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8 Questions to Ask Suspects You'd Die Without

Questions to solve a murder mystery

"Did you do it?"

It's the night of your murder mystery dinner party (perhaps Framed at the Fix), and you're surrounded by suspects. Someone has just been murdered, but what questions do you ask to solve the mystery? You need to find out the big three: means, motive, and opportunity. You could ask everyone if they killed our dearly departed ("Are you the murderer?!"), or you could ask them one of our top eight questions:

1) How did you know the deceased?

How close is the suspect to our newly dead guest? Was she friends, a spouse, a business partner, a lover? Or maybe she didn't know the deceased at all. You may be surprised by who is closest to the victim.

2) Were you and the deceased on good terms?

If a suspect was in a fight with the deceased, odds are she has a strong motive. Who had reason to kill our late guest, and who is only annoyed that the deceased didn't thank the suspect when she held the door?

3) What was your reason for coming here tonight?

Other than killing the deceased. Is the suspect here to make a business deal? Settle a score? Meet a lover? This is a great question to lead you to the motive, and you'll also discover a network of who-knows-who in the process.

4) What do you do for a living?

Suspects can have suspicious jobs. Maybe the suspect is a con artist. Maybe she's a weapon's dealer. Maybe she's a doctor with a penchant for poison. Ask yourself: does the suspect have access to a means of murder? Did she work alongside the deceased?

5) When did you last see the deceased?

When searching for clues to solve a murder mystery, it's important to make a timeline of events. Who saw our late friend nearest to her death? Five minutes could make all the difference.

6) Where were you at the time of the murder?

This is the classic murder mystery question. Does the suspect have an alibi? Does she know anyone who can corroborate her location? You can then fill in details of the night's order of events.

7) Can you expand on a piece of evidence?

You know a clue about a suspect. Present your clue to her, and have her elaborate on the knowledge you already have. The more information you can get, the closer you'll be to discovering the means, motive, and opportunity of each suspect in the murder mystery.

8) Do you know anyone who wanted to kill the deceased?

When all else fails, find out if the suspect will blame someone else. If you can't get any clues about the suspect herself, you can still get information about other people.

Now you're ready for your next murder! Since you've honed your detecting expertise, you no longer need to blithely ask suspects if they're the killer. With just these eight questions, you'll already be the leading detective at your next murder mystery show. If you can't wait to use your newly acquired sleuthing skills, try out a few of these riddles. And remember, the next time someone gets bumped off, you've got the ingenuity to get clues and be the first to solve the murder mystery.

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