By Sean Lanigan
On Friday, October 25th, the Connetquot Public Library held a murder mystery party with a western theme. I had never attended a murder mystery party and was intrigued to sit in and cover the event. Alex Cranshaw, a Sayville Public Librarian who hosted this event, explained, “I went to a murder mystery party in college. It’s a great way to break the ice and meet people.”
Here’s how it works! The participants each get a card that says what character they are going to play. One of the cards states who is guilty of committing the crime. Using the details of your character, attendees talk to the other characters throughout the event and try to figure out who the guilty party is. After some time goes by, you fill out a special accusation card. Cranshaw gave me some useful tips about this step, advising, “People who hand them in first are usually wrong.” I found his frank analysis funny but noted the importance.
Watching the party unfold and listening to the various questions made me want to attend a murder mystery party. The event lasted just under two hours, with all of the guests submitting their accusation cards. One person told me, “It’s a lot of fun. It makes you think, and it's fun to elicit clues and see what’s true and what’s not true.”
Cranshaw said that it is sometimes challenging to do these events at libraries because there are a lot of no shows, which makes the mystery harder to solve if important characters are missing.
If you’re interested, the next murder mystery party is at the Sayville Public Library on November 19th.This party’s theme will be Roaring 20’s. It is always fun to think about and solve problems. We’ll see if I can guess the murderer!