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I bought this recently to provide some really fabulous entertainment during an intimate little evening with friends. Oh, and my father. None of us had had any previous experience of this sort of thing but, well, there's always a first time for everything, right? There were nine of us though which did mean that, as host, I did feel obliged to give up my place amongst the actual players of the game. Not that I complained - well, not much anyway.As it happens,it was the fact that I was never going to be able to take an active role in proceedings that I think made it such a triumph. No, I don't quite mean THAT, do I?! What I mean is, I was able to really concentrate on the planning, the preparation and the execution of the thing which, when all is said and done, is what really does make this a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a few hours. Oh, but I only read the 'Party Planner' booklet beforehand, nothing else. I had no more of an idea who the murderer was than they did, at the moment of their ultimate unmasking.Before the party, I sent the enclosed invitations to my guests in the envelopes which were also provided. I addressed them in my very best writing (well, I had to give the postman at least a fighting chance) and the RSVP text messages came back thick and fast. The invitations give a brief outline of the crime as well as a list of the suspects, with accompanying short character profiles and some, very subtle, costume suggestions. It is the job of the party's host to match the right guest to the right suspect. There's a lot of comic potential in, say, assigning someone very pompous indeed (for instance, oh, let's say, my father) the role of Dame Barbara Carthorse, whose own costume suggestion specifically mentions 'spectacular jewellery' and a 'very grand evening dress'. Despite all this, my father turned up to the party in a pinstripe suit, which was not exactly entering into the spirit of things as far as I was concerned. Fortunately, I had taken the liberty of wearing a good bit of costume jewellery and a rather extravagant evening dress myself so, in karmic terms, I think we kind of balanced each other out.There are eight characters in all; six suspects and two extra guests (making a total of four men and four women altogether). The six suspects have to be present for the game to work properly, while the other two characters only appear if you have the necessary extra numbers at your party. Little Fitz, the ventriloquist extra guest, is required to arm himself with a dummy ('Ziggy') as part of his costume suggestion although it can be practically anything - something of the calibre of 'Lord Charles' is not really necessary, so don't worry.Being the host, it fell to me to decorate the house a bit and come up with a meal worthy of an event such as this. The setting is an up-market Parisian hotel and, to be honest with you, a few helium balloons and the odd photograph of Charles Aznavour dotted around the place probably didn't really do the thing justice. Similarly, while the likes of Saint-Saens and Offenbach would undoubtedly have sounded jolly très bien, my guests had to make do with a bit of Sacha Distel's greatest that I found lurking at the back of my CD rack. Still, nobody complained. Anyway, it couldn't be helped, because I figured it was far more important that I spend my time sorting out some decent nosh for the evening.The menu suggestions made me drool like one of Pavlov's dogs when I first read them. 'Quail Egg Salad', 'Roast Boned Leg of Lamb served with Spring Vegetables in Cream and Herb Sauce' and 'Chocolate Mort - Mousse'. Lovely. The only thing was, I really couldn't be bothered with any of that and, given my rather alarming lack of cooking skills, I figured my guests would probably thank me for that small mercy in the long run. I don't know how authentic a Chinese takeaway and a couple of tubs of 'Haägen-Dazs' might have been but, anyway, that was what we ate that evening. Well, after all, they're only suggestions!Somehow or other, I did manage to create the sort of relaxed atmosphere that was able to put my guests at ease while, at the same time, encouraging them to blow the dust off their collective improvisational skills. Mind you, I suppose the huge amount of alcohol that was consumed by them all may have had something to do with that.The salient facts of the case are all scripted and are designed to be revealed at very precise times and in very precise order. The DVD is really most excellently done, with 'Hercule McClue' sounding even more French than Sacha Distel. Much depends, apparently, on the skill of the host in being able to come up with a seating arrangement for his/her guests that will be able to maximise all improvisational potential. By inviting my father along, I was already flirting with danger. He's a bit, how can I put this... self-opinionated, and he does tend to take charge of situations when he really ought to mind his own business. He's also a lawyer, so was very much monopolising all of the questioning. Despite the fact that I didn't have a pre-printed place card with my name on it, there really was nothing for it but to plonk myself down next to him as a very-noble-even-if-I-do-say-so-myself self-sacrifice (with some difficulty that was, I have to say - a steel-boned corset is not very manoeuvrable: heaven only knows how you girls manage). Still, lectures from him about my 'inappropriate' behaviour are always so much easier to ignore when I'm wearing 'inappropriate' clothing. Let me tell you, the 3 hours simply flew by!The evening ended with each suspect reading out their version of events, followed by everyone revealing who they believed the murderer to be. I thought my father would never shut up actually. What was worse, when we put the DVD on for the 'big reveal', Hercule McClue confirmed he was bloomin' well right! God, I'll surely never, ever be able to live THAT down...?
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I hosted a party using this game and it was fantastic. A few tips for you... I would reccommend that you have the 8 guests rather than the 6 as the evening flowed really well when all the characters mentioned on the DVD and in the booklets were involved. Another reccomendation is to take one of the 'spare' character parts on yourself as the host/hostess to give yourself more time to serve dinner and keep popping into the kitchen in the knowledge that you won't end up being the murderer and having to put people off the scent.Also don't cheat by reading the answers first! I enjoyed not knowing the ending and it made my night more enjoyable even though I had to stop a few times to see what we had to do next. My guests really threw themselves into the parts so invite people that you know will join in or sit the more confident guests near the quieter ones and send the invites out about 1 month before the party so people have time to organise their fancy dress and props etc. A great time was had by all on the night with people taking notes and quite seriously trying to peice together the clues! It got funnier and funnier as the drinks flowed and we carried on even after the mystery was solved and dinner was over playing party games into the wee hours. I would definately do this kind of thing again although I have read some not too good reviews of other boxed games that sound similar to this one but use a more complex format so I would stick to this Paul Lamond brand as it's now tried and tested as far as I'm concerned(They do a Champange murder mystery too
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This was the first murder mystery party we have hosted, but it was really good fun. The DVD sets the tone nicely (it is very cheesy, as are all the characters). The game is for 6-8 players - we had 6, but it's worth noting that there must be an even split of male and female guests.The booklet only gives one suggestion for the menu for each course, they seemed pretty good, although we used none of them - all I would say is that it's worth doing courses that you can prepare mostly in advance so as not to spend too much time in the kitchen and out of the game.The story takes place in a hotel,so we decked our house out like a hotel with a sign on the toilettes and a reception desk etc. As you would expect, you get out what you put in, so it's worth inviting people who you know will get stuck into the roles, and the more you can set the scene with decor the better.The only down side is that there is a section of the DVD to play after each course, which for us meant having to leave the table to watch it and take part in the scripted elements of the game. Whilst this made the dining a little disjointed, it did give us a good chance to clear up after each course.All in all, it's a great night in for just a little over a tenner. I would recommend it - but make sure you familiarise yourself with the rules and order of play before the night, as it's a bit hectic when cooking as well.
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We had our murder mystery night last Friday and it was a great success. I sent out the invites in good time so the guest could sort out their costumes, all of which were pretty easy to source. The guest did a great job and looked the part including the dummy. I did the table as pretty as I could and decorated the room with pictures of Paris and we bought a CD of french music which set the scene. The DVD worded well and there is everything you need in the pack to make for a great party.I did a 3 couse meal and even did a menu,we also put signs around the (hotel) stating reception, toilets and the restaurant, all of which added to the fun evening.Two quest's got the correct person for the murder.I would advise an early start to give you time to relax and enjoy both the meal and the game, we started at 6pm and the guests left at 01.15am. I handed out nibbles and drinks on arrival then we sat in the "restaurant "and checked out the first page of the booklet whilst the starter cooked. It all worked so well,this is the first one I have hosted after being a guest at two others, I must say that it did take quitre a bit of thought and planning but I LOVED IT.
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This was only the second murder mystery I'd played, and my first as 'host'. I chose this one as I thought the characters sounded fun and relatively easy for my guests to get costumes for (you can get more info on the characters in this and the other games from the manufacturer's website). My friends went to a lot of effort to dress up and play their parts and that's what really made the night - haven't laughed so much for a long time! There were only 6 of us and that worked fine.The plot generally flowed ok although a couple of times they summarised things in the DVD that we hadn't covered so we got a bit confused! The murderer does not find out who they are until the last round - no one at my party guessed who it was!My tips for a fun evening are for the host to read through the instructions carefully before the night; give the bigger, more extrovert characters to more confident people; keep the meal simple so you don't lose the flow of the game from big breaks due to food preparation; finally, don't take it too seriously - the plot is a bit dodgy in places but still lots of fun!
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I bought this game to play with a group of friends for a special occasion but was a little apprehensive about how it would pan out... I needn’ have worried because EVERYONE JUST LOVED IT! The script was a hoot - in fact there was hilarity from beginning to end. I haven’t laughed so much in ages!The support materials were impressive: I found the party planner helpful and each character has his or her own booklet containing a script and question prompts, so people were well-supported.The DVD helped to create an atmosphere- great for setting the scene, prompting us to review the clues and of course the advantage was we could replay any section as necessary. There was a good variety of characters - we had eight - and I think it helped us as hosts to take on the two minor characters. I didn’t follow the suggested menu and it’s perfectly possible to arrange the action around the food as you think fit.Overall, this game was an overwhelming success, so much so that our friends are now thinking of hosting similar evenings themselves!
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I purchased this for a dinner party of 8 people. The pack comes with a booklet for each character which contains their motives and scripted dialogue. The murderer is told during the course of the booklet that they did it. This is not revealed at the start of the booklet. I was a little weary at first regarding the script as I wondered if people would feel conscious and whether it would all seem a little wooden, but everyone came with props and soon got into the spirit of things.There's plenty of room for ad libbing which made the whole thing all the more entertaining and fun. There is a dvd with the pack, but to be honest, you can do without it as it adds very little to the overall experience. The party planning booklet also gives you recipes but i didn't follow this and there isn't a need to really. Overall I would thoroughly recommend the product. The only downside is that you can only play it once with the same group of friends because the murderer doesn't change, so perhaps it could be a bit better value for money.
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We had a great evenings entertainment with this at new year. Only had 6 players so was a shame to miss out on two characters especially as one of the "extra"s sounded very fun to play. Had a bit of a false start as one of the character sheets was missing so had to exchange to get an alternative (complete) version. Don't leave it to the last minute just in case!The DVD was a nice touch and added to the effect although the picture quality wasnt great... It did work though unlike some of the other reports of cd problems.The dialogue sections weren't too long or too difficult so there was still plenty of opportunity to improvise and the French setting meant for lots of bad accents and over the top acting. Lots of chocolate puns in the dialogue too!A bit frustrating to have to get a replacement to fix the missing part but a great evenings entertainment. Takes a good 2 to 3 hours around a meal, and it is (just about) possible to play a character, make the food and drink lots of wine too!
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Whilst we all had a great evening, we felt that this game didn't flow as well as Pasta, Passion and Pistols. The DVD was a good touch, dodgy French Hercule McClue was funny and helped to summarise each 'course' of the evening. The characters were easy enough to create costumes for, though we didn't stick to a 1900s theme. If you choose this one, make sure someone has access to a puppet of some kind, it's essential!! I downloaded some French cafe/accordion music and tried decorating the table as opulent as possible to reflect the Parisian hotel.I played with the menu as we didn't fancy the suggested Quails eggs etc but our dessert was pure 'Death By Chocolate' in keeping with the game! It was a great evening, lots of laughs and silly references/innuendos and the dodgy French accents were hilarious. If this is your first Murder Mystery game, personally I'd suggest trying Pasta, Passion and Pistols as this one just didn't seem to flow as well. Have fun!
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We had great fun at our dinner party. Our guests got straight into the spirit of the game, great outfits and dodgy accents! The box set provides everything you need from the script, scene setting, table setting and invites, etc, although we didn't follow the suggested menu on this occasion as quails eggs weren't to everyones taste. The accompanying DVD was very entertaining and obviously helpful, a cross between Hercule Poirot meets Inspector Clueso!We will use this game again with different dinner guests,although as the hosts we are going to know who the murderer is next time, but it will be fun watching everyone getting into character and a whole new set of arguments and theories! We have friends who have bought different murder mystery box sets before and are starting a library share so in future we can borrow each others for a bit of variety.Highly recommended for a bit of fun and to spice up a mundane dinner party.
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