sherlock holmes murder mystery dinner

Within the last month, both my husband and I turned 30. I was not super excited about reaching this particular age, but we decided to make the best of it by throwing a great big party. And it was epic. I know, I’m biased…but truly it was so much fun to plan and spend countless hours working on it, and the actual day was a blast. It was the most involved party that I’ve worked on yet, so I’ll jump in and share all of the details.

30th birthday, Sherlock, halloween party, party decor, Victorian era

A little about Tad and I: we love scary movies (read: suspense, not horror movies), mysteries, and ghost stories. Back when we were dating, we had a date at a quaint book store and bought a book with “whodunits” and stayed up late reading and trying to solve the crimes. During our first year of marriage, we would read Agatha Christie novels aloud to each other (before we could afford a TV!). Tad has been a Sherlock Holmes fan since he was very young, and he had read all of the original stories. I’m a fan of all things Sherlock these days – including the Robert Downey Jr. movies and the BBC series. As I started brainstorming about our joint party, I had to take a break from my regular cutesy little girl birthday parties and baby showers to figure out what would work for the both of us, and that was how this theme was decided.

30th birthday, Sherlock, halloween party, party decor, Victorian era

British flag, Murder mystery 30th birthday

victorian decor, 212 baker street, sherlock holmes party, violin, party decor, halloween party

We have always wanted to do a murder mystery dinner, so we thought, “Why not host one for our party?” Ah, it seemed simple at the time. So our home was transformed into what I envisioned would be similar to Sherlock’s Baker Street apartment. Everyone wore early Victorian costumes. We served a traditional British dinner, tea, and dessert. And with the help of a very talented writer friend, put on our own murder mystery.

212 Baker Street, antlers, Victorian decor, tea party, scones, halloween party

Sherlock, crime scene, Halloween Party decor, murder mystery, Victorian era, dessert bar, British flag decor

Invitations/Decor:

I wanted the theme of the party to stay true to the Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories, but I liked the grungy yet artistic look of Guy Ritchie’s films, so this is what I tried to emulate when creating the paper goods and decorations.

30th Birthday invitation, Sherlock, British decor, London Bridge, Halloween Party

Victorian decor, vintage decor

Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Dinner

30th birthday, Sherlock, crime scene decor, map of London, British party theme

This backdrop was really fun to make. I wanted it to look like Sherlock’s personal crime scene investigation. All of the images were just found by searching Google (some I doctored up, like the map) for Sherlock Holmes or Victorian era pictures. Many of them can be found on my Pinterest board.

30th birthday party, Sherlock decor, Irene Adler, Victorian crime, backdrop, party decor

When the guests arrived, they picked up their character’s booklet, a notebook, and a pen for playing the game. The goal was to interact with all of the other guests to find out answers to the clues they had each been given.

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

It wasn’t too long before the murderer struck…

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

And the rest of the game time was spent trying to figure out who committed the crime! There was hidden evidence we had to search for and shady characters with sneaky agendas; red herrings and false accusations.

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

The game wasn’t purely for fun; there were prizes to be nabbed for Best Costume, Super Sleuth, and Best Performance.

30th birthday, murder mystery, Sherlock Holmes, Halloween Party, Victorian Era, Victorian costumes, food labels, British decor

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

Once we placed our votes for who committed the murder (along with who had the best costume and best performance), we sat down for my favorite meal: prime rib with mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding, and all the fixings. I had the best caterer a girl can get, my own mom who cooks better food than most restaurants I’ve been to.

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game, menu, British Food

30th birthday party, Sherlock, murder mystery party, party printables, victorian london, murder mystery game

Since the murder mystery would not be possible with more than about 20 people, we invited the rest of our friends to join us for dessert, coffee, tea, and scones. Here was the fun spread:

Irene Adler, Creme Brûlée, British Desserts, Sherlock Holmes party

Eton Mess, Sherlock Holmes party, British desserts

30th birthday party, birthday cake, cake banner, british decor, sherlock holmes party, backdrop, halloween party

Dessert:

  • “Irene Adler’s” Creme Brûlée (Delectable and dangerous)
  • “A Study in Scarlet” Eton Mess (Whipped cream with wine-soaked cherries, meringue, and chocolate cake)
  • Birthday Cake (Vanilla cake with milk chocolate frosting)
  • Fun treats like “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor Licorice Pipes” (from Amazon), Chocolate Caramel Digestives, and shortbread (from the British section at World Market)

licorice pipes, sherlock holmes party favors, british decor

Tea Time:

  • “Moriar-Tea” Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Vanilla Comoro (I love Harney and Sons teas, purchased on Amazon)
  • “The Adventure of Black Peter” Coffee (with cream and sugar if you please)
  • “Mrs. Hudson’s” Scones (purchased from a local Tea House – to die for!) and Clotted Cream
    • A note regarding the clotted cream, since it is one of my new favorite things on the face of this earth: Here is a great recipe for doing it yourself. You can’t use regular whipping cream because of the ultra-pasteurization, but I had success with the Straus Family Creamery brand sold at Whole Foods.

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Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes, tea time, british party decor, sherlock holmes party, food labels

Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes, tea time, british party decor, sherlock holmes party, food labels, scones and clotted cream, mrs. hudson

Beverages:

  • “The Adventure of the Naval Treaty” Water (with strawberries and basil to make it fancy)
  • “The Adventure of the Silver Blaze” Earl Grey Lemonade (homemade with a mix of brewed Earl Grey and Country Lemonade)

party beverages, drink labels

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So that pretty much sums up our incredible night 🙂 We had such an amazing time and it was the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of a new decade. If you are on the fence about hosting a Murder Mystery Party, or a party with a similar theme, do it! It would be especially fun for the spooky festivities coming soon in October.

***You can now purchase our Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Game in my Etsy shop***

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate, including my very talented professional friends:

  • Blyss Photography – How INCREDIBLE are these images? I’m so thankful the details of the night were captured so beautifully.
  • Marigold Events – Party Planning and Styling
  • Hello Brielle on Etsy – my shop for invitations and party printable designs {the original game, invitation, food labels, and signs are all available here}

Here were the fabulous guests in full Victorian costume:

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And some random iPhone shots, just to document EVERYTHING.

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Busted, Jessie.

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Here’s to the next 30 years!

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5 thoughts on “sherlock holmes murder mystery dinner

  1. I read about your party & all the time you put into & it sounds amazing!!
    I have been searching to throw my daughter who is going to be 13 a party like yours. I’m so confused on where to start & I am running out of time. I want her 13th birthday party to be special & Epic!! Do you still have your script? Would you be interested in selling it?
    I’ve looked on line & can’t find anything I like & then read yours & LOVED it!!
    Thanks for your time & consideation.
    Ginny

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