Murder Mystery at the Tiki Bar

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This Year’s Themed Halloween Party

The Edge of the World

Welcome to “The Edge of the World”, a waterfront Tiki Bar with a very specific clientele normally. It is a Dark and Stormy Night however, and a strange assortment of folks have sought shelter from the storm. A murder most vile has taken place, and now we must discover who among us is the perpetrator. Choose a Character and come on inside! Its sure to be illuminating…

(Feel free to choose from any of the characters not already chosen*―or make up your own and let us know so our new guest can join in the Fun!)

The Edge of the World

Concept

We have been having Halloween parties every year since we moved back to Florida from North Carolina a few years back. In our previous residence, they were barn parties. Lots of fun!!! Since we moved into our present home a bit over a year ago, our party venue has changed radically. We do, however, have a spacious Florida Room that we have been converting into a home Tiki Bar. We have used themes for Halloween parties in the past and the participants seemed to enjoy it. There was the now infamous Princess Party— our balmy Florida weather turned cold and we had girls in strapless gowns wearing coats and huddling around space heaters in the barn. We also did a vintage Movie theme where people chose a favorite movie and character. 

Gaia and I were batting around ideas one day a few months back and she asked me if we could have a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre theme. I thought it was an idea with potential, so we began mulling it around. We mentioned it to a couple of family members and they were enthusiastic, so we started planning. I came up with some more ideas for characters and setting, then gave the concept over to my two creative kids, Gaia and Gabe. Gabe is just naturally funny anyway, and when he and his sister collaborate, they come up with some truly amazing stuff. He did the character list, and subsequently, the backstories and the clues.

The Victim

Geoff the Bartender

Every murder must have a Victim, and ours turned out to be the Tiki Bar bartender. A part-time fashion model and skeleton, Deceased more so than usual, and an all around nice guy who knew altogether too many secrets about his clients.  Geoff has attended every one of our Halloween parties as well as a Christmas or two— this being the first time that he was not only dead, but Dead and Murdered. He spends most of his time these days hanging inside Gaia’s closet door (She has a skeleton in her closet—LOL!), but he relocated to the Florida Room complete with chalk outline for his big part in these festivities. I mean the investigation. 

The Suspects

Click on image for Slide Show***

So many suspects, and so many reasons to eliminate poor Geoff.

  • Candy Coates, Barmaid – Always friendly and bubbly, but she also wears hobnailed stomping-boots for those occasions when somebody gets fresh with her. The last person to see Geoff “alive”!
  • Salacia Sashay, Singer – The bar’s resident lounge singer. Exceedingly full of herself, and thinks she can do better than this “hole-in-the-wall bar” in a “dead-end town”. Nobody can remember actually hearing her sing anything though.
  • Admiral Bewilderforce T. Sinkswell, Retired – Holds the record for most ships sunk in a military career. Some of them were even the enemy! He is Very Proud of this. Squints so hard he can nearly see up his own nose.
  • Doctor Phillip Good – A firm believer in the magic of pharmaceuticals, especially the pharmaceuticals he personally develops in his secret laboratory (or at least his rather well-known laboratory). Always on the lookout for volunteers for special clinical trials. 
  • Johnny Jives, “Reporter” – Gossip columnist for the Coastal Harold (no that’s not a typo). What he doesn’t hear on the street, he makes up. An incorrigible lush. Has been sued nine times for libel. The last time really left him on the ropes, which is why he’s drinking here tonight.
  • “Ol’ Salt” Peter Boggs, Smuggler, Retired – Formerly a notorious smuggler whose knowledge of the Everglades is only surpassed by his fear of being sober for even a moment. Rumor has it he has some sort of treasure hidden away in the swamps.
  • Reginald Penchpenny, Wealthy Industrialist – Made his fortune using his father’s fortune to invest in the copper mining industry, an industry that he knows nothing about. He assumes pickaxes are involved somehow, and probably buckets?  A bit of a cheapskate, but he’s cheerful enough and tends to buy rounds for the bar when he’s drunk enough not to remember doing that the next day.
  • “Murderin’” Molly Masterson – Probably is a pirate, but denies it. Alliteration enthusiast. Seems to have plenty of cash at any given time. Her knife’s name is “First Mate, Mr. Stabbins”. 
  • Rosemary Sage, Fortune Teller – Tells fortunes down on the boardwalk.  Palms read, cards consulted, and crystals gazed, 10 bucks a customer or 15 for couples. She also communes with the spirits, and her favorite spirits to commune with are Captain Morgan and Jack Daniels.
  • Natasha Fatale- Russian Spy. Took a wrong turn at the corner of the Cold War, but she’s determined to fulfill her mission. After another Pina Colada anyway. She’s been undercover in the USA since Brezhnev was in power and has forgotten what the Motherland was like. She had a partner once—Boris… was it Karloff or Badenov? Hmm, she forgets.

  • Edward Cardiff- Airship Mechanic. Steampunk. Quiet and mysterious, dark-haired stranger from Wales. Silently longing for the mists lying over the moors.

  • Rebecca Lee, Southern Belle and Reporter – A reporter for the Coastal Harold (still not a typo), down on her luck and searching for the story that will let her strike it big and get as far away from the rag she works for as possible. Really wishes she hadn’t come to the same bar as Johnny Jives.
  • Starshower Moonbeam- Hippie Chick. Like, a totally far out gal, ya know? A free spirit who finds Good Vibes wherever she is.
  • Misschevious Raccoon- Sneaks into the bar to get out of the storm. Steals food and finds things out. So cute—look at the little mask, the snout, the weird little hand feet… kind of weird, right!
  • Assorted tourists – These folks find themselves in out bar by pure happenstance, after their boat has to take shelter from the gale. It was only supposed to be a three hour tour, darn it!

What a cast! Each character was given a sheet with further details when they arrived at the party. All were told to share as much or as little with fellow suspects as they cared to. The Muderer was informed of his/her culpability. Later in the evening, each guest was given a clue, and there was time to compare notes, share information, or lies, and to make casual accusations. 

Oh no! Salacia and Candy definitely don’t like each other…

Accusations 

Tiki TableWhile all this was going on, guests were bellying up to the Buffet table, a dessert table and the bar. We were well stocked with beer, soft drinks, bottled water and there were pitchers of Mai-tais and Pina Coladas. There was all manner of food, from a *Meat Man* to Hawaiian Pulled Pork sandwiches, sausage and pineapple tidbits, deviled eggs, cheese and crackers, chips and dips, all arrayed on a long table in the Tiki Bar (Florida Room). Goodies included Purple People Eater Cookies, Chocolate/Peanut Butter Cupcakes, Cookie dough (eye) balls, Lychee Nut and Blueberry “Eyeballs” and Hocus Pocus Spellbook Brownies.

Our decorations combined the Tiki and Halloween motifs. A pineapple took proud center on the buffet table, and there was a fog machine pumping mist over a red lighted swimming pool.  We have a tiki fountain beside the Mid-Century rattan bar. There were spiders, bats, and mummies hanging around as well. Rosemary Sage (Gaia) had her Tarot cards and Glowing “Crystal Ball” set up on a table for two where she was glad to oblige Suspects— I mean party goers— with a tongue-in-cheek fortune reading. We set up a station on the dining room table for clues and Mystery information, costume voting ballots, prizes and favors. 

After everyone had time to eat drink and compare notes, as well as making some very rash accusations of murder and mayhem, Reginald Pinchpenney ( Gabe) called together the cast for an open forum. Character Edward Cardiff had some points to share, having went around and closely questioned all the other cast members during the evening. The Misschevious Raccoon also had some observations to share after making her rounds.

The Murderer (Muderess)

It seemed that some of the participants had some rather strong  opinions on the guilt of fellow suspects. Candy Coates, in spite of her feud with Salacia the lounge singer, was certain that Rosemary Sage was the guilty party and accused her quite loudly. Other opinions were shared, and reasons for their suspicions. Finally, Gabe called them all to order and had the suspects vote by a show of hands. Several, in fact the only clear majority, of the participants were convinced of that sweet Rebecca Lee was the perpetrator.

Murderess

Though she denied this vehemently, and tried to throw suspicion on fellow “journalist” Johnny Jive, it was ultimately revealed that it was indeed she who had committed this wanton act, using the knife of Admiral Bewilderforce to throw off the investigation, and put herself in the position to get an Exclusive Story on the murder so that she could move on from the job she so hated.

It was a great evening!  We would certainly do something like this again, and recommend the Murder Mystery to anyone looking for an evening of socializing and entertainment. The ingenuity, not just of the creators of the character list and story, Gabe and Gaia, but of the participants, was amazing. Barmaid, Candy Coates (my daughter Bree) had a Edge of the World tee shirt with a Tiki on the back printed for her costume. The Admiral (Larry) not only looked quite spiffy in his white dress Naval uniform, but had photographs of the ships he had sunk (and a few from his antecedents as well). Everyone, right down to the youngest cast members, played their parts to perfection. I don’t have a picture, but Skipper and Maryann from the Minnow made an appearance, and their were some questions as to the fate of the “Skipper’s little Buddy” as well. Perhaps Geoff wasn’t the only victim!

If anyone has any questions about how we developed the mystery, etc., feel free to ask and we’ll do our best to help. To see more photos of the cast, check out this Portfolio Page. Credit to another daughter, Heather (aka Rebecca Lee) for the majority of the photos. I always have good intentions, but spend too much time doing prep work to get to the photography. Heather always gets the best costume pictures.

Till next time…

Have a Happy Halloween