My husband is the murderer, they insist. It’s the way he cheerfully redirects all probing questions back at his accusers.
“But he’s always like that,” I reveal to the rest of the table. “I think Kathleen did it.”
Kathleen isn’t a real person, needless to say, and my husband is merely playing the part of Victor Loret, a wealthy aristocrat funding an archaeological dig aimed at uncovering an ancient Egyptian treasure. All our characters are in fancy dress (as ancient Egyptians), at a party (aboard a Dahabiya on the Nile), celebrating the discovery of an important clue (something about ancient astronauts).
Until the lifeless body of expedition leader Professor Tulli floats past, that is…
Set in Cairo in 1940, Horrific Hieroglyphics is the first of five Murder Mystery evenings being held at Cape Town restaurant Five Flies this winter. Each character has a motive and a more or less solid alibi, and we have three courses over which to work out whodunit. At R300pp (including a welcome drink) it’s the most entertaining night out I’ve had this winter, and the good news is that there are four more evenings of murder and deceit to come.
The Bloody Grail, set in England in 1950, takes place on Friday 29 June. You will travel to Stonehenge on a quest to find the Holy Grail, only for a medieval-themed party to end in murder most foul – and with you as a suspect (book before 15 June; dress as a knight of the Round Table or lady of the court).
Voodoo in the Big Easy on Friday 27 July will whisk you off to New Orleans in 1960 to help open a puzzle box. The plot thickens during the official opening ceremony of the Mardi Gras (dress accordingly) when one of your fellow treasure hunters is found dead in what appears to be a suicide by hanging (book before 20 July).
Then it’s off to Peru on Friday 31 August for Raiders of the Golden Inca Tomb, set in 1970. The location of a vast treasure at Machu Picchu has been revealed, resulting in much celebration – until a member of the expedition chokes to death (book before 24 August; release your inner Indiana Jones or Lara Croft).
Finally, on Friday 28 September, it’s a case of Arctic Madnesswhen a body is found during a trek across the ice. Is this an unfortunate accident or is there yet another murderer on the loose? Of course there is. The question is whether it is you (book before 21 September; dress very warmly).
Each mystery unfolds around a table of eight, whether you round up a group of friends or go prepared to make new ones (or at least meet their devious alter egos). Menus match the theme, so you can expect dishes like green pea soup with oxtail and chive cream in medieval England, for example, or char-grilled rib-eye on sweet potato puree with braised kidney beans and walnut chimmichurri in mysterious Peru.
Be warned: there’s plenty of screaming (of the excited kind). For me, the only really scary thing is that Victor is guilty after all. It seems I might quite literally let my husband get away with murder…