Last New Year’s Eve, we played a murder mystery game called “Murder at Mardi Gras”. It was a fun way to ring in 2017 and this year we did the same thing — my aunt, uncle, and cousin’s family joined us in playing A Taste for Wine & Murder. This mystery was set in Napa Valley and focused on the murder of a vineyard owner named Barry and all the strange characters who might’ve wanted him dead.
Here are the character portraits:
My mom had an extra gold table cloth which we hung as a photo backdrop:
Just like last year, my sister got a costume for her dog Oscar — since she played an FBI detective, she got him a police outfit so he could be her sidekick. (Also, her character was originally named Bud Wiser but she decided to go by Sam Adams instead.) Missy didn’t get a costume but her new Christmas sweater suits her just fine:
The table is set… for MURDER:
Photos of my parents, sister, and me before everyone else arrived (my mom repurposed her goth wig from last year’s murder mystery):
My cousin’s son Ryden cuddles up with my parents:
My aunt and uncle just got two Maltese puppies — they are two months old and spent most of the time sleeping. It is the best feeling in the world to hold puppies!
All of the dogs in one photo — Oscar and Missy put up with the new competition for affection:
David and Julie pose in character as Ralph Rottingrape and Tiny Bubbles:
Ryden was into the bubbles:
Then we exchanged Christmas gifts. Love this pic of David giving Ryden “the claw” (as my dad used to call it when I was little):
My cousin David and my sister exchange Saved by the Bell-related gifts every year, trying to one-up each other. This year my sister made Dave a 2018 calendar and photoshopped his face onto the bodies of cast members. Isn’t that hilarious? We joked that in order to top that next year, one of them will have to arrange a visit from Dustin Diamond or Mr. Belding (to which my sister said, “Does anyone have $20, because I think that can be arranged” — burn!).
We enjoyed an Italian dinner (going along with the wine theme) of stuffed shells, pasta, meatballs, and salad. Plus lots of wine!
My aunt made dessert — in addition to a brownie-type dish that we adding toppings to like a sundae, she made a blondie-type bar with M&Ms and a merengue-style top that was outrageously delicious. Julie and I posed with the baking dish because we couldn’t get enough of those bars. Aunt Chris, please make this again!
Then it was time for the murder mystery. My dad read the set-up for each chapter (there was also an audio component via CD that came with the game) and we each got a booklet which instructed us when to reveal certain secrets about ourselves or other characters. There were a few rounds / chapters until finally the murderer was revealed; the whole thing took about two hours. Here are some photos from the game…
The next photo isn’t a spoiler as to who the murderer is, just my sister pretending to arrest my dad:
Thanks to my parents for hosting this event! And thanks to Julie, David, and Ryden for coming down from New Hampshire! And to Doug & Chris for bringing puppies!