The game’s afoot, my dear host (or hostess).
Quick! Assemble the suspects -er, the guests. Assemble the guests.
What better way to subtly draw them into our confidence than with an invitation?
Consider, my dear chap (or lady), playing host to a Murder Mystery Dinner. Happy attendees will arrive in costume, preparing their wits and accents for sleuthing.
How now? What décor will grace the walls and tabletops?
I’m rather partial to houndstooth, overlaid with silhouette. Details of birth or event may be printed by banner below it.
Watson would enjoy the wood grained wall as well, a comforting recollection of his childhood boardinghouse days.
As much as I find myself drawn to classic patterns and shadows, a more appropriate piece would certainly be this visual clue map.
See how Moriarty, in his supposed cunning, has led us right to his next target.
Once the red yarn lines have been drawn, his typical, subconscious attraction to dromedary shapes manifests itself.
The doctor would insist I offer you something to drink.
You, of course, will take the small shot glass on the bottom of the pile. You will inquire after the magnifying glass as you decant; the pipe afterwards.
How do I know? Elementary, my dear sir (or madam).
Ah! I see our good housekeeper has provided a cake.
Or, perhaps, this was a labor of your own.
I see, now: the floured patches on your right thigh, where you dusted your hand; the powdered sugar resting near your temple, from marshmallow fondant; and the way you sang, “Happy Birthday” to the guest of honor.
I must say, the attention to detail is almost exquisite: I O U apple, lipstick, choice pills, houndstooth layer, and drawn smiley-face bring to mind many a past case.
Since you’ve a fondness for questions regarding my pipe, you may also enjoy the clarity I find in such meditation.
I cannot vouch for the quality of these, though they bear resemblance to my own, much-loved clay version.
Aha! I see that they are formed from a variety of sweetened ingredients. Their primary one, naturally, is licorice.
‘Twould seem we must eat, must consume some typical foodstuffs more sustaining than sugars or brandy.
Tea? We’ve a pot somewhere, I’m sure. No?
Have Mrs. Hudson bring up her tea things, then. Scones and other buns seem appropriate to accompany them.
Though I’d never bother with such frivolous practices, your attendant friends may enjoy these papered gift tags.
I see the attraction in the antique browns and tans, as well as the flattering outlines.
By chance, a few guests may not have come in period attire.
For those few, they’re sure to enjoy facial adornment, mixed with plastic toys utilizing atmospheric pressure.
In short, a double novelty item. I have discovered the materials at Michael’s, just down the lane.
The general populace seems engaged in another frivolous exercise these days: that of capturing their pictures in various poses.
Once captured, they love to share their portraits with others of their social group.
You must capitulate, for the sake of popular appeal, and purchase some of these props.
As we end our little birthday soirée, prepare to gift a parting package to each guest.
They may be delivered as you deliver concluding statements regarding the solution of whatever “mystery” you were to solve.
Items imperative to any detective satchel include: lockpicks, magnifying glass, fingerprint kit, disappearing inks, and a disguise.
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