The Christmas Conundrum

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Jacob Barley, a prominent Victorian businessman and partner of Ebenezer Stooge, has been murdered by an assailant unknown! Unable to go to either Heaven or Hell until his murder is solved, he is now stalking Limbo, where he meets a ghost policeman from the future, Detective Chief Inspector Striving Gorse, and tells him of his murder.

Between them, they work out a list of possible suspects and persuade the Powers That Be to allow Inspector Gorse to assume living form once more for the period of one night only so that he may try and solve the murder. Invitations are sent out to all the suspects asking them to attend the reading of Jacob’s will as it would be in their best interests to do so…

By buying this product you can collect up to 41 loyalty points, which will be worth £2.05 to spend on your next purchase.

Characters in the 6 player game:

Ebenezer Stooge – Jacob Barley’s business partner
A wealthy white haired miser, Ebenezer’s clothes are extremely worn and nearly as old as he is.

Bella Deball – An eligible spinster
A handsome woman, Bella still has the ability to turn heads in her not-so-little black numbers.

Bob Scratchitt – Chief clerk to Jacob and Ebenezer.
Struggling to make ends meet, Bob dresses as smartly as he can in regularly mended hand-me-downs of varying size.

Clara Net – Ebenezer’s niece.
Young, attractive and with a liking for the trappings of high society, Clara Net has exceptional taste in clothing and looks stunning.

Fred Nephew – Jacob Barley’s godson
A smart banker, Fred Nephew is always in a well cut suit.

Wanda Scratchitt – Bob Scratchitt’s wife
A comely but not unattractive woman, Wanda spends a lot of time engaged in domestic tasks and usually wears an apron.

Additional characters in the 8 player game:

Tiny Tom – Son of Bob and Wanda Scratchitt
Crippled since birth, Tiny Tom walks with crutches and wears his father’s clothes which have been patched and cut down to size.

Christine Present – Jacob Barley’s housekeeper.
With an apron and a work-worn dress, Christine Present is a cheery bustling individual.

Additional characters in the 10 player game:

Mr. Fuzzywig – Business acquaintance of Mr. Barley.
Smartly dressed and full of energy and plans, Mr. Fuzzywig enjoys company and a few too many tipples.

Mrs. Dibley – Jacob Barley’s laundress
In faded clothing which is always spotlessly clean, Mrs. Dibley is always ready for work.

Additional characters in the 12 player game:

Nick Wilkins – Apprentice to Barley and Stooge.
Lean, and paid even less than Bob Scratchitt, Nick only just manages to scratch together some suitable business clothing.

Christmas Past – A merry widow
Still relatively young and attractive, Christmas is on the look out for a new rich husband and dresses to attract the right man.

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.

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Earn up to 41 Loyalty Points.

This game is rated Mature
This game contains:

Content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older.
Including:
Drug Themes - Description of the use of opiates as well as several poisons.
Sexual Themes - one lady is being paid by the deceased for "services rendered" (which are actually innocent in the plot, but could result in a lot of innuendo and suggestion)
Mature Relationship Themes - One couple is dating, there are also references to being a "black widow".
A murder - violence suggested.

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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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