A prolonged murder mystery dinner

We’ve just come back from a week in Keith (between Inverness and Aberdeen) with all of Phyllis’s family.

One of the nights we decided to play a murder mystery game for eight players called Death by Chocolate that we had bought in the Agatha Christie shop in Torquay (Devon) last summer but never got round to playing.

The instructions for the game claimed it would last 2½–3 hours (including dinner), so I decided to start it at 5.30, so that there was plenty of time to finish it before the kids’ bedtime at 9 o’clock.

That plan didn’t work at all. The first half hour worked fine, but then the kids joined us, and it became impossible to role-play, and one or two of us had to keep leaving the room for various reasons.

In the end, we stopped playing and didn’t resume till all the kids were asleep (apart from Amaia, who decided to join us instead) and we then played until bedtime.

The game itself was quite good fun, but I thought it was too scripted at times – rather than being given dialogues to perform, I’d rather have been given the facts, told to memorise them and then been allowed to improvise for the rest of the game.

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