Each year, for the past several years, Kristin has hosted/put on an interactive murder mystery for her kids and their friends.

This weekend was the 2010 Murder Mystery – Til Death Do Us Part…set at a Medieval wedding event.

Something you should know about Kristin is when she puts on an event, she goes all the way. It’s not just a party – it’s a production!

And these are no murder mysteries you can buy in a box – no, those don’t meet her standards. Instead, she writes them from scratch.

I am a “creative consultant” on the projects, suggesting ideas for plot lines, characters, twists and turns, etc. I help with some editing/proof-reading and occasionally assist with a bit of writing.

But Kristin does all the heavy lifting – writing each character’s story, organizing, making sure each character has enough to do and have all the items they need to accomplish their goals – and that all the different plot lines fit together.

I don’t know how many spreadsheets and other documents she has to create to keep track of it all. I’m a bit in awe of all that goes into putting one of these things together. I think Kristin has a special gift for it.

It’s a huge job. HUGE.

And takes a particularly creative and organized mind to pull it off – not to mention a bit of a budget. I think she said she printed over 506 index cards for this particular mystery (the biggest one she’s done yet) in addition to other documents and necessary items.

She’s very clever. I was particularly fond of the Bible (a main theme of this mystery – lots of bibles with things hidden inside) which contained scripture from the Book of Armaments. Lots of clever bits like that.

“…And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, “O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy.” And the Lord did grin and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats…”

She has spent the last 8+ weeks on the most recent murder mystery – literally, a full time (unpaid) job.

Although I have helped in the development of previous mysteries, this is the first event I have actually been able to attend (since she now lives only 90 minutes away). And even though I know she goes full out on anything she does, I was not prepared for what I discovered upon my arrival.

I was completely blown away.

  • All major main-floor furniture was being moved out of the house and into the garage. This includes all the tables, office desks, giant big screen tv, etc. With 28 kids in the house, every square foot was needed.
  • Her house was transformed into a castle! The white walls now appeared to be made of stone, doorways became staircases, torches and stained glass windows on the walls. The backyard was now a graveyard.
  • All 28 characters (plus two ‘oracles’ – Kristin and I) each had their own professional packets of information – including their character sheets, abilities, goals, secrets, trivia, and items in their possession.
  • Craig spent an entire day cooking to create a delicious feast for the Medieval wedding, and the entire night serving it.

Friday and Saturday were spent in these preparations, and the kids began arriving Saturday evening. And what an awesome group they were. Most took their costuming very seriously – they looked fabulous.

Even though most of them had never attended an interactive murder mystery (and were, therefore, completely confused for the first hour) – got into their characters and had a great time. They are not scripted – each character can do what they want with their part, so we never know how the evening will end. Makes for great fun.

Jousting while riding the stick ponies was a big hit, there were several attempted murders, three deaths, two coronations and five weddings!

So fun to see the creative ways the kids played their characters and created alliances and plotted against each other.

My character was Mirela the gypsy. I had a fabulous costume and spoke with a convincing Romanian accent.

My job was to help Kristin manage things, share my “visions” – and photograph the event… “capture their images with my magical contraption, provided to me the wizard”.

Anyway, it was an impressive and exciting evening…. and exhausting. We all slept til nearly noon today!

And then started brainstorming on the plot for the 2011 mystery – it’s going to be good! 🙂

If you ever get an opportunity to attend one of Kristin’s murder mysteries – BE THERE!

It’s an experience you’ll not forget.

I really think she should sell these… or perhaps even put them on as a paid organizer/hostess. So hire her for your next party! (and offer her a lot of money)

All hail Kristin – the Mistress of Murder!

(14) Comments   


Kristin on October 25th, 2010 at 12:21 am

This is such a great bunch of kids. They were a blast to have at the house. I’m really looking forward to next year when they’ll have been through one of these mysteries and know exactly how it works. It’s a little hard with your first one; it takes an hour or two to figure it out. But then they are great fun.

The kids costumes were amazing. Nearly all the “Royalty” completely delighted me. Our minstrel was darling, our jester was cute, The Count was awesome — he stayed and talked in character the entire night (I didn’t even know what his true accent was until it was all over).

The jousting was a big hit. Fun to see 16 year-olds ride a stick pony down the hall gleefully doing rock/paper/scissors….

Thanks for all your help on it Allison! I could not have done it without you!
This was the biggest one I’ve ever done and it was crazy, but next time I’m not going to wait to start on it until 8 weeks away. I’ll start on it now, so I’m not working until 4am for six straight weeks to get it all done in time….

Allison has lots of great, creative ideas that are very fun to incorporate into the mysteries. And her gypsy fortune teller accent and visions were a bit hit.

Craig does provide an amazing feast. 🙂

Ken on October 25th, 2010 at 1:49 am

Very impressive. Kristin, you should do this professionally. You could definitely make money. And since you’re already putting so much time into it… I know of two companies in Utah that go around staging murder mysteries for corporate events. Just a thought. Good job!

Ashley Rae on October 25th, 2010 at 8:10 am

I LOVE it. I wish so badly that I could have attended this. Hopefully one day I will be able to make it to one of her famous Murder Mysteries. I’m glad you took the pictures. They turned out great. Looks like a complete success! You two are an unstoppable force of creativity when you’re together.

Can’t wait for 2011’s production!

J'Neil on October 25th, 2010 at 10:26 am

Awesome Awesome Awesome! Today the first things people said to me were, “That was so Fun!” “I love the pictures!” “I’m really impressed with all that work you guys had to do!” “Thanks for inviting me, it was great!” Some guests even approached each other and said, “Hey – Ryan – COMBAT!”

I love that my mom goes to this tremendous amount of work for these, they are so fun and I certainly know they will be part of the highlights of my life I will look back on. They are amazing.

The jousting was one of my favorite things. Unforunately there weren’t many pictures of it, but the other jousting horse was Actually a unicorn!

Next Year’s is seeming pretty exciting, it will be a blast. However, perhaps a little more tricky and befuddling to the guests at first. Hopefully that will make it all the more exciting and memorable.

Thank you Allison for your help and picture taking, the event certainly needed to be documented. Thank you dad for your yummy food! We’re still enjoying some of the treats.. 🙂

And of course, Thank You Mom!!! I Love You Lots!

J'Neil on October 25th, 2010 at 10:27 am

And- thank you Alex, Ben and Emmy for coming to move furniture and prepare food before hand!

Irene on October 25th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Oh how I wish I could have been there observing. Thanks so much for blogging this Allison and for taking the pictures.I could really feel the flavor and fun of the evening. Both you and Kristin are so creative. I just can’t believe how you do it, but I’m very proud of you and love that you go to such a lot of work so your children can have great memories and opportunities and experiences.
I really enjoyed seeing how well the kids did with their costumes, They were great. What a fun and great group of kids. Thanks :o)

Michelle on October 25th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Amazing! I knew Kris was highly intelligent and crafty but had no idea to what extent. HOW FUN….wish I could be there. Kudos to Craig for making a feast…wow. Alli Cat LOVE your gypsy dress.

paul on October 25th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

That sounds so fun. I did things like that when I was much younger, and on a much smaller scale. I staged murders and hosted haunted houses, and things like that. It was fun but exhausting and I was in my early 20’s. I can’t imagine the stamina it would take now. The decoration and costumes look awesome. Kudos Kristin, good job Allison. Now it’s time to rest up for the next one.

Chris on October 25th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I can’t even fathom the energy and hours of work that go into this!! Kristin, you amaze me. Your kids are so lucky to have you and Craig as their parents.

Jennifer Pearce on October 26th, 2010 at 5:51 am

Wow! That looks like it was such a fun evening, and a great experience for everyone involved. Thank goodness for people like Kristin who are up for the challenge and rise to meet it so well. 🙂 Love the gypsy costume!!

Jennifer Pearce on October 26th, 2010 at 5:52 am

I LOVE your new trick or treat blog theme, by the way!!! 🙂

Robert on October 26th, 2010 at 8:22 am

What gave you the idea to begin these events???

Aunt Kathy on October 31st, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Absolutely Amazing! You never cease to amaze me! I agree with your mom, what a wonderful way to create lasting memories not only your own children but for their friends too. Where does all this creativity come from? I’m going to start referring to you as the Spectacular Sisters!

Brandon Pearce on November 4th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Oh, this is so cool!!! Kristin, you absolutely ROCK! I remember how much fun these events were when you used to put them on in Salt Lake, and it sounds like they’re just getting better and better. Please let me know when your next one will be. I totally want to be there!! (And I agree that you could make a nice business out of this, too.)

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