Mystery plus a meal make memories |

Mystery plus a meal make memories

Let me tell you about two of my fondest college memories.

During a fall beach retreat, my best friend, Heather, and I were assigned roles in a murder mystery party. You may have heard of these gatherings: Each guest is assigned a role and given background information on his or her character. They must interact with each other, revealing information to solve a mystery.

In this scenario, a group of us performed in front of an audience of perhaps 100. We’d never done this before and had little preparation. I’m not sure the audience enjoyed it, but the “actors” ate it up.

This was a perfect fit for Heather and me. We spent most Saturday nights that year playing Clue with a small group of friends. I’m not sure Heather loved it as much as I did (I’m not sure anyone could–I’m such a fan, I now own five copies of the game). But we learned the game is much more exciting as adults than as children. As a kid, I saw the game strictly as a process of elimination. You have the Miss Scarlet card, so Miss Scarlet didn’t do it. As an adult, I discovered the joy of reading the room, so to speak, and analyzing what your competitors’ actions might reveal about the cards in their hands.

The murder mystery offered similar intrigue, and so months later, we planned a similar event for several of our closest friends. We sent invitations to an evening of “Alfred Hitchcock presents Thrillers: The Unexplained.” One friend insisted on playing the character who wore an ascot. The girls and I dressed in formal gowns. Over a homemade dinner, we worked to learn which of us was the culprit (it was Heather!). We capped the evening with a rousing game of Clue, of course, and the eight of us fell asleep watching Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”

So you can imagine my reaction when I learned Riviera Supper Club would offer a murder mystery evening Saturday night. (I squealed. Loudly. In public.)

The Saturday event begins at 8:30 p.m. and includes a three-course, prix fixe menu for $50. Reservations are required, and you can find more information at The restaurant has hosted a handful of similar events already, so keep an eye on its site for future gatherings.

I know this for certain: I’ll appreciate the reminder of those college days, now 15 years ago. My five copies of Clue are in storage in Alabama for the time being, but I’ve got my Clue coffee mug, travel mug and the DVD to take me back.

Carla Jean Whitley is always up for a game of Clue, a murder mystery party or any other game that requires problem solving. You can reach her at

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