Murder on the Prairie


In Mitchido yesterday Richard Woods, a wealthy landowner, was shot down in cold blood whilst he was riding to town. He leaves behind his wife Katherine and daughter Annabel. There is a gathering of his family and the townsfolk that afternoon to discuss what should be done.

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SKU: MMG-MOTP Category:


In Mitchido yesterday Richard Woods, a wealthy landowner, was shot down in cold blood whilst he was riding to town. He leaves behind his wife Katherine and daughter Annabel.
There is a gathering of his family and the townsfolk that afternoon to discuss what should be done. The people at the meeting look uneasy. They are not sure who will be arrested as the murderer and they are afraid that the gunslingers that are present might take the law into their own hands if they don’t like the verdict.

Character descriptions

The people present at the meeting are:
Katherine Woods (widow of the murdered man): Although she comes from a very academic family, she prefers the pleasures of playing piano, at which she is very accomplished. She married Richard because her parents thought he came from a suitable family. She dislikes living in the country and would have far preferred the culture of city life.

Annabel Woods (daughter of the murdered man): A boyish girl who can ride well and shoot well. Her father has tried in vane to tame her and to make her a lady. She is of the age when suitable marriage partners are being sought for her.

Clyde Williams (Sheriff): He is a fair man who finds it difficult being Sheriff of this town because his wages are so small he has to accept gifts in order to survive. And the gift givers expect favours in return which often conflict with his desire to uphold law and order.

Mary Williams (Sheriff’s wife): She supports her husband’s aims to be a good officer of the law. Although she is a virtuous woman, many men can’t take their eyes off her because of her good looks.

Joe Calsis (barber): A friendly man whom everyone feels comfortable with and confides in. There is little he doesn’t know about what is going on around town. He has never married, even though he is popular amongst the ladies in town.

Frank Reyes (landowner): He is Richard’s neighbour. He is a widow and has always been fair to his workers – red, black or white. He and Richard have been feuding for years because Richard dammed up a river, rendering a fifth of Frank’s property useless.

Eddie Thomas (black slave): Eddie is a Church going, hardworking black man who just wants to go through life with as little trouble as possible. He works for Frank Reyes, the murdered man’s neighbour.

Luke Hansen (farm hand): He is a hardworking, handsome young man. He worked for Richard until he was sacked last year because of his amorous intentions for Annabel. Now he works for Frank Reyes and he is treated like a son by him.

Red-Eye Mitchell (gunslinger): He was brought to town by Frank Reyes because Frank wanted someone on his side to help with a showdown. He is a professional killer and not the sort of guy anyone would meddle with.

Lulu Peachy (Can-Can girl): Lulu is a dancer at the bar, but she would prefer to be a singer in a larger town. She has been the illicit companion of Richard for over a year.

Spring Leaf (Indian girl): She came to work for Richard and Katherine as a maid when her parents were killed during the early battles in the settlement of the West. She is very quiet and very obedient.

Margaret Read (shop-owner’s wife): She is married to a very timid man called Nicholas. As a result it is she who really runs the store. If there is any trouble about money, she readily pulls out her gun.

Red Eye Mitchell: “I grew up with the Indians but when I became a man, they said I had to leave because I wasn’t one of them.”

What they’ve said

Tina McIntosh, Red Gum Cottage, Tamworth, NSW, Australia
“Murder on the Prairie” is fun for a very loud group, or that’s what we had. The group added songs from Annie Oakley movies. They had a heap of fun. I decorated the room like a saloon.”

Versions Available

Small Standard format: 08 – 16 guests – US$29.95

Meet and mingle format: 17 to 30 guests – US$34.95


This game is sold by our good friends at Merri Mysteries.

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11 reviews for Murder on the Prairie

  1. Aleksandra Pazda Topolska, Poland


    We’re from Poland. Mystery Games aren’t popular here and we found out about it by chance from a teacher who teaches educational games. This was the first time we’ve ever played Mystery Game.

    We send you our group photo and couple of our impressions. We decided to order “Murder on the Prairie” scenario.

    A month before the party took place we sent to our guests invitations in a form of a newspaper which looked like a western one. There were main facts about the party, guests, the suspects and some extra clues and information to mislead our guests. They also received short description of their characters so they had enough time to prepare and find appropriate clothes.

    The party took place in New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, we’ve really harsh winters in Poland so some of our guests became sick two days before the party. Fortunately, other people were eager to take their place instead although they didn’t have their costumes prepared. Every person wore a ID card with their character’s name so that everyone knew who was who.

    We made some western decorations suggesting that the investigations was taking place in saloon in the middle of the city. We had most-wanted posters, wooden toilet, signposts to ranchos etc. We added some extra games such as darts, gunslingers duels and eating super spicy cowboy bean. We prepared special thematic food which we served between the acts.

    The party was so addictive that we almost missed midnight’s fireworks. At the end all the suspects wanted to be guilty and they were very sad that they were not. Before we announced who was the murderer guests could type their suspects. The winners won tin of corn. When we showed our friends photos from the party their regretted that they weren’t there. We hope to play more Mystery Games in the future and make it more popular here.

    Thank you

    Aleksandra Pazda Topolska and friends.”

  2. Catherine Bentler, USA

    “My name is Catherine Bentler, I purchased the Murder on the Prairie party for our gourmet dinner group. Every other month for the past 3 years, this group has had a gourmet dinner get-together. When we were to host in January this year, we decided we needed to mix things up.

    Since we live in Montana, I thought the Murder on the Prairie Western Theme suited this group the best. We transformed our front room into a Saloon, made our back family room into a huge dining hall with checked table cloths and beer mugs. The costumes were fabulous. Some people even rented them from a local Theatre company. Even our babysitter dressed in prairie clothes and helped with the serving. Her kind mother also lent us loads of western décor from their own home! We made “Wanted” posters with participants’ faces.

  3. Debbie Hemming, USA

    “Thanks so much for the mystery Murder on the Prairie. What a blast. We had 20 people in total. The way that I picked the characters was great. I put all the names into a box and drew one name at a time, and the first name was the first character, all the way down the till all characters were taken. I couldn’t have done a better casting call myself.

    As I am President of our local Rod & Gun Club, I figured this would be an excellent fundraiser for our club. We held the murder mystery in our clubhouse. My husband & I made a coffin and even had old Mr. Woods inside of it, we had a fog machine which we put beside the coffin, checkered tablecloths, old lanterns hanging, bales of hay, old saddles, cobwebs….. I took the holders from my outdoor lanterns and put them outside the clubhouse on the railing so it was all lit up when people drove up. I made up signs with the name of the town of “Mitchido” with the population of the people that would be there. The “Lone Star Saloon”, where everyone made their own drinks. I even painted an old barn board with the prices of the booze that reflected the time period. (Warm Beer 10 cents Cheap Whisky 25 cents Stale Wine 5 cents, then I added that Women were extra.)

    I took pieces of rawhide and cut them into circles and wrote each name on them, and tied them with string, so they could either wear them on their shirts or around their wrists.(So everyone knew who was who) For food I served a fondue, with Buffalo, Elk, Moose, Beef, Chicken, Goose & Shrimp, plus all the vegies. Towards the end of the evening, everyone was right into their character. The Barber (Joe) asked if anyone would give $300 to have Dr. Reyes’ beard shaved. (I have never seen my husband without a beard). Next thing you know, there was $300 put into Lulu’s garter. So into total we raised over $700 from a murder mystery party with only 20 people in attendance. We had a $100 cash for whoever guessed who the murderer was. We had 3 people guess correctly. The winners actually donated the money back to the club. So they only real expense was for the food. And most of the food was donated.

    Everyone wants to know when the next one is going to be. Plus we have another 20 or so people that want to come to the next one. Please let me know if you can help!!

    Thanks again so much

    Debbie Hemming”

  4. Lindsey Dyer, USA

    “We had an excellent time acting out our characters. One of the highlights of the night was how Spring Leaf was played by a man (instead of a woman)… watching her relationships transpire as the story developed was a riot! This being our first Murder Mystery Party, I would definitely try another one based on our experiences. Thanks!!”

  5. Paula Schroer, USA

    “Murder on the Prairie was a hoot! I wanted to invite all of my teacher friends so the male parts were played by females. It was a riot! Everyone brought a Wild West dish to share and we had food galore! I turned my house into the “Salty Lick Saloon” complete with old liquor bottles filled with colored water to look authentic! We did the introductions and act one upstairs in the saloon and went downstairs for the dinner and act 2. The final act was done outside on my deck overlooking the woods. I even had old time oil lanterns lighting the deck because we were still goin’ strong long after dark!

    At the end, we took “happy couples” pictures and poor Red Eye Mitchell couldn’t get Spring Leaf off of her lap! It seems Spring Leaf couldn’t hold her fire water! Ha! Anyway, it was a great time and the girls are already asking me if we can do another one next year! I couldn’t choose just one picture because they were all so fun! (My neighbors are hoping we do it again too! They had a good laugh as we took the picture of all of us in the yard!)

    Thanks again for a knock down, drag out, knee slappin’ good time!

    Paula Schroer”

  6. Gail Miloch, USA

    “A group at our church gets together annually for a get-away and this year we decided to try “Murder on the Prairie”.

    We all had so much fun; even adults enjoy the chance to dress up in costumes and role-play once in a while. We appreciated that we didn’t have to worry about questionable or risque roles or scripts. We gave everyone three weeks to prepare for their roles, and even the anticipation of seeing what everyone would do was fun. I especially like that you have lots of roles – even those who are not suspects had some direction on how to dress up.

  7. Rhea Meadows, USA

    She (Margaret Read) embellished the theme by bringing along a rather large basket completely covered with a little blanket. The contents of this basket remained closely guarded until she dramatically revealed the contents. The secret love child of Spring Leaf and ???? that she was raising for our Indian Maid!! The child, a Indian papoose doll, was named Squash Bottom right after Margaret had to change her first diaper!

    For those who have never done this, it was the first party I have ever thrown and I really enjoyed every minute of it. The package gives you enough to get your creative juices flowing and it’s off to the races from there!”

  8. Tina

    Tina McIntosh, Red Gum Cottage, Tamworth, NSW, Australia

    “Murder on the Prairie” is fun for a very loud group, or that’s what we had. The group added songs from Annie Oakley movies. They had a heap of fun. I decorated the room like a saloon.”

  9. Cindi

    Cindy Evoy, USA

    “Hi Stephanie: After reading the newsletter I thought I’d send you a message about our Murder on the Prairie party. We planned the party to celebrate my 40th birthday. We had decorations that looked like a saloon and a country store. Everyone came dressed in costume and really got into their parts even more than I expected. I handed out pads at the start of the party so that everyone could make notes about the characters. I read the pads at the end of the evening when everyone was gone and the notes were so serious that it was funny. People made inferences with no basis just because they were so intent on solving the mystery. At the end we had gag gifts for all the guests such as handcuffs for the murderer, lifesavers for the life of the party, magnifying glass for the best detective and a jigsaw puzzle for the person who solved the “puzzle”. We had alot of fun and it was a great way to celebrate. Thanks, Cindy Evoy”

  10. Lori

    Lori Venturini from Munro House Bed & Breakfast USA

    “Stephanie you are the best! So far this one’s the best!!!

    Maybe it was because of the group, who added so much more to the murder! Eddie and Luke were best friends and Luke should have won the Oscar for Best Actor. LuLu was certainly a peach! Flashing leg everywhere.

    Everyone developed southern or farming drawls and the ad-lib was outrageous by everyone. We are definitely proud of this Murder Mystery!

    If you ever need a referral, you send them my way! They would hear rave reviews from us! Lori Venturini Munro House Bed & Breakfast Jonesville, Michigan, USA”

  11. Karen

    Karen Tinsley, USA

    “We had a wonderful time at the party. I had friends and co-workers there who didn’t even know each other, and they all interacted wonderfully as part of the mystery. I had the mix and mingle kit, and it was so much fun. One of the ladies (who played Margaret Read) said it was the most fun she had had in YEARS! Everyone here at work wants to know if we’re going to make it an annual event (I did this for my 30th birthday party). Everyone was excited when we came back to work on Monday. They were all on your website looking for mysteries they could host on their own! Thanks, Karen Tinsley”

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