Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spunky Author Duffy Brown Does Mystery Parties

All my life I thought launch was what those really smart rocket science people do to get something into space and never in all those years did I expect to be involved. Yet here I am dong a launch of my very own. Not that I’m putting a rocket in space...though right now that seems like a snap...but I’m launching a book.

What do you mean launch, I asked. The book comes out on a specific day, booksellers, B&N and Amazon put it up for sale, end of story. Done.

To launch my first cozy mystery, Iced Chiffon, I though it would be fun to do something different. I’ll have a mystery party at my house, I decided! I have the house, I like parties. A match made in heaven.

Sixty is a nice number and I can just buy one of those inter-active mystery party things online. Piece of cake.

You can see where this is going, can’t you. Murphy’s Law on steroids.

First off there are no mystery parties online for sixty that has everyone involved all the time. That means I have to write the mystery. And if people are coming to my house I have to feed them and drink them.

Thirty years ago I decided I wanted kids and my husband went along with it. That gave me four waiters and barkeeps for my party. It took me a week to write the party with characters and clues.

A few things I discovered along the way. The most important is the more alcohol, the better the party and my ability to write the mystery. The second is that your friends are there for fun more than finding out who-done-it. And did I mention the alcohol?

The theme was Roaring 20’s and Duffy’s Speakeasy. Lots of decorations online to buy and an easy theme
to dress in costume for and did I mention the alcohol? I divided the guests into families...Manicotti family, Ravioli get the picture. I think I did this at night when hungry. Working in families made everyone pull their info and come up with the killer.

I’ve had three parties now and each time it gets better. If you’re a mystery author it’s a great it. If you’re a mystery reader get invited to one. If I do party four I’ll let you know. I’d love to have one at the Cincinnati conservatory with a Clue theme. You know, Miss Scarlett in the conservatory with the candlestick. That’s my dream. I’ll let you know when the invites go out.

So…what is the best party you’ve been to? What makes a party special? Got any suggestions if we go to the Conservatory? 

 I'll give away two Killer in Crinoline totes from the answers.

When Reagan Summerside is asked to make an emergency bowtie delivery to Magnolia Plantation for a wedding, she finds the groom face-down in five-tiers of icing and fondant, a cake knife in his back and her good friend and local UPS driver accused of the murder. Can Reagan find the real killer without winding up in the local swamp as alligator meat? Will Walker Boone, pain-in-the ass attorney and once-upon-a-time gang member, help her out or feed her to the alligators himself?
**Facedown in five-tiers of icing and fondant a dead groom leads to wedding chaos for the bride, the bff and the hotshot attorney. 

Duffy Brown
Berkley Prime Crime
Consignment: Murder series
-Iced Chiffon  Oct, '12
-Killer in Crinolines May '13


  1. Welcome to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents, Duffy! Your mystery parties seem like fun!

    Morgan Mandel

    1. Hi, Morgan
      It was fun! Everyone wants me to do it again. Love the costumes that everyone dressed in. They really got into character.

  2. What a fantastic idea! I wish I could attend. I've always thought it would be a blast to go to a murder mystery party. You've got to take pictures and let us know how your party turned out. I'm sure it will be fabulous!

    1. Hi, Betty Ann.
      I'll let you all know when the next one is planned. I'd love to have you all at my house for a party. This year I'm doing a Sunday Brunch Southern style.

  3. Great idea, Duffy, and I love your sense of humor. I've got Killer in Crinolines on my TBR list.

  4. It does sound like lots of fun. Congrats on your new novel!

    1. Thanks, Jacqueline
      Killer in Crinolines is so Savannah. I sure had fun writing it. Like taking a mini vacation.

  5. I love the speakeasy concept, Duffy. My first launch was held at my neighbor's house. We drew chalk body outlines on her driveway and crime-scene taped her entire house. At that point we decided perhaps we should also invite the neighbors! My son brought a friend to help him bartend and the 103 degree temps kept them busy all night. But you are completely right, alcohol does sell books! I'm planning a luau launch for my sequel, DYING FOR A DAIQUIRI, so feel free to share any tips!

    PS - ICED CHIFFON was one of my top 5 favorite reads last year! I can't wait to dive into KILLER CRINOLINES.

  6. Friends and I adore themed parties. How great would it be to combine it with a great novel!

    wis mom works (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. I love theme parties too and now they have ones done for you online so all you do is download. Makes it simple and fun. My daughter in NYC is doing on that is a Shakespeare play acted out in a house. Can't wait to hear about that one.

  7. Replies
    1. Hi, Heidi
      If you get invited to one be sure and attend...or throw one yourself. You're friends will love you for it. LOL

  8. Hi, all
    The winners of the totes are Dogs Mom and Betty Ann. Contact and send me you snail address and I'll send you off a tote. Thanks for chatting.

  9. Hi. All
    Dogs Mom and Betty Ann won the totes. Email and I'll send them along. Thanks for chatting, so much fun.
    Hugs, Duffy

  10. Hello Duffy,

    We're a start-up Murder Mystery Party company based in the UK, and we'd like to offer you one of our host-it-yourself games for free, in the hope that if you like it you might blog about us :)

    They're terribly easy to organise - our website sends out the invitations directly, by email. Also, the scripts can be previewed.

    If you're interested, get in touch at, and also please feel free to pass the offer on to other bloggers.


    Martin (for Daggerville Games)


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