|You used to be able to order these by clicking on a link to Amazon, but that was about three years ago when I coded up the page, so never mind. Anyway, here's a list of the How To Host A Murder games I've played. I really like the game series. I used to host a HTHAM game every year on my birthday, but that changed when I moved to the New York City area because everyone we knew lived way the hell away from us. Now that I moved away, I'm hopeful that I'll actually meet some people before my birthday and I'll be able to play another one.
THE GRAPES OF FRATH
Episode Number 2
Decipher's spiel: It is June 1925 aboard a yacht in the Mediterranean. An internationally famous distributor of champagne and owner of a multi-national cooperation has invited several close friends for a cruise aboard his yacht. In a secluded bay in the Mediterranean, murder is discovered and it is left to the surviving guests to unravel the mystery.
Our take: A fun box, one of the best I've played. In my group, nobody guessed the correct solution, but several people deduced part of what was going on behind the scenes. Oddly enough, every character's backstory came out during game play except the Captain's. We had to find out about him during the solution round.
THE LAST TRAIN FROM PARIS
Episode Number 3
Decipher's spiel: It is June 1940 aboard a train leaving from Paris. The German troops are about to enter the city. Roads are a hopeless snarl; the trains are full with little space aboard them. Yet, to remain in the city will not be pleasant. Aboard a government train heading for the safety of southern France, a murder is discovered. The passengers (your guests) must decide who committed the crime. Certainly, the elegant refugees and the dramatic circumstances of their flight from Paris will provide the answer to this mystery.
Our take: The best HTHAM game I've played in, and I'm not saying that because I was the only one in our group to solve the mystery. If you like Casablanca, you'll love this one.
THE CLASS OF '54
Episode Number 7
Decipher's spiel: It is 1959 in a small town in the USA The local high school class of 1954 has scheduled its 5th year reunion to coincide with the return of Rockford "Rock" N. Roley, the student who became a famous rock 'n roll star. Excitement is running high until the recollection of a high school prank leads to the discovery of murder! You'll be "most likely to succeed" at unraveling the mystery if you'll do a little homework into the history of the fascinating members of the class of '54.
Our take: Not really good. All eight of us guessed the solution to the mystery in the third round. Also, my character was seen by several people carrying an object (a suitcase) and acting suspicious about it. Only thing is even I didn't know anything about what was in the suitcase until the last round of questions. It's pretty hard to go around answering "I don't know why I was doing that" several times. Another character had a similar problem. I'd skip this one.
Oh yeah, if we're meeting in a malt shop in 1959, why isn't the menu item hamburgers and fries? Who in the 50's went out for meat loaf?
THE DUKE'S DESCENT
Episode Number 9
Decipher's spiel: It is September 1931 at an English country estate. The 13th Duke of Airesborne has invited his eight possible heirs to announce just who among them will be the successor of his title. However, before his announcement, the Duke is murdered in a hot air balloon accident. The potential heirs must figure out who among them killed the Duke and the other unfortunate victims! Clues aplenty can be found in the news report of the Duke's accident.
Our take: Unlike CLASS OF '54, this one was a hoot! The mystery was entertaining with more puns and absurd jokes than any other HTHAM game I've seen. Our group had one hell of a time putting together the mystery and trying to solve it. However, nobody in our group guessed correctly.
Episode Number 11
Decipher's spiel: Having mentioned your name in his Roman epic, the reknowned poet, Flabbius Corpus, invites you to a banquet for the premier recitation of his historical work. When you arrive, you discover there's been a murder in the garden and a priceless statue is missing. You assume the role of one of these great Roman characters and solve the mystery. Like a history lesson come to life, the schemes of less-than-noble characters are laid bare.
Our take: Toga! Toga! Toga! Man, this was a tough one! This one is right up there with THE LAST TRAIN FROM PARIS -- more latinesque puns than you can shake a stick at (but who goes around shaking sticks at puns, silly.) Our group of detectives managed to solve every single aspect of the murder mystery except one... whodunnit. Looking back, all the clues were there, we were just blind to them.