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Since 1988, under the name Murder is a Game, Kathy Johnson has been writing, producing and performing original mystery scripts throughout Michigan and more recently Virginia and Ohio.  Known by many as the “murder lady” or “inspector Kathy,” Johnson produces custom mysteries for businesses, individuals, organizations, and Chambers of Commerce.

Ideal as for Christmas parties, conventions, retreats, and team building exercises original customized scripts are written for each event to ensure that no one will be disappointed by “knowing” the answer in advance and to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

 

Mystery Dinner

Mystery dinners are for short-term detection and solution, usually done following the meal the inspector (Kathy Johnson) will announce that a murder has occurred and the suspects are seated among those present.  She requests the guests assistance in determining the guilty person(s).  Following interrogation by the inspector (usually 45 to 55 minutes), the suspects are sent to specified areas and the guests (sleuths) are allowed to search the suspects, go through their purses, pockets and possibly luggage.  Depending on where the mystery is held, rooms may also be searched.  After their search the sleuths turn in their solution.  The “inspector” determines the winning sleuth and prizes (provided by the sponsor or business) may be awarded.

 

Mystery Weekend

Weekends follow the same format with a couple major differences — they last all weekend and are conducted in “real time.”  On Friday evening typically during a reception of some type a “murder” occurs — the sleuths are there when the actual murder happens and may have even spoken to the victim beforehand.  Questions are asked by the inspector, who also “happens” to be there and the suspects (which may include some of the pre-selected guests) are determined by the inspector.

On Saturday morning during breakfast the inspector announces that the suspects have been narrowed down and announces the “official” list of suspects.  These suspects are questioned following breakfast and then the sleuths are released for a day of shopping and travel throughout the area.

That evening everyone returns for dinner to the scene of the crime.  Possibly another murder or something else has occurred during the day that will narrow the suspects once more — perhaps another suspect will arrive.  Following dinner the sleuths are given the opportunity to hear another longer interrogation, search the sleuths and search their luggage and rooms.  Questioning of suspects is concluded around 10:30 p.m.

Sleuths are then given until the following morning to turn in their answers.  In the morning before breakfast all answers must be submitted.  The inspector will review all answers and following breakfast the innocent will be identified and the guilty will be arrested.  The winning sleuths are awarded prizes by the event hosts.

 

Mayhem & Laughter

While murder is generally the type of mystery being held, custom mysteries (usually involving children) have involved missing jewels, family heirlooms and kidnapping victims.  Humor plays an important part of all scripts and the while the program is usually based on “murder and mystery” and the participants are usually adults, a lighthearted atmosphere prevails and the intent is to provide “family fun” suitable for everyone.

Specific themes, businesses, and organizations are frequently incorporated into the mysteries.

Over the years mysteries have been written for and hosted by churches, chambers of commerce, dentists, physicians, service organizations and nonprofits, attorneys, industries and schools.  Mysteries have been presented for groups as small as 30 and as large as 200+ (when the sleuths work in teams – typically done for a business or corporation).