‘Til death do us part…

Murder Mystery Masquerade hosts suspects for dinner

RACHEL KOCH, Evergreen reporter

The Best Western Plus University Inn in Moscow plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day evening outside of the traditional themes of love and romance.

Instead, the hotel will host a Valentine’s Day-themed Murder Mystery Masquerade dinner. Shelby Saylors, the catering director for the Best Western Plus, said they plan to host murder mysteries twice a year.

She explained that attendees must pre-purchase tickets to attend. Tickets can be purchased through the hotel’s front desk, either in person or over the phone. Attendees’ contact information will be recorded and Saylors will match them to the right character.

“I call it a questionnaire, but it’s really basic,” Saylors said. “I do kind of a scale of one to three for their desired level of involvement.”

On Saylors’ scale, one is the lowest level of involvement, whereas three is the highest.

“A one would be someone who’s a little more shy and doesn’t necessarily want a lot of the spotlight,” she said. “I call them non-essential characters.”

Saylors added that threes are often chosen as suspects, and their character biographies are much more detailed. She said that the tickets and the biographies of each character are sealed in large envelopes that attendees may pick up in advance.

“I definitely encourage them to elaborate on their character,” Saylors said. “People could really dive in and give it a whole backstory.”

Saylors said there is a masquerade theme with a semi-formal to formal dress code.

“We really wouldn’t turn anyone away at the door if they came more casual,” she said. “I anticipate some people will go all-out, and some people will be a little more on the casual side of formal.”

She does, however, highly encourage participants to embrace the masquerade theme and wear masks when they arrive.

The murder mystery will also feature a buffet-style dinner featuring steak, chicken and lobster. Saylors said that during the first half an hour of the event, guests will eat and socialize with each other while in character.

“It’s a great chance to get to know people and mingle, and it’s definitely a very social event,” she said. “It’s very interactive with the murder mystery format, and it’s got really good food. I think the food is kind of the biggest draw.”

Tickets cost $45 per person and $300 per group of eight. Group ticket orders come with a reserved table. Ticket purchases are open until Friday.

The Murder Mystery Masquerade will take place from 6 – 10 p.m. Wednesday at the Best Western Plus University Inn.