Dinner no longer holds the sense of mystery it did in America’s infancy, when grandpas would shoot an animal in the dark and grandmas, blindfolded, would cook it. Season your meal with mystique with today’s Groupon: for $73, you get two tickets to a four-course dinner and murder mystery from The Dinner Detective North San Diego at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido (a $139.98 value, including all taxes and service fees).
The Dinner Detectives’s cast of sleuths and servers dish up a four-course meal along with a heaping helping of mystery spiced with impromptu humor. Guests arrive to mingle, sample hors d’oeuvres, and begin questioning their fellow diners as the dressed-down cast circulates freely in the crowd.
An organic baby-green salad and a shocking murder send people scrambling to tables where they work to uncover the killer, who could be any one of the guests or a sentient saltshaker. The story unfolds in between courses; for the entree, diners have a choice of parmesan-crusted chicken breast with basil cream sauce, grilled fish with herb mashed potatoes, and a fresh and seasonal pasta primavera studded with veggies and tossed in marinara sauce. Chocolate cake rewards the night’s sleuthing as the crook is revealed. The guest with the best guess takes home a prize package for doing ace detective work.
The Dinner Detective San Diego
Eschewing the over-the-top costumes and writing that typify many other murder-mystery dinners, The Dinner Detective San Diego’s cast of improvisational actors blends in with audiences, holding secrets tight to their chests while steering each night’s tension-filled storyline. After a diner is found murdered, a resident detective helps lead the investigation, allowing guests to interrogate one another with Tickle Monster tactics to distinguish the culprit among the crowd of fellow diners and dissembling thespians. Multicourse meals keep bodies well fueled during spurts of crime-solving intuition, and a prize basket awaits the gumshoe who comes closest to solving the case.