Compared to the raucous of Friday and Saturday nights on A1A, Tuesdays are pretty tame. But not tonight, someone's plotted murder. Well not someone with criminal intentions per se, rather co-owner and general manager of The Dive Bar, Cody Cole.
The blood might be iodine, and the clues planted, but Cole has organized a night a bit different from the typical barstool banter and bargain whiskey drinks: it's their first murder mystery night.
The victim, the killer, and the motive are all unknown. For $10, eat your money's worth at the buffet, mingle with the costumed characters, and solve the homicide. It'll be like an episode of CSI but without the commercial breaks and a lot more booze.
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Even though it's The Dive Bar's first murder mystery, it's not Cole's. He's attended whodunits in the past, and after having enough patrons voice their desire to attend one at the bar, Cole figured he would at least give hosting one a shot.
"At The Dive Bar we experiment and are always trying fun ways to entertain the guests. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't," Cole said shrugging his shoulders. "But hey we're at least gonna try."
A personal project, Cole spent the last month and a half organizing the event. Even though he purchased this particular game online, Cole has a friend from Miami who writes murder mystery novels. She has already agreed to author the next murder mystery night.
Tonight's puzzle is scripted to take place at a bar in a paradise resort. Cole picked it because, located a stone's throw from the beach, The Dive Bar is just that -- almost. Some of the characters include the resort's owner, a movie star, and a champion surfer.
Beforehand, no one knows anything about the murderous plot that will occur. Characters are only told the names of their part and a brief history that suggests what they should wear. Regular folks looking to participate are not assigned a role. However, they can still rock up to the festivities in their brightest floral shirt and wear socks with their sandals if they'd like although there is no dress code.
Once the characters and guests interact, asking basic questions about each person's history, the lights will suddenly shut off. And when they turn back on, someone will be lying on the ground, dead.
A batch of sealed envelopes will be passed to all the characters, informing them of tasks to do, certain phrases to say, but most importantly whether or not he or she is the killer. The killer then must evade suspicion as guests and characters investigate for clues.
"It's crucial that everyone pays attention [during this part]," Cole advises. "Turning a napkin with writing over, or finding the eight-ball down a certain pool table socket, everything is a clue."
After each character has performed the actions of their sealed envelopes, the evidence will be displayed on a table and the guests will vote who they think is the killer. The winners will then split the cash prize evenly.
"I don't really have fears [about tonight] I'm just concerned that the killer might tip off a friend that might need money, you know for rent or something, so they win," Cole said earnestly. "But I'm the only person who has all the information so I'll be sure to assign the killer to someone that I can trust, that behaves."