Hannah Drake

A 1920's New Years Eve

EntertainingHannah DrakeComment

Let me start by saying one evening a few weeks ago, we realised this would have been the perfect party to throw for the 2019/2020 New Year! So write it down somewhere because this would be genius. I mean, we might have to do it again in 2 years!

Luke hatched an idea to plan a New Years Eve gathering with our friends probably in November. I told him he was in charge of it because I wasn't really bothered if we had (or went to) a party or stayed home in our PJs like last year. He brainstormed a bit and after hearing about some friends' plans to go to a 1920's party, he and our friend Tom thought it would be brilliant to have a 1920's Murder Mystery.

Enter The Juice Joint.

Tom already had the game, which he got for 6 players, but he and his mum worked together to expand the game considerably, writing in an additional 14 characters. We ended up playing with 11, but it was perfect and Tom really put a lot of thought into assigning characters to specific people based on personality traits, relationships, and possibly even how likely they are to murder! ;) He sent us the background information a few weeks early, telling us why we were all gathered at The Juice Joint, the best speakeasy in Chicago, and who we all were. I was Rosie Marie, widow to Louie Marie, who opened The Juice Joint in our basement after the passing of prohibition. Luke was Chief Cameron, the police chief, who was at least a little crooked to begin with if he's hanging around drinking at my establishment.

We did a bit of research on costumes and decided to just order some police accessories and a hat for Luke to go with a three piece suit he already has. We intended to get a shoulder holster and a toy gun, but I couldn't find a decent one on Amazon and we didn't think about it again until early on 31 December. Whoops! I found my entire costume on Amazon, a dress, a fur stoll, a bracelet, a headpiece, and a fake cigarette and filter. Imagine my surprise when everything looked to be pretty decent (read: not obviously cheap) and everything went well together since I didn't buy a costume with all the accessories and instead got separate pieces.

Tom came over before the party and he and Luke set up the house with signs (including wanted posters for the two mob bosses in town) and photos for famous people who have visited my speakeasy. I'm so bummed that I didn't get pictures of anything even though our new camera had come two days before! I was too busy finishing up in the kitchen, I guess.

Our friends brought some canapes and drinks and we did a little potluck buffet throughout the evening. Since Tom knew who would be murdered at the party (we weren't trying to figure out who killed my late husband, Louie Marie) and who would be doing the murdering at the party, he kind of made sure everyone hit all their objectives and was having the conversations that needed to be had. I was a little nervous at first, especially when I had to read a half-page introduction before we started playing, but I eventually got a bit more into character. Somehow it helped when I found out that my late husband was having an affair and I got to keep calling my friend Aimee a floozy. About halfway through, our other friend Tom was murdered and became the investigator, who asked us all to help him investigate the murder.

At the end of the game, when all the conversations had been had, Tom did a presentation of the evidence he had gathered through his investigation and then the other Tom handed out slips to guess who the murderer was, along with vote for best dressed, best acted, and say how much money we had left. (We all started with $500.)

No one ended up guessing the murderer correctly, but I think I'm the most mad that I didn't get it! Tom had told me that he picked people specifically for their roles and I asked him to give me an example and he used Luke as an example, but said it was because he's "inquisitive", hence the cop. But really it's because he knew he could play the murderer!

That's right, Luke, as Chief Cameron, murdered the biggest gangster in Chicago in my speakeasy because Notorious Nick double-crossed him!

I won best dressed, Tom who was both Notorious Nick and P.I. Pinkerton won best acted, and Luke ended up with the most money at $1,200!

All in all, it was so much fun! The game ended at about 11:45, just in time to pour some prosecco and turn on the countdown. Instead of watching the ball drop in Times Square (since that was another 5 hours away), we watched the London Eye countdown to midnight with a light show. 

I really wish I had taken more photos, but I was busy in the kitchen and playing the game and it kind of felt good to not worry about documenting every single thing for an evening. Hope you all had a happy and safe New Year!