I love a juicy murder podcast, don’t you? But learning how to host a murder mystery party for adults can sound even scarier! It’s not though, I promise.

I love throwing a good party  and I’ve found that nothing is more fun than combining a murder plot, all our friends in character and an amazing dinner party. 

This will quickly become your favorite type of adult party to host as well. 

The words "How to Host a Murder Mystery for Adults" layered over 3 examples of murder mystery party kits.

Why wait for a holiday or someone’s birthday to gather your friends for a fun night together? This theme party idea also works great for an office party with coworkers. You can even do a murder mystery dinner remotely over Zoom! It’s the perfect excuse to make a memorable event, and there are so many ways to put your own special twist on it.

If you want to know how to host a murder mystery for adults, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few of my favorite ones I’ve hosted in the past:

There are so many creative ways to do it, and the devil is always in the details. But whether you are looking to pick a theme, aren’t sure how to make the invitations, or want to plan a Zoom party, I’ve rounded up the best ideas I’ve used for throwing a murder mystery adult themed party that will blow your friends’ minds.

What Is a Murder Mystery Dinner Game?

Before you can figure out how to host a murder mystery party for adults, you need to know the basics.

1. A murder mystery dinner is an event where attendees dress up for a theme or era.

2. Guests work together to solve a murder that occurs during the party (a PRETEND murder, obviously!).

It’s kind of like a real-life version of playing Clue.

Getting into character and solving clues together is a great ice breaker for people to get to know each other (like a first date, singles mixer, or work event), or a fun way to make memories with the friends you’ve had forever. It’s really perfect for almost any occasion or group of people.

What Do You Need to Host a Grown Up Murder Mystery Party?

You’re going to need to figure out a few things for your murder mystery dinner game, including:

  • A theme
  • Invitations
  • Characters
  • Menu (food and drink)
  • Mystery party script
  • Costumes

For most people, this sounds a little overwhelming. If you’re a creative mastermind and like diving deep into hosting an event, you can come up with all of these on your own.

But for most of us who aren’t so artistically and organizationally inclined, there are (luckily) TONS of pre-planned murder mystery theme party packages we can buy that take care of all the grunt work for us – at a super reasonable price (I promise, they’re really affordable).

Murder Mystery for Adults Tips

If you want to host your own murder mystery dinner, all you need to do is pick your theme, find a kit you like, send the invitations, and get your costume and dinner ready! 

Most kits include written instructions, menu ideas, printed or printable invitations you can send, character cards, and scripts for the host and other players. These kits take all the stress out of planning the perfect murder mystery dinner.

Here are a few of the best murder mystery dinner party kits I found that will make hosting your theme party a piece of cake.

4 examples of holiday themed murder mystery dinner party for adults kits.

Holiday Themed Murder Mystery Party Kits

Hosting a murder party for adults centered around a holiday ia a fun and easy way to create a special memory with the friends we love. Although Halloween is the obvious holiday for a murder party, these other options are equally as fun. 

1. Love & Lies Murder Mystery: A Valentine’s Day Murder Mystery

What a fun and unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Mix your single and coupled up friends for this 

2. An Invitation to Midnight Manor

The midnight murder theme works for multiple occasions, but I love this idea for a New Year’s Eve party or Halloween.

3. Christmas Sweater Murder Mystery 

How cool would it be to host this twist on the classic ugly sweater Christmas party idea?

Pro Tip: This would be a HUGE hit at the office. Plus, lots of people already have a Christmas sweater or holiday outfit they can wear, so no need for everyone to buy a costume if they don’t want to!

4. The Turkey Is Not the Only Casualty at Friendsgiving

I’m OBSESSED with the idea of turning your Friendsgiving dinner into a murder mystery party! Your friends will never forget this one.

4 examples of murder mystery for adults party kits.

5. Beads of Betrayal – A Mardi Gras Murder Mystery Game

Beads and masks are simple, fun costumes for a murder mystery party!

6. Murder at the North Pole

This Christmas themed murder mystery party kit includes the cutest invitations, action cards, prop suggestions, and all the ideas you’ll need to keep your guests entertained.

7. Stupid Cupid: Love Bites – An Anti-Valentine’s Day Murder Mystery… With Vampires!

Here’s another excellent murder party idea for Valentine’s Day with a vampire twist.

Pro Tip: Lean into the vampire theme with cocktails named after famous pop culture vampires like:

  • Edward Cullen
  • Damon Salvatore
  • Bill Compton
  • Lestat de Lioncourt

…or any others you can think of!

Also, check out our 5 Free Printable Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt Games if you’re looking for more V-Day game ideas.

8. Green with Envy: Killed at the St. Patrick’s Day Bash

Any holiday works for a murder mystery party, even St. Patrick’s Day! Green beer is optional but definitely recommended.

Eras Themed Murder Mystery Party Ideas

When it comes to how to host a murder mystery for adults, choosing your theme is perhaps the most enjoyable (and important!) part.

Holidays are just one possible theme idea.

Periods and eras also work great for murder mystery parties, and you and your guests might already have all the costumes, accessories, and props you need on hand! Here are a few of the best eras murder mystery party kits I found for you.

(BTW, if this got you thinking about the OTHER Eras – a.k.a. Taylor Swift’s Eras – check out our Epic ‘Eras’ Taylor Swift Themed Party Tips & Ideas).

4 examples of murder mystery party kits for adults.

9. 80s Mall Murder Madness

All of this company’s murder mystery party games include “Evidence Videos” narrated by Broadway actors – how cool is that!

10. A Totally 90s Murder Mystery Game!

The 90s are super trendy right now, and who doesn’t love the fashion, lingo, and music of this decade?

11. 80s Murder at the Roller Rink

The murder weapon in this party game is – no joke – a LEG WARMER! It doesn’t get much more 80s than that.

12. Killer Mean Girlz 2000 Murder Mystery Game

If you grew up with UGG boots, velour tracksuits, and the movie “Mean Girls,” you’ll love this 2000’s themed murder mystery party set!

3 examples of 1920's themed murder mystery party kits for adults.

13. Roaring 20s Murder Mystery Party

The 1920s is a great theme for a murder mystery dinner party because this decade has all the old-school glitz and glamour vibes you could want.

14. Death by Bathtub Gin

This murder mystery takes place in 1923 and – where else? – a speakeasy. 

Pro Tip: 1920s parties are perfect for Prohibition-themed cocktails and mocktails, like:

  • Old Fashioned
  • Sidecar
  • Gin Rickey
  • Highball
  • French 75
  • Bee’s Knees

… and more!

15. 1920s Gangster Gunman

The cost of this murder mystery party kit is as low as $15, depending on the number of players you have.

Zoom or Remote Murder Mystery Party Ideas 

Can’t get together in person for your murder mystery party? No problem! If you’re wondering how to host a murder mystery for adults remotely, plenty of party kits are designed to work over Zoom. 

Note: Lots of the kits above are designed to work remotely in person, too!

Here are a few of my favorite Zoom or remote murder mystery party ideas I know you’ll just love.

3 examples of Zoom murder mystery party ideas for remote plans.

16. Murder Under the Big Top

Who doesn’t love a circus theme party? Guests could get really creative for the costumes with this one. What a fun way to attend the circus without leaving home!

17. Murder at the Wet and Wild Animal Sanctuary

This Zoom murder mystery kit is perfect if you know any animal lovers.

18. The Blade of Fate

This fantasy murder mystery game was inspired by World of Warcraft, D&D (Dungeons & Dragons), and Lord of the Rings. Get your gaming group together to play over Discord!

So, what do you think? After looking at all these awesome kits, I’m ITCHING to throw a murder mystery dinner party! Luckily, there are ideas that work for almost any occasion and group of people.

Don’t make party planning any more challenging than it has to be. Make your murder mystery dinner stress-free by grabbing one of these party kits.

Have you thrown a murder mystery dinner party before? If so, what were the best parts of planning it, or your favorite memories? Let us know in the comments!

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