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Murder mystery dinner shows in and around Los Angeles

Our biggest clue that murder mystery dinner shows aren't a thing of the past? The amount of them right here in the LA area.

Photograph: Courtesy Murder Mystery Co.
Murder Mystery Co.

Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world. With the amount of movie theaters, performing arts centers and museums around (not to mention great shopping, amusement parks and countless other things to do) what else could someone possibly want to do here? How about an activity that combines live theater, food and top-notch drama? We're talking about a murder mystery dinner. If this sounds like something up your alley, then you're in luck because, yes, LA's got 'em. Here are the top murder mystery dinner shows in and around Los Angeles.

Best murder mystery dinner shows around LA

The Dinner Detective (Studio City)

Eating dinner in the midst a killer normally doesn't sound very appealing, but here, it's a thrill. The four-course meal at Vitello's Italian Restaurant is almost secondary compared to the investigation—set in present place and time—regarding who among the crowd is a murderer. Costumed detectives will question guests as well as undercover actors hidden amongst the crowd—placed there to help move the investigation and show along in an entertaining fashion—but guests can also interrogate each other. Clues will help reveal who the bad guy is, and the audience member who gives the best whodunit answer by the end of the night receives a prize. The Dinner Detective also takes place at the Doubletree Claremont (555 West Foothill Blvd) and the Gardens at Los Robles Greens in Thousand Oaks (299 S Moorpark Rd).

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The Dinner Detective (Long Beach)

Long Beach's Dinner Detective might have the most intriguing setting: on board the Grand Romance Riverboat. Though the atmosphere won't be romantic—you know, with a murderer on board and an impending investigation—the riverboat adds to the atmosphere and entertainment of the evening, which includes a four-course meal. Much like the other Dinner Detective locations, Long Beach's show includes costumed detectives questioning guests as well as undercover actors hidden among the crowd. Clues throughout the evening help guests make their determination of who they think did the murders, and at the end of the evening, the guest who has the best guess will receive a prize. Good luck!

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Keith & Margo's Murder Mystery Dinner

Matteo's West LA gets a little extra murderous on Saturdays, when Keith & Margo's Murder Mystery Dinner takes over the restaurant. The show calls itself "LA's original murder mystery experience performed by professional actors." Diners will navigate their way through live suspects, clues, twists and turns to win prizes for the funniest and best solution to the murder mystery. The dinner includes appetizers and a meal as well as dessert, coffee and tea, and there's a cash bar for those who want a little booze to handle the suspense.

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The Murder Mystery Co.

As if you need another reason to go to the Old Spaghetti Factory, the Riverside location is currently showing A Dance With Death by the Murder Mystery Co.—but it's not as dark as it sounds. Set at a 1950s sock-hop, a death on the dance floor leads to a murder investigation while you chow down on spagehtti and meatballs. You can trade clues with other guests and gather information to figure out who among you is responsible. It's also encouraged for guests to don poodle skirts, bobby socks, leather jackets or whatever '50s-era clothing you have handy—we recommend dressing as innocently as possible so nobody will think you could possibly be a suspect. At the Duarte location (1431 Buena Vista St), the Murder Mystery Co. is putting on a Midnight at the Masquerade themed murder mystery show—just in case that's more your style—though the themes at both locations are subject to change.

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The Gourmet Detective

The Gourmet Detective takes over the Tee Room at Newport Beach Golf Club every Saturday night. While guests fill their bellies with a choice of baked salmon, New York steak, chicken marsala or a vegetarian pasta, actors put on variously themed murder mystery shows. The current production, Darling, You Slay Me, is set in the 1920s on Broadway as a cast awaits the reviews of their opening night. After the reviews are released, players begin falling victim to a murderer—or are they bizarre accidents? Only time will tell. The Gourmet Detective also puts on a show in Riverside, at the Hyatt Place, where it's currently hosting Get Cartier! Shows at both locations change frequently.

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