I’m always looking for fun things to do. While Lea is the Groupon queen, I sometimes browse when I’m bored, and one day I saw a deal for a Murder Mystery Dinner in Center City. I brought the idea up to my boyfriend, and then to my family, and everyone was in. We chose the Saturday after Thanksgiving because we knew that’s when everyone would be around, and bought tickets. Man oh man, I wish we had saved our money, and had just gone out for a nice dinner instead.
First and foremost- I had difficulty purchasing tickets. I was put in charge, since I was the one who found the Groupon. I accidentally purchased one ticket, instead of six, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. When I went to redeem the voucher, it turned out there were only two spots left for that evening available for Groupon users. We ended up buying one more Groupon, but then had to purchase 4 tickets at full price ($64.95 + tax).
When you buy your ticket, you have the option of what you want for dinner: chicken, fish, or vegetarian. I selected 5 chicken dishes, and then one vegetarian for me. You also had the option of upgrading your ticket, which, if selected, would allow one member of your party to unknowingly be involved as a suspect. I didn’t select this option, which again, turned out to be a blessing, because the day before the dinner, I received an e-mail asking if I wanted a member of my party to be involved, and if so, to bring a photo of them with me. I decided my Dad would play along the best.
When we arrived at the location of the dinner, which turned out to be in the Sheraton in Center City, after waiting in the bar for a half hour, we were allowed upstairs to check-in. I was immediately put off by the woman checking us in, who asked me, in front of my entire party, if I had brought a photo with me. Luckily, my dad didn’t hear, but my sister did and was very confused. Why are you going to ask me to stealthily bring a photo, but then ask right in front of everyone?
We then had to choose aliases for the evening. I went with Jen Iddles. My dad: Ben Dover. Ryan: Turd Ferguson. Other aliases among the 90 people were: Reese Witherspoon, The Hulk, and Superman. This was actually the most fun part of the whole evening- trying not to be embarrassed at what I had chosen as my name.
Then, the dinner show started. If you’d even call it a dinner show… no one had microphones, the “cops” seemed like they had no idea what they were doing, and there was no real guidance. Random people were singing, others were arguing, and there was just a really creepy old man who chose his alias as “Dick Hertz”.
After the “victim” was killed, we were given clues, and then we were told to walk around the room and ask the other guests questions (we were told suspects were in the group). It was literally a bunch of people wandering around the room for about 20 minutes before they told us to sit back down, because dinner was being served.
Dinner, I must say, was horrendous. I guess that’s whats to be expected from hotel food… imagine you’re at the worst wedding you’ve ever been to, with mass produced chicken breasts, all dried out. Everyone was jealous of my vegetarian dish, which turned out to be a massive plate of overcooked pasta. Needless to say, we were all pretty grumpy after dinner.
After dinner, the show continued, but we had all pretty much lost interest. Oh and the part about using my dad as a suspect? They just walked over to him and asked him a question about whether or not he wears boxers or briefs, and then gave him a pair of underwear. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Thank GOD I didn’t pay the extra money to have him involved, or else we would have been even more disappointed and angry.
After a few more people died, we had to write down who we thought the killer was. The person who was the most correct was to win a prize. And guess what! I was right on who it was! Unfortunately, someone else guessed “better” (although we will never know because they didn’t read what she wrote), which was disappointing. She won a box set of DVD scary movies (which I’m sure you could find on Netflix), and a Dinner Detective mug (which we all had already on the table). Needless to say, no big loss there.
All in all, the Dinner Detective left us all grumpy, annoyed, and hungry. Do NOT waste your time or your money on this disaster.