On television, criminal investigators are slick and relentless, which explains why most kids want to grow up to be cops, actors, or a pair of sunglasses. Shine like a snooping star with today's Groupon: for $25, you get a private murder-mystery party for up to 20 from Night of Mystery (up to a $50 value). Groupon buyers may upgrade to party packages for 20–80 ($70) by paying the difference.
The imaginative atrocity architects from Night of Mystery orchestrate evenings of betrayal, blood, and body counts put into action by at-home hosts. Dozens of intriguing mysteries await guests to fill roles, with each attendee receiving a preparty package including their character profile, some background information, and handy tips on differentiating homicidal butlers from those that are merely sulky. With no outside guidance beside their personal information and objectives, guests set about mingling until a crime is committed, when everyone is given a new set of objectives and nothing remains certain. A designated investigator lays out the evidence as best they can, and the host hands out accusation sheets, on which guests can vote for best dressed, best actor, and, incidentally, who savagely wrested the life from one of their fellow revelers. Improvisation is encouraged, and the absence of scripts, pencils, and puppet strings leaves the evening's possibilities wide open and logistics-free.
A cornucopia of insidious settings provide mysteries for all tastes and temperaments, including clean, teen-friendly versions, female-only crimes, and locales from Las Vegas to Camelot. Find you way into a mob-run speakeasy with Murder at the Juice Joint, set in a time when decades roared, women flapped, and Charlie Chaplins sat mute. Ho, Ho, Homicide paints a decidedly grim portrait of elf-reindeer relations whereas Cruising for Murder sees dastardly deeds done at sea. All online mystery profiles include advice on costumes, characterization, and setting to help guests get into character. Each party package comes for groups of 8–11 ($40), 10–15 ($45), 15–20 ($50), and massive 20- to 80-person sinister soirees ($70).