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How to Host a Murder Mystery Weekend Posted 17th September 2014

19th Century wing back easy chairAny fans out there of the famous Miss Jane Marple and Monsieur Hercule Poirot will most likely be aware of the fact that this week (14th – 21st September) is known nationwide as Agatha Christie week. And so to honour the Queen of Crime, we’ve put together this useful guide for owners of country house hotels on how to host a murder mystery weekend.

The increasing popularity of these weekends means that, if successful, your event could generate new and returning custom, great marketing and PR opportunities, as well as possible demand for further events to be held in the future. It’s therefore crucial that people considering to host a murder mystery weekend plan it thoroughly. Doing so will mean that, not only will you attract sleuth-enthusiasts from far and wide, but you’ll also have some fun in the process.

Immerse yourself

First things first; you must remember that this event is going to last all weekend. So it’s important that you must keep up appearances and stay in character from the moment your guests arrive to the moment they leave. In order to host a successful murder mystery weekend, you must make everything believable to your guests and maintaining the role play is vital to achieving this.

Send invitations

Once you have a full list of numbers, along with the names and addresses of the guests planning to attend, add an element of excitement in the lead up to the weekend by sending your guests a formal invitation to the event. Be sure to send these at least six weeks in advance of the event taking place; you need to allow your guests the opportunity to familiarise themselves with their character. Speaking of which…

Character build

Within your invitations, it’s also vital to provide your guests with details of their individual character. Be sure to spend a good amount of time devising each characters’ history, personality and dress sense. This way, you will be steering your guests gently towards how you want them to act and dress throughout the entirety of the weekend.

And don’t forget; all identities must be kept secret so emphasise the importance of all guests keeping their character information to themselves. After all, no one wants to know the identity of the criminal before the event’s even begun.

Rehearse the plot

Be sure to plot out the whole weekend and rehearse it from beginning to end. You want to ensure that all your members of staff know how they should be acting and what they should be doing. Rehearsing everything beforehand will reduce the chances of slip-ups taking place and will mean your event is more likely to run smoothly.

Research classic culinary dishes

You want your guests to go home raving about their experience at your event and to achieve this, you must pay attention to every little detail. This includes what food you serve. Take some
time to find out what type of dishes would have been served in the early 1900s. Maybe you could even consider serving small samples of delicacies from that era, such as an “Ox tongue salad”; something for the more adventurous to try and it would certainly provide a talking point.

Encourage mingling

Set aside some time near the beginning of your event to allow guests the opportunity to talk amongst themselves and get to know one another. Not only is this a great ice breaker, but it also generates buzz with speculation as to what’s about to take place.

It’s also important to ensure you continue to dedicate specific periods of time for further socialising whilst the weekend plays out; as relationships develop amongst your guests, the more accusations are likely to be made as to who the culprit may be.

Don’t forget the prize

To create an element of competition and to encourage guests to truly immerse themselves in the event, offer an attractive prize to whichever super sleuth solves the mystery first. Something like a complimentary night’s stay at your hotel with breakfast included would be a great prize.

Classic country house hotel furniture


Last – but by no means least – it’s vital that you create the perfect classic look. No murder mystery event is complete without the right country house hotel furniture to really achieve the desired effect. If you want your guests to immerse themselves in the story, you must create a believable setting. Allow your guests the opportunity to socialise next to the fireplace whilst relaxing in 19th century oak gentlemen’s club chairs. Display an array of drinks for your guests on a classic oak sideboard. Sit everyone down for meals at a Stafford twin pedestal table.


At Taylor’s, our collection of traditional hotel furniture is second to none. We design, make and restore a wide selection of classic, antique, reclaimed, Bentwood and outdoor furniture for the hospitality industry.

So feel free to take a look at the array of classic furniture for inspiration on interior design for your murder mystery weekend event. Or if you want some advice on what would work best, give us a call today and speak to a member of our team. We welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your interior furnishings and offer our opinions on which pieces we think would suit your event perfectly.