decorated, decorated herself and kept in touch via text with every other 13 year girl in the county. Checkered and I sweated, and cleaned, and pretended to be in control of everything.
Then the guests descended on our house. Poodle skirts and bobby socks, hair in pony tails, Elvis and Chuck Berry serenading us, a houseful of young teens all with shiny new braces, lots of squeals and the party was underway.
Our theme was a reunion for the class of 1957. The history was that two days before graduation, one of their classmates had been murdered! The murder remained unsolved. Two days before the reunion, another classmate was murdered. The night before the reunion, another classmate lost her shopping mall to a huge fire.
It was a delicious night of mystery!
Who killed the first classmate?
Who killed the second classmate?
Who set that fire?
For hours, our party guests ate (notice the helpful waiters):
They bribed (no one was safe: BFF's, siblings, former teachers):
They blackmailed (it was a little alarming how quickly these girls learned to say, "I've got a dirty little secret about you. $20 should keep me quiet for a while.")
And they solved the two murders. Unfortunately, the arsonist informed us after the detective left that she was guilty and had gotten away with it! But 2 out of 3 is pretty good.
One of the goals for the night was to acquire lots of money. Our money winner (who also turned out to be a double-murderer) ended the night with $500. Some of the more innocents were blackmailed and mugged repeatedly and ended with nothing.
We were very impressed with how quickly the girls got into the story and their roles. Even as they left for home, I made the mistake of calling the girls by their real names. They refused to answer until I used their party names. We had muggings and assaults galore, but all in the name of keeping secrets secret.
Would I have another murder mystery party again? Absolutely. Would I use this particular one again? Maybe.
I know this picture is odd with all the mystery faces, but what I really want you to see is the absolute joy on my daughter's face. It was a wonderful night.