Murder at Merkister Hall

13 reviews | Write your Review
murder at merkester hall

It’s the 1930s. The great depression is over, the pound is competing with the dollar on the open exchange and there is a rise in business of all shapes at sizes. Keen to share their good fortune with others, the Balderdashes regularly play host for sumptuous dinner parties at their stately home which involve nothing but the best wines, fine cuisine and traditional after dinner entertainment. This evening was to be no exception. The guests had all arrived as planned and with the food ready to be served in the kitchens the party only lacked one thing, namely the butler Leversham who has been discovered dead, in the Billiard room!

By buying this product you can collect up to 71 loyalty points, which will be worth £3.55 to spend on your next purchase.

Characters in the 6 player game

Brigadier Balderdash – Lord of the Manor.

Pompous, with very upright military bearing, Brigadier Balderdash is always seen in a well starched collar and his tweed suit.

Lotta Balderdash – Wife of Brigadier Balderdash.

Tastefully clothed and very reserved, Lotta Balderdash is refined and elegant.

Bruce Bugatti – Racing car driver

Always in a tearing hurry, Bruce Bugatti is very debonair, but also fairly untidy.

Anna Glipta – Local Artist

Never without her artist’s smock, Anna Glipta often has her sketch pad to hand and paintbrushes in her hair.

Rev. Al Ation – Vicar

With a stiff white dog collar and wearing traditional black, Rev. Al Ation is always on duty for his flock.

Miss Jane Marbles – Maiden aunt and amateur sleuth.

In twin set and pearls, with a tweed suit, there is nothing remotely sinister about this spinster (except that dead bodies seem to turn up in her close proximity!)

Additional characters in 8 player game

Doug Oles – Archaeologist.

Fresh from his current dig, Doug sports his boots, trowel and being young, huge levels of enthusiasm.

Nicole De’limelite – Film Star

Sophisticated and elegant, Nicole has all the latest fashions.

Additional characters in 10 player game

Max Outputt – Industrialist.

Dressed formally for dinner in a dinner suit, Max is never parted from his Financial Times.

Penny Pusher – The Balderdash’s secretary.

Plain and unimpressive, Penny is a quiet non-entity and easy on the eyes.

Additional chaarcters in the 12 player game

Gerry Atrics – Local doctor.

Never without his doctor’s bag, Gerry Atrics has a calm bedside manner and often wears a suit.

Iona Caine – Schoolteacher.

Strict and with glasses that are more regularly looked over than through, Iona has a modest dress code but is really quite stunning.

Additional Characters 14 player game

Amelia Fairhart – Female Aviator

Lively and flamboyant, Amelia is more than a match for any man at the party, though she has a soft spot for any man who can wield a wrench.

Sigmund Froid – The Cold Austrian psychoanalyst.

With clipped beard, glasses, cigar and smart suit, Sigmund exudes a wonderfully calm bedside manner, even if he is obsessed by your dreams and sex life.

Additional Characters 16 player game

Ivor Blunderbust – Big Game Hunter

With a British stiff upper lip and a passion for hunting, Ivor is very boastful about his exploits. He is also rather loud in any polite company as regular use of firearms has left him with terrible tinnitus.

Gaye Gordon – Authoress

Fiery and forthright, Gaye has never been one to let something as serious as a murder get in the way of a good story.

Additional characters 18 player games (the same as 14 player) plus:

Winston Kirkmund – Conservative MP.

Fond of bow ties and cigars, Winston has always enjoyed the heated discussions in the House of Commons. He fights them from the back benches, he fights them in elections – unfortunately, this time, his party lost.

Clementine Kirkmund – Supportive wife of Winston

A woman of beauty and distinction, Clementine has always supported her husband and will not tolerate any negativity about his policies or his behaviour.

Diana Kirkmund – Daughter of Winston and Clementine.

Young, pretty and naive to the ways of the world, Diana is an eligible debutante and this dinner party serves as her first introduction to civilised company.

Ivor Blunderbust – Big game hunter.

With a British stiff upper lip and a passion for hunting, Ivor is very boastful about his exploits. He is also rather loud in any polite company as regular use of firearms has left him with terrible tinnitus.

Additional characters 20 player games (as 18 player) plus:

Ed Lines– New York Times reporter.

In scruffy jacket and trousers, Ed is always at the front of any action with his notebook and pen to the ready.

Gaye Gordon – Authoress

Fiery and forthright, Gaye has never been one to let something as serious as a murder get in the way of a good story.

Never run a downloadable murder mystery before? Then don’t panic!There is no special acting required. Guests do not need to memorise any information, and everything they need to play their parts is provided to them in a handy printable booklet. The games are constructed so that everyone has to interact, and scripted dialogues are included to help break the ice and get everyone into character. Even total novices get into the swing of things quite quickly!

The game includes both sound files and a script for the inspector character who provides the setting, clues, and summaries for each round, as well as the final solution. This means as host you too can play and remain completely in the dark as to the culprit, or play the inspector yourself and invite an extra guest to the party!

Each downloadable dinner party game requires use of a printer, around 120 sheets of A4 paper (each character booklet is around 9 pages long), envelopes so you can send out your invitations, and either a laptop or MP3 player (e.g. an ipod) to play the inspector MP3s; OR a CD burner so you can burn the MP3s onto a CD to run in an ordinary CD player.

When you purchase this kit you will download the following files:

  • How to use this game
  • Instructions for running the murder mystery
  • Making the most of your theme- ideas for decoration / activities.
  • Invitations
  • Character Booklets (available in single sided printer and double sided printer format)
  • Scripted for the inspector character (available in single sided printer and double sided printer format)
  • Solution script for the inspector character (needed when printing from the single sided copy)
  • MP3 files for the inspector character (dialogue and solution)
  • Hints and tips
  • Recipe suggestions
  • Money off voucher towards next purchase

When you purchase this kit as a printed kit you will receive through the post:

  • Instruction booklet (includes hints and tips)
  • Invitations and envelopes for all the guests
  • Character booklets
  • CD of the inspector
  • Inspector booklet in a sealed envelope so you don’t find out the solution by accident!
  • Making the most of your theme and recipe suggestions booklets.
  • Money off voucher towards next purchase (printed inside the booklets)

We can customise this game.  However, sadly we do have to charge for this service as even minor customisations take between 1-2 hours to process in the office and we need to buy toilet roll and biscuits as much as the next person…

It’s hard to give “ball park” figures for what different customisations would cost however we’ve attempted to HERE.

Remember… if you just need 1 extra person, or 1 less person, why not add in the inspector as your extra guest.  The inspector can usually be male or female as the “for real” inspector can simply invent a new name for themselves.

Some hosts prefer to play the inspector role as it means they can work on the catering while the round plays out amongst their guests.

13 reviews for Murder at Merkister Hall

  1. Absolutely fantastic, played it at my 14th birthday, and after a big mix up with another one that we accidentally found out the murderer to, we had fantastic service. Really fun game with no quarrels or awkwardness. I would suggest 2.5 hours but if you’re guests are likely to be late then 3 hours, and there’s room for a good simple card game half way through which was appropriate, definitely value for money and the scripts were great, we had a real laugh trying to do ‘ad libbing’. Hilarious. Thanks Red Herring!!!

  2. I ran this for a group of family and friends on a weekend away in a big Scottish house to celebrate my 30th Birthday. All the characters had fantastic costumes and it was a great evening! Cannot wait to run another one!

  3. We had a very funny evening, the only slight mishap being my allocation of roles so my poor cousin was left having to gently flirt with his mother, but it added to the entertainment. It was also very helpful being able to have the numbers adapted to suit the number of people there, so everyone had a part to play. Brillian-t, Thank you

  4. Just to say that the game went really well last week. It was a lot (4 hours!) of fun, and there was much laughter. I’ll definitely recommend Red-Herring Games to colleagues and friends, and thank you again for your extra time and patience!

  5. What a fantastic evening we have just had – thank you Jo and team! This was our first ever murder mystery party and I have to admit that we were a little bit apprehensive prior to the evening on how easy it would be for all of our guests to follow and to keep engaged in however the night was a complete success through and through. Engaging, easy to do and just good honest fun! A few tips from our evening … – Play 1930s music – we managed to find The Best of 1930s online – it really adds to the atmosphere – Give out name badges when your guests arrive and set a forfeit for if and when people forget to call each other by their character name – ours was to go round the table and to give each guest a kiss on the cheek (quite funny when you have 16 people at the table!) – Light the room with candles only to make it a bit spooky – Make a chalk outline of a dead body for your guests to walk past on their way in (we used white masking tape on the driveway – certainly got the neighbours talking) – Highlight with highlighter pen in the character booklet when your guests need to say their individual lines – it certainly helps once the wine has got flowing – We allocated the inspector to one of our more ‘flamboyant’ guests which really added to the entertainment (plus helped us to stay on track with the flow of the evening) Thanks again for a great evening! Jenny

  6. We had a very funny evening, the only slight mishap being my allocation of roles so my poor cousin was left having to gently flirt with his mother, but it added to the entertainment. It was also very helpful being able to have the numbers adapted to suit the number of people there, so everyone had a part to play. Brilliant, Thank you

  7. Thank you to Red Herring games who for my 40th Birthday party on the purchase of Murder at Merkister Hall ‘tweaked’ the party to allow all my guests to have a part. Through their helpful website and ideas and Jo herself being in contact, it ensured that the night was a great success. All my fears were unfounded as it really is very straight forward – all the instructions are there and you certainly don’t need to have done a ‘murder’ before. My friends loved it and even those who had said ‘dressing up is not really my thing’, got fully into character and ended up stealing the show! Great night and one that will be talked about for years – thank you Red Herring, I will be back!

  8. Have just played Murder at Merkister Hall with a party of 24. We had SO much fun! There was butler Leverson on his face by the grand piano – and no one guessed who the murderer was – big thanks to Jo Smedley for her help

  9. I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know what an absolute total success the murder mystery night was on Saturday night. I was totally blown away at the effort all my guests went to with their character and the whole evening really flowed well. Everyone had a fantastic evening and we all did not stop laughing from start to end. One of my friends, is a professional photographer and took hundreds of photos which once he has edited he will send over to me. I will forward you some on which you are more than welcome to use on your website should you wish. I think you be impressed! Many thanks again Jo, I can mostly definitely say that was a complete success!

  10. I want to thank you for your effort in providing a play to suit my book clubs annual Christmas party. It was an enormous success and even the ‘doubtful’ participants threw themselves into the story with costumes to suit. Some people took a little time to sort out what they were meant to do…. but caught up with the action and had to be ‘silenced’ by the somewhat bossy Inspector Laura Norder. We are a noisy bunch and certainly needed the Inspector to ‘host’ the whole event. To create a sense of the murder, we painted a ‘chalk’ outline of a body onto clear plastic sheet. This was shown to guests on arrival…. in a room roped off with emergency tape from the hardware store. Guests were admonished sternly to ‘not interefere with the evidence’!! thank you, Gwynneth [Laura Norder]

  11. Great service, adapted game which arrived within days of ordering, thank you!!

    We played this last night. Eight ‘guests’ at the party. We all had super fun with costumes, a mixture of hiring, buying and adapting our own things. Very realistic body assembled with a sheet, cushions, pair of shoes and ball… Other useful accessories… candle light, table cloths, minimalist Art Deco style flower arrangements, music… We had extra games planned but did not have time for them!!!

    A great fun evening ? which exceeded all our expectations, a little surreal really!! January 2016

  12. (verified owner)

    My family and I had great fun acting out this murder mystery for my birthday! Jo was extremely helpful – every query I had was answered swiftly and in detail, and Jo also helped me to choose the most suitable game for family members to be involved in (e.g., no awkward sexualised relationships!). My family are already talking about when we are going to try another one! I opted for the downloadable version and everything you need is provided – the MP3 files with the detective speeches were also great!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  13. (verified owner)

    Our family had a great New Year’s Eve murder mystery. I bought the download version and was able to print off everything I needed at work, I saved the audio files onto my phone and on the night I played them through a Bluetooth speaker
    Everyone dressed up for the occasion and we had a great laugh, we had two young teenage girls playing and the content was perfect for them.
    We did struggle at first but soon got the hang of it and I’m sure we’ll get better on the next one. Thank you

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This game is rated Teen
This game contains:

Content that may be suitable for persons ages 13 and older.
Sexual Themes - Mild references to dating / love "affairs" (non-sexual) in the past, and "peeping tom" behaviour.
A murder - violence suggested.
Comic Mischief - Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humour


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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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