Dear Sir and Madam,
You are cordially invited to a masquerade ball at the Grand Chateau’ de Howk….The evening will take an unexpected turn from the pomp and circumstance of traditional masquerade when greed and revenge appear from behind their masks.
This weekend we hosted our third annual murder mystery party.
I wrote the entire plot this year. Herein was the challenge: there are essentially no free murder mystery plots online. There’s a few, but they are mostly vulgar and totally inappropriate for our circle of friends. Seeing how this party has become an annual tradition, I figured that if I could successfully write one, I would be able to do so every year. Guess what?! It was successful! (If I do say so myself.)Guests arrived at our chateau dressed in their wardrobe’s finest formalwear and a mask. We have incredible friends, they go all-out and we LOVE them for it! They had already received character assignments in the mail, so they easily hopped into their alter ego as soon as the time came.
We attempted to transform our house into a colonial mansion of societal elite. Pandora played orchestra music. Our house was lit only by strings of white Christmas lights. We arranged the furniture to accommodate a majestic dining room table to seat 14 guests, complete with white linens and bouquets of roses. The seats were assigned and marked with a wax sealed and labeled scroll.
The Lord and Lady (my hubs and I) made welcoming announcements and introduced each couple. Guests were then given some time to drink their first round of cocktails and find out a little bit about the other characters at the ball. This is when everybody starts to loosen up and get into their roles. Nervous laughter transitions into a good time.
Dinner is served. Grilled elk steak, chicken and fish, roasted red potatoes, green salad and dinner rolls. As the Lady read the menu, Lord Howk rushed in to announce that a murder had taken place and that nobody was allowed to leave until the criminal had been apprehended. Each guest then opened a sealed scroll with further instructions specific to their character. As we shared a meal, guests used their newly discovered information to have conversations that developed characters and made a few eyebrows raise in question of motives.
Who could have killed the Old Man? He planned on gifting his esteemed estate to his niece despite the many offers from buyers looking to acquire such an accomplished property. Was it the rich fiancé? Or his brother, who seethed distain for anyone with wealth greater than his own. Could it be the secretive leaders of the anti-masquerade movement, here only to destroy the evening? Perhaps the royals seeking a home to meet their high standards. Maybe it was the leading man of useless facts and figures, along with his wife who envisions equal rights to education for both women and men. What about that strangely familiar couple with an inability to keep their story straight? Or maybe it was the niece herself, who loves her dear Valentino nearly as much as her engagement ring.
As tensions mounted and everyone aimed at solving the crime, guests moved between our downstairs living areas and our upstairs grand ballroom. This allows space for private conversations and deals to be made.
Guests reconvened for dessert and more speculation. It was a tremendous pleasure to see the plot develop as I had imagined when I wrote it. At one point I looked around at all of our masked friends laughing and carrying on and thought about what a gift they all are and what a true delight it is to throw a party for all of these people who I adore. It went according to plan, there were suspicions headed in the right directions, but neither the murderer or motive were easily apparent.
The Lord and Lady gave twenty more minutes to tie up loose ends, and with that everyone was off to gather as much information as they could before the final resolution was read. Everyone was seated for one last time and each guest was given the opportunity to say who they thought the murderer was, what motive the murderer had, and their method of finishing off the Old Man. It was fun to hear each speculation as many of them got parts of the solution correct, but only the highly educated Mrs. Rolonda Whitaker was able to correctly put all of the pieces together.
Turns out we were in the presence of a murderer named Francine Richardson. Her husband leads the antimasquerade movement, as he believes that masquerades are sinful replications of foreign traditions, and while he handed out propaganda to support his cause, Francine took matters into her own hands. She knew that the evening must be ruined if people are to see how evil these parties are, so she killed the Old Man to prove her point. She assumed that she would be considered a national heroine for saving mankind from evil, but in the end all she received as a sentence of OFF WITH HER HEAD!
The party was a grand success and it seemed like everyone had a nice time. I sincerely appreciate our friends for finding childcare, getting all dressed up and coming to enjoy the evening with us. Now that I know how to write the plot, I plan on doing so again next year. In fact, the time period, theme and characters are already introducing themselves to me and I’m excited to write them when the time comes.