Have you just been invited to a murder mystery game night? Do you want to dazzle your friends and family with your detective skills, or maybe you are just the type of person who is always in it to win it? Well, the best way to catch a murder at a murder mystery party is to ask the right questions.
At Master of Mystery, we take inspiration from the famous fictional detectives; Sherlock Holmes, Lieutenant Columbo, Jessica Fletcher, Nancy Drew, Miss Marple, Easy Rawlins and Hercule Poirot. All these detecting experts have an array of investigating skills, but we have learned by studying such detective greats that the basics are just as essential – your line of questioning. Asking the right questions will help you unmask your villain and win the murder mystery game!
So, what should you ask at a murder mystery game? The key to asking quality detective questions is to be consistent, practical, and sensible. Avoid random questions and closed-ended questions that encourage your suspect to give you a one-worded answer – yes or no answers. You want to keep them open-ended to further your suspect to elaborate on the details of the murder.
If you want to solve the mystery before your other fellow sleuths, we recommend the following 10 questions to ask your suspects:
How did you know the victim?
A classic opening question. How close is the suspect to our dearly departed? Were they related, a spouse, estranged, a friend, a business partner, a secret lover? Maybe, your suspect does not know the recently deceased, and therefore there seems to be no connection. Remember, there is always a motive for murder, so unearthing the victim's relationships is essential – you may uncover something interesting!
What do you do for a living?
Background reconnaissance is a must for all suspects. A suspect's career can be very revealing. A suspect's job may have brought them into proximity to the victim –do they work alongside the deceased? Particular jobs give your suspects easy access to the murder weapon –what means of murder does the suspect have access to?
Were you and the victim on good terms?
Fights and quarrels, financial disputes, long-lasting feuds are all reasons for murder! Much of your lines of investigation will revolve around establishing the motive of your suspects. Which guests have cause to kill our victim? What do individual guests gain by killing off the deceased?
When did you see the deceased last?
Establishing the timeline of events is essential! You want to know where your victim was in the lead-up to the murder and with whom. Who saw the deceased last?
Where were you at the time of the murder?
If this question doesn't make you feel like a real detective, nothing will. It's a classic, right out of the pages of Sherlock Holmes. Does the suspect have an alibi?
Can you or anyone else corroborate your whereabouts?
The classic follow-up question to a suspect's alibi – can anyone corroborate your whereabouts? Some of the character's profiles will help affirm other player's innocence and maybe highlight the guilty.
Do you know anyone that might have a reason to kill the victim?
Be blunt with your suspects. Remember, most of the other guests are also doing their investigation. Get clued into what your fellow investigators have uncovered. Some guests may be eager to share their uncovered truths. Corroborate your suspicions and look for patterns. It is also an excellent opportunity to suss out possible liars.
Can you expand on any of the clues or evidence?
Clues related to motive and method are continuously revealed throughout the game. Your suspects may have some extra information on any of the game's clues or evidence. The more information you can gather, the closer you'll be to demasking the murder.
What do you know about the deceased's will?
Many murders revolve around money. You can bet that someone is willing to kill for a massive payday if there is a will at play. This question is an excellent question to determine if any guests stand to gain from the victim's death. Maybe one of the characters is mentioned in the will; more importantly, they may already know their inheritance.
What was your reason for coming here tonight?
THIS IS OUR FAVOURITE QUESTION! Other than murder – what other secrets are your guests hiding? Remember, you're solving a murder, but all of your guests also have secrets of their own detailed in their character cards. This is a great question that may lead you to the motive and gain some juicy dirt on your fellow guests!
Other Good Detective Tips to Solve your Murder Mystery Game
While your lines inform the basis of any solid investigation of questioning, there are also some other detective skills and ideas that you should incorporate into your amateur inquiry.
- Talking to as many guests as possible in each round – aim to speak to everyone.
- Avoid re-questioning your guests with the same questions
- As new evidence is revealed, circle back to ask your guests questions to reaffirm information
- Corroborate your suspect's stories – always try and corroborate an account with another guest.
- Ask the guests their thoughts about the clues or evidence
- Keep it consistent with everyone
- Consider anyone who is avoiding detail or are oversharing
- Record your suspicions and eliminate guests with sound alibis
- Some question is better asked at the start of the game, others when evidence is revealed
It is also important to remember the interactive murder mystery game rules for a murder mystery; understanding those rules can also impact the way you handle your investigation. Some murder mystery game rules that are useful to know are:
Rule 1: Only the villain can lie
Rule 2: Guest use their character booklets to get their background
Rule 3: Evidence and clues are provided at the start of each new round
Knowing these rules also helps you in your line of questioning. As you are trying to gather as much information as possible, you can also catch any would-be deceitful villains.
Master of Mystery Murder Mystery Game Kits
At Masters of Mystery, we offer several murder mystery game kits that enable you to host your own murder mystery dinner party! Browse and choose from a number of our different themes:
- Roaring 1920's: Mobster themes and The Great Gatsby
- The Haunting of Monster Mansion
- Pirates: Dead Man Drinks No Rum
- Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Moorbourne Manor
- The Wild West: Dead Noon at Dead Man's Saloon
- Wizarding World: Mystery at Toadwart School
- 80s Hollywood; Murder in the 1980s
- Christmas Mashup
Our kits can be played in real life or as virtual murder mystery games on Zoom platforms. We love all things mystery and know that you do too.
Our games consist of 3 rounds – Mingling, the motive, the method – that typically last between 30 - 45 minutes. Of course, in between, we recommend breaks for drink and food.
At the end of the night, make sure you vote and reveal your villain! In our experience, having awards and winners to cap off the end of the night adds to the fun! And encourages your amateur investigators to cap off all the mystery fun!
Now you understand the detective basics, you're ready for your next murder mystery night! Since you've honed your detecting expertise, you no longer need to blithely ask suspects if they're the killer. Remember these questions and our extra tips, and you will be sure to outsmart all the other amateur detectives.