Once Upon A Crime

Once Upon A Crime

  • Players: 6
  • Theme: Fantasy, Theft, Murderless, Medieval, New Year
  • Type: Dinner Party Games

The Fairy Tale Gala Ball is usually the highlight of the year at the Magic Castle. All the fairy tale characters gather for a night of food and dancing culminating in the announcement of the next Fairy Tale Council members.

This year all was going well when suddenly the alarm was raised that the original book of fairy-tales had been stolen from the magic vault. Fairy tale magic can not work if the book is not in the vault, and it must be found.

The book could only have been stolen by those serving on the council. So who is guilty out of the six council members?

Complete Character List



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Jack from the famous story about the Beanstalk. Jack is always dressed ready for gardening and often carries a rope around with him to help with climbing.

Prince Charming

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Prince Charming always dresses as the classic handsome prince, in a dress-suit with medals.


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Sleepy always looks to be dressed in clothes a couple of sizes too big for him, so he looks even more sleepy.

Little Mermaid

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With the body of a woman and a fish tail the Little Mermaid is instantly recognised, except when she’s wearing her “human” legs. Mermaid loves shiny jewellery.


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Rapunzel can have long or short hair as it changes in her story. She is always dressed in a gown awaiting her Prince to rescue her.

Red Riding Hood

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Red Riding Hood is always dressed in travelling clothes with her signature red cloak with a hood.


Salmon, Prawn and Horseradish Salad

3 tbsp creme fraiche
3 tsp horseradish sauce
12 slices smoked salmon
30 large cooked Prawns, peeled but tails left on

juice 3 limes, finely grated zest of 1 ½
3 tsp clear honey
1½ tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
6 tbsp light olive oil
6 handfuls small leaf salad

1. Mix the creme fraiche with the horseradish and a little salt and pepper.
2. For the dressing, whisk the lime juice and zest with the honey, ginger and seasoning, then whisk in the oil.
3. Lay the smoked salmon and prawns on 6 plates, then top with a dollop of the horseradish cream.
4. Toss the salad in most of the dressing and pile on top.
5. Drizzle the remaining dressing around the plate and serve.

Main Course

Jack's Bean Cassoulet

½lb (250 g) dried beans, soaked in water overnight, then drained
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil or duck fat
1 cup (250 mL) panko bread crumbs (normal white breadcrumbs can be used)
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb (500 g) beef brisket, cubed
½lb (250 g) bacon, chopped
½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
1 cup (250 mL) beef stock
½ cup (125 mL) canned whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
½lb (250 g) beef- or pork-based sausage, sliced into coins
8 eggs, poached
1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil in skillet over medium heat; add panko to thicken. Toast, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl; set aside.
2. In heavy-bottomed casserole, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; saute onion, carrot and garlic, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add brisket and bacon; cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Stir in wine, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in stock, tomatoes, thyme and bay leaves; bring to boil, reduce to medium-low heat and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.
3. Add beans and 3 cups (750 mL) water; bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Stir in sausage; bring to boil and cook over medium heat, uncovered, until sausage is cooked through, about 15 minutes, and adding up to ½ cup (125 mL) of the toasted panko. Discard thyme and bay leaves.
4. Ladle into bowls; top each with a freshly poached egg. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs and parsley.

Prep Time: 2½ hours
Serves: 8

Readers Digest, Scott Vivian



There are two options here
1. Buy one ready-made from the supermarket

2. Buy a base ready-made and the cut up fresh fruit of your choice and refrigerate. Just before the Pavlova is needed, whip double cream (heavy cream) and add the fruit to this (drain first) place on the base and server.

How To Play A Dinner Party Murder Mystery

Our dinner party games are designed to be played by the combination of players listed on the game. Some require a specific number of male and female players, some have interchangeable players. When considering what game to buy you should think about who you want to play with you. If you want you can also add the 'Inspector' character as a player as there are scripts provided for this person as well.

Once you have chosen a game, simply click to buy it and then download.

What Is Included In Your Download

Your download should include a ZIP file with which once un-zipped you should have the following folders and files.

  • Character Scripts
  • Inspector Script
  • Inspector Audio Files
  • Instructions
  • Timetable
  • Invitation
  • Specific Suggestions For This Game – including menu ideas and recipes

How To Use The Game

Produce Invitations

Within the files downloaded is the 'Invitation' for you to print out and send to your guests. The invitation is double sided giving the information need for those participating in the game before they arrive. Once printed all you need to do is put the guests name on the front, and indicate which character they are playing, that way if they choose to dress up for the event they know what to look out for in the way of costume. (Please be aware that this file shows the invitation in Landscape view – you need to adjust your print settings accordingly).

Character Sheets

The Character Script pages are designed for double side printing, and should be printed then folded. If your printer does not have the facility to double side print, just print the 'even' pages and this will give your what you need, fold these in half and write the character name and round number on each.

The Inspector

The Inspectors Script is contained in its own folder and should be printed out and folded as the Character Scripts.

Inside the Inspector folder is another called Audio which contains MP3's for use during the game. The audio is the same as the printed script of the Inspector giving details at each stage of the game.

The Solution

This is the last printed and audio file.

It is always worth having this script handy, even if using the video or audio files, you never know when there might be a power cut!

The solution should also be printed and folded and we recommend putting a paper clip over the loose edges of this one so that it does not inadvertently come open for anyone to read.

Making The Most Of Your Theme

Where and how you run your game can make a real difference to its feel. Think about the game – is it appropriate to sit around a table, or would a lounge be more conducive. If you are round a camp fire would it be better to have the chairs in a circle? Would a poster over the window help the setting i.e. snow covered mountains if you are in a ski lodge. Small alterations to your home or setting can make all the difference to the game.

Specific Suggestions For Each Game

Just in case you are at a loss we have provided a suggested menu for each game. Don't be rigid about the meal, it should be easy to produce and serve during the course of the game, so go with what you are comfortable with. Now is not the time to try new recipes (unless you know you can pull them off), go with something tried and tested. You are meant to enjoy the game as well as your guests.

Player Reviews

A fascinating and entertaining escape into fairytale make-believe, far away from all reality.
- Paul
Was given this game for the family to play over Christmas. They all came armed with their costumes and a great time was had by all. Love the way you are given suggestions for your costumes and even for suitable food. Will certainly play another one.
- Beverley