Murder on the Menu – story overview
It’s the highlight of the food year here in Localtown – the Annual Food Star of the Year Dinner. The event will culminate, as always, with the award of the Silver Slice to the person who has contributed the most to Localtown’s food and drink scene over the last 12 months.
Recently it’s always gone to Vernon Ictim, the Localtown Gazette’s top critic, but with such success comes bad feeling – and he hasn’t helped things, having made enemies of his contemporaries.
As all the nominees gather for the dinner, resentments have reached boiling point…and before the award can be presented formally, it has been plunged into Ictim’s back!
V. Ictim is no more.
But who could have done such a heinous deed?
For you to download and print:
Full instructions – print and familiarise yourself with the story and rules of the game before your party.
Invitation – the game works best with 6-10 players. Choose a character for each of your guests and include the character card with their invite. Don’t forget to choose a character for yourself too.
Character cards – You should choose a character for yourself and each of your guests and send them the character summary and costume tips below with the invitation. Download and print the character cards for your guests to use on the night. (Make sure you select single sided printing on your printer)
Clue cards and guilty/innocent cards – for your guests on the night (to be selected at random and kept secret). We’ve also included some blank clue cards in case you want to make up your own versions!
Overview of the characters
Donald / Dorothy Oakhead – A Rustic Greengrocer
Rough and ready; outdoorsy; maybe a little gullible.
Costume tips – Corduroys and scarves, tweeds and button holes; a hanky or the like; sensible shoes.
Adam / Alice Pensell-Smith – A newspaper editor
Brisk and efficient; mindful and polite, but a little wary.
Costume tips – All paisley and purple; maybe a roll neck and a blazer; vintage. Stuck in a delightful past.
Frank/Francesca Sheetspread – A produce importer
Business is my business; I’m sleekly turned out and keen to get on.
Costume tips – Pinstripes and shiny shoes; satin or silk may well be involved; a bit of business bling.
Simon/Simone Goodbake – A television baker
A smooth, confident sort; twinkly eyed; a charmer
Costume tips – Think crisp shirts or blouses, pastels, a neat jacket or twin-set, pressed chinos etc.
William/Wilhelmina Upright – A Victorian-themed cafe owner
I wear period costume; I’m very correct but may be a little strict with others
Costume tips – Certainly black clothes, possibly with the occasional antique adornment.
Jax / Jax Shoreditch – A Hipster food blogger
I’m like sooo cool; I’m open and switched on and focused on tomorrow.
Costume tips – An ironic T-shirt, skinny jeans, sweet trainers; black framed glasses and baseball cap; or maybe an updated vintage look. Quirky and unique.
Carl / Carlie Trainer-Cross – A local gym owner
I’m sporty and keen; I’d rather be running; do I talk too quickly?
Costume tips – Headband and fitness gear; not necessarily a tracksuit; maybe a polo shirt or a sports team kit.
Bernard/Bernadette Matcha – A street food vendor
A citizen of everywhere in the world; friendly but a bit frantic.
Costume tips – Something global; a mix of cultures and continents; face paint too?
Larry/ Lara Litmus – An academic nutrition scientist
I consider life to be an experiment and I take my time; everyone is fascinating.
Costume tips – A scientist, geeky but with a hint of cool; maybe a superhero T-shirt or polo neck sweater.
Louis / Louise Gauloise – A French bistro owner
Je suis Gallic and fashionable; dry; I act oblivious but I am always intrigued.
Costume tips – Maybe all black in the Parisian style or Breton stripes and a beret.
Optional ghost story tips
You’ll see your character cards contain ghost story tips – This is a Halloween Bonus. Maybe the undiscovered murderer or the first to be accused can improvise a ghostly tale around those hints.
You may also wish to provide each storyteller with a spooky item from your home, or buy them especially, to inspire them with their story. The weirder the story the better – they don’t have to be horror classics, a spine-chilling vignette will do the trick.
Your murder mystery menu
We’ve come up with some killer recipes to serve up to your guests. Full of seasonal flavours, much of the food can be prepared ahead of time, leaving you free to light the candles and set the scene.
If you have any questions or want to let us know what you think please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story and concept by Ben Moor, an actor and writer. He has written for The Guardian and The Idler. His broadcast work includes Elastic Planet and Undone for BBC Radio, and TV appearances in The IT Crowd and Doctor Thorne. Follow him on Twitter: @benmoor