Murder Games & Themes for a Dinner Party

by Amie Taylor Google
A weapon is often a prop at a murder mystery dinner party.

A weapon is often a prop at a murder mystery dinner party.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

While most people wouldn't want to attend a dinner party where murder is on the menu, many look forward to it with eager anticipation when it's all part of a game. When you want a change from the typical tired dinner party, add a touch of mystery to yours by implementing a murder theme and allowing your guests to flush out the perpetrator.


The possibilities are endless when it comes to murder-mystery themes for your soiree. Pull a scandalous topic from the local, national or international headlines, create a mystery story around it for your party and list the major players from this real-life situation. Alternatively, choose a historical or contemporary theme about a murder that occurs at an English hunting party, a Hollywood gala event, on a cruise ship bound for Egypt or in an penthouse office after hours.


Creating flamboyant, memorable characters is part of the fun when you plan a murder-mystery dinner party. Choose a two-timing cad; a hated matriarch who made everyone's life a misery; a demanding, demeaning boss or an unfaithful young wife married to a rich, elderly gent as your victim. Ensure that you provide plenty of suspects, harmed by the victim's dirty deeds and each with a strong motive to off the victim. Allow your guests to choose from a list of available roles; assign them yourself by handing out an information packet to each guest as they arrive; or split the roles into male and female parts, place a paper with the name of the characters in two separate hats, and have the women draw from one and the men from another.

Props and Clues

Obviously, you'll need a murder weapon, such as a dagger, gun, rope or vial of poison to lead your guests to the perpetrator. Create, collect and plant clues, such as a sheath of top-secret documents, a lipstick dropped at the scene of the crime, a revealing love letter that sheds light on the motive, a silver flask with the monogrammed initials of the owner in a location where it shouldn't be, and the victim's cellphone with a revealing text message on the screen.


While you'll want to leave room for improvisation, it's also important to create a basic script to lead your murder-mystery dinner party from beginning to end rather than allowing it to wander aimlessly and fizzle out. Divide the lines equally between characters, and give your guests a chance to shine in their roles. Throw in plenty of red herrings to lead your detectives in a variety of directions. Don't be afraid to interject a bit of humor into the roles to add some laughs to the evening.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images