How to Host a Killer Murder Mystery Party

We'll clue you in on how to host a murder mystery party: Macabre decor, scary-good food and a fun whodunit add up to a dinner party that's to die for.

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Killer Murder Mystery Party Tablescape
TMB Studio

Calling all true-crime fans and fictional-thriller lovers! There’s no more fitting way for you to celebrate spooky season than with this ghastly gathering. Ponder a mystery with friends over a drop-dead delicious dinner served in a swanky, spine-tingling setting.

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Murder Mystery Party Death By Chocolate Chocolates
via merchant, TMB Studio

Select Your Storyline

A store-bought plot is the easiest route to take for your party. (We love this chocolate-themed murder mystery game.) Kits include all the pieces you’ll need to decipher who among you is the mastermind behind the make-believe homicide. Or, if you’re feeling extra imaginative, craft your own crime from scratch!

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Cloache With Murder Mystery Party Items Inside Tohon22 Pu5326 P2 Md 05 18 9b Copy
TMB Studio

Scare Up Themed Accents

Set the scene by placing a clear cloche over an assortment of eerie objects, such as a magnifying glass, blood-red blooms, black feathers and potions. This head-turner works wonderfully as a centerpiece. Then, line the table with old-timey candelabras and taper candles.

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Sealing Envelope With Wax Seals
TMB Studio

Create Your Clues

For some vintage sophistication, use wax to seal written (or provided) clue cards or character assignments in envelopes. Bonus points for spooky stamp designs! Then, write guests’ names on the back in script and place one at each table setting. (Psst! You could also send out snail-mail invitations this way.)

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Tiered Cake Stand As Drinks Holder
TMB Studio

Do Drinks Right

Line a tiered cake stand with glasses, shakers, garnishes and more for a one-stop cocktail shop. (Check out these classic aperitifs you could serve!) Our selection for this party’s signature drink is a moody blackberry balsamic Manhattan with muddled blackberries, bourbon, sweet vermouth, simple syrup, aged balsamic vinegar and bitters.

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Cocktail Garnished With Smoking Rosemary Sprig
TMB Studio

Go All Out on Garnishes

Add extra spookiness—and some smoky flavor—with a charred sprig of rosemary. (Did you know rosemary has all these health benefits?) Simply let the herb burn for a few moments, blow it out and drop it into your beverage. Some more fun add-ons include stirrers threaded with fresh blackberries and fresh orange pieces.

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Taste Of Home's Harvest Pork Roast Recipe; Entree
TMB Studio

Make a Menu

Stick with doable yet elevated recipes for your dinner party, such as hands-off pork roast, tossed kale salad and simple brie appetizers. Whatever you do, opt for recipes that have fresh, seasonal ingredients and will satiate your guests for the duration of the game.

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Taste Of Home's Turtle Tart With Caramel Sauce Recipe; Dessert
TMB Studio

Finish with a Confection

Can you say ‘death by chocolate’? This decked-out tart contains layer after delicious layer: nutty pecan crust, chocolate filling and creamy caramel topping. Some other chocolate-rich desserts to consider are cheesecakes, fudgy brownies, mousse, truffles and more.

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie is Taste of Home’s Shopping Editor and previously worked on the brand’s magazine and special issues. It was during this time she tapped into her love language, gifts, and spearheaded the print holiday gift guides in 2021 and 2022. She’s thrilled to continue creating gift guides full time for the shopping team, in addition to testing and reviewing products, spotlighting viral gadgets and editing freelanced content. A midwestern transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, crafting and—you guessed it!—shopping and cooking.