18 Murder Mystery Ideas for Team Building

By: | Updated: February 13, 2024

Here is our list of the best team building murder mystery ideas.

Team building murder mystery ideas are roleplaying whodunnit games participants solve as a group. These games also involve dramatic scenes where participants solve the mystery and find the murderer. For example, Movie Murder Mystery and Death & Taxes. The purpose of these activities is to enhance the problem-solving skills of employees and increase positive interaction.

These activities are examples of team building events, crime-solving games, and problem-solving activities and are in-person versions of virtual murder mystery games. These games are also similar to DIY escape rooms.


This list includes:

  • team building detective games
  • team building mystery dinner ideas
  • murder mystery team building activities
  • team building mystery boxes

Let’s get started!

List of team building murder mystery ideas

Murder mystery games are a much-needed break from mundane office work. These games also include team building mystery boxes and themes for dressing up as characters. Here is our list of murder mystery ideas for team building.

1. Murder in the Speakeasy (Top Choice)

murder in the speakeasy

Teams can go back to the Roaring ’20s to solve a historical murder mystery with Murder in the Speakeasy! Participants will investigate clubs and characters inspired by real figures of the past.

Here is what to expect:

  • 90 minutes with a world-class host
  • an immersive story and mysterious murder
  • puzzles and clues based in an era of glamor
  • politicians and musicians who spent time at the Krazy Kat

Your staff will love stepping back in time to uncover the truth of this jazz-era mystery. So grab your flapper dresses and jazz suits and get ready to flex your problem-solving skills!

Learn more about Murder in the Speakeasy.

2. Murder in Ancient Egypt (Team Favorite)

murder in ancient egypt banner

During Murder in Ancient Egypt, your team will become detectives and go on a quest to solve an ancient puzzle! This experience will put players’ communication and critical-thinking skills to the test.

Key elements of this experience include:

  • a 90-minute session with a talented host
  • a captivating narrative that sends players back in time
  • math problems, code-breaking, riddles, and fast-paced scavenger hunts
  • cryptic clues and ingenious puzzles

Your team will love working together to solve the secrets of this ancient mystery. If you are interested in boosting your staff members’ deductive reasoning skills, then explore Murder in Ancient Egypt!

Learn more about Murder in Ancient Egypt.

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3. Movie Murder Mystery

A movie murder mystery is an excellent idea among team building mystery dinner ideas. This game is easy if you want to DIY and plan an in-person murder mystery game. The game’s plot revolves around celebrating the success of a movie project. You and the other players assume the roles of directors, producers, actors, and camerapersons.

However, the director of the movie dies before the event. Being a part of the scenario, you will find the killer using clues and hints you get from the surroundings.

The best thing about movie murder mystery games is that you can hire paid actors to perform the roles of different characters. They will explain the scenario to the participants.

Learn more about the Movie Murder Mystery game.

4. Sleuth Kings Master Detective: Monster Madness

If you are looking for team building mystery boxes, then Sleuth Kings Master Detective: Monster Madness is a great choice. This mystery box comes filled with clues you can use to solve the mystery and find the murderer.

Such in-person team building detective games are best for folks in your office that like to solve paranormal mysteries. The game has several clues, riddles, and hidden evidence. You work in groups with Lead Detective Sullivan King to uncover the secrets and find the culprit.

This interactive session takes two to three hours and improves employees’ problem-solving skills as they solve the mystery together.

Learn more about Sleuth Kings Master Detective: Monster Madness.

5. Virtual Murder Mystery

Virtual Murder Mystery is a 90-minute, fully facilitated virtual team event. Participants meet in a secure Zoom room and work in teams to unravel a crime rooted in real historical facts. Teams compete to gain extra clues and be the first to solve the puzzle. The host moves the story along, explains the puzzles, and gives hints and help when necessary. This game is competitive, educational, and fun, and builds remote collaboration and communication skills. The mysteries are available in three versions: ancient Egypt, Elizabethan England, and the roaring 20’s.

Learn more about Virtual Murder Mystery.

List of themes for team building murder mystery games

Murder mystery parties are more fun with a great theme. Before deciding on the murder mystery riddles and clues, you will choose a specific theme. Here are some great team building murder mystery themes.

1. Detective

Unsolved case files are based on detective themes and are ideal thought-provoking choices for office workers. In a detective-themed murder mystery game, the participants have to solve cold cases or recent crimes.

Such case files are tricky to solve as you need to dig into the history of the murder and the victim. However, detective-themed murder mystery games provoke critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Plus, most folks love to step into the role of a super sleuth!

2. Spooky Theme

Combining a murder mystery with a spooky theme adds another level of fun and entertainment. The participants can also wear long capes and gowns to make the game more appealing.

In a spooky theme murder party, the actors and participants usually dress like a masquerade ball or Halloween. You can also ask the participants to wear outfits to get into character.

A spooky theme murder mystery party can include several games and activities.

Some examples are:

  • Murder in Manhattan
  • Zombie Cannibal Asylum
  • A Night Of Creeps
  • Jazz Age Jeopardy

The basic purpose of all these games would be to find the murderer by following the clues and hints on the way. While the purpose is the same, the different themes and scenarios change the game and make it more fun for the players.

3. Great Gatsby Theme

The Great Gatsby, or 1920s-themed murder mystery party, is a unique idea for an office murder mystery dinner party. Dressing up like a millionaire and then acting as detectives to solve the case of his murder is another level of fun.

You can assign different character roles to the participants and make them act. The Great Gatsby theme will bring back the 1920s memories, which the older participants will love.

4. Sherlock Holmes Theme

When it comes to solving mysteries, Sherlock Holmes always comes first to mind. Sherlock Holmes inspires many murder mystery party themes. For this, you can decorate the surroundings according to the Victorian-era apartment style. The wall will have a large board for suspects and clues. You can also mess up newspapers on the tables to elaborate the investigations.

These murder mystery team building activities will bring out the detectives in your coworkers and encourage them to collaborate to solve mysteries.

For a Sherlock Holmes-themed party, you can buy a game kit to play in person or host a virtual event.

5. Glamorous Theme

Team building mystery dinner ideas create a new spark with a glamorous theme for the party. A 1920s speakeasy atmosphere is ideal for this theme and will give a glam look to the party. You can set up a glamorous theme by asking the employees to dress in flashy costumes, fur coats, and glittery dresses.

Apart from the dress code, the murder mystery games and activities will also be according to the glamorous theme. For example, you can set the stage for a specific glamorous theme.

For example, the event can be an all-white party, and you decorate the room with white feathers, white fabric, and white flowers. Games & activities might include hunting for secret messages with a blacklight or finding written clues in balloons filled with white slips of paper

The best thing about a glamorous theme is that you can add some personal touch to it. For example, you can customize the riddles and clues according to the theme and make them entertaining for the players.

6. Hollywood Theme

A Hollywood theme can be a great idea for the murder mystery to make your employees enjoy the night.

The players will see the scenes and look for clues to reach the culprit.

A Hollywood theme is an exciting idea for a murder mystery party because it gives you several options. You can choose vintage-style movies or action movies based on the preferences of your participants.

The team members must focus on the scenes and use their critical thinking skills to understand the scenario. Then, the teammates will work in groups to solve the mystery.

7. Zombie Theme

A zombie theme is an ideal choice for the murder mystery party if your employees are horror buffs. The players will have fun playing with zombies and figuring out the murderer, who will or will not be the zombie.

You can make the game immersive and hire actors dressed in zombie gear to stalk players. Participants will have to identify patient zero of the outbreak while dodging members of the undead.

These touches will give the game a realistic horror movie feel and make it more fun for the players.

8. Holiday Theme

A holiday theme will give a festive feel to the game. A holiday theme can be simple to follow as the participants will not have to dress up fancy, but they can wear whatever comfortable holiday clothes.

You can choose the holiday theme if any event or holiday is coming, like Christmas and Easter. Then, you can customize the theme and the murder mystery game according to that specific holiday. For example, a plot for the easter theme would revolve around a bunny boutique where rabbits are bred and sold. When the easter preparations were in full swing, the manager was killed in his office by a head blow, and the police suspected it to be a murder. Using your detective skills, you have to identify who killed the manager and left the boutique leaderless.

Similarly, a Christmas-themed murder mystery will have Christmas gifts and trees, and the plot will consist of the murder of Santa Claus.

List of team building murder mystery riddle ideas

Planning a murder mystery and coming up with new ideas of riddles and clues can be tricky. Here are some ideas for team building murder mystery riddles and clues to make your task easy.

1. Police Report For Crime Scenes

If your murder mystery includes a crime scene and detectives, then including police reports as clues can be a great idea.

You can either give the report if the players face difficulty solving the riddles or include the report in the middle of the mystery as a clue.

Here are some examples of what information a police report would bring:

  • Fingerprints found on the victims’ body or weapon.
  • An analysis of how the victim was killed. For example, the direction of the weapon used for the murder.
  • CCTV footage or real photographs before the murder took place.

The purpose of the police report is to help the players narrow the list of suspects. According to the situation and information already available, the detectives can rule out options and eventually identify the perpetrator.

2. Number Codes

Padlocks with passwords are a great idea to make a murder mystery enjoyable. These padlocks are not generally expensive and come with passwords of four or five digits. When you enter the correct digits, the lock opens, and you can open the box or trunk.

You can associate these number codes with previous riddles and use number codes in different ways.

For example:

  • Write a letter as a clue and make different paragraphs. The first letter of each paragraph converted into numbers will be the password.
  • A special year or date in the victims’ life. For example, the day and year he was born can be the number code.
  • Use two papers, one with holes and the other with numbers. When you place the paper with holes over the paper with numbers, the digits that appear in the holes will be the password.

The good thing about number codes is that they are not theme-specific. Although using these puzzles in some themes can be more appealing, you can generally use them in any murder mystery. Also, these devices will give your murder mystery party an escape room feel!

3. Clues On The Victim’s Body

The victim’s body is perhaps the first clue the detectives will notice when they want to solve the mystery. The primary clues are on the victim’s body or near the crime scene.

You can leave some clues on or near the victim’s body to make the mystery easy to solve.

Some examples are:

  • You can put the weapon near the body, like a gun or knife. Also, specify the location of the wound on the victim’s body.
  • Another idea is to draw a message or place a note in the victim’s pocket or hand.
  • Any accessory the murderer was wearing. It can be a piece of jewelry or a pen in their pocket.
  • A letter near the murder scene, written by the murderer.

These hints will also link to the next ones, and the teammates will work to find the murderer among the suspects.

4. Photos

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. You can place snapshots that reveal motives and clues. These photos can appear in case files or in the background in frames. For example, a photo may reveal a relationship between two characters or place a suspect at the crime scene. Similarly, photos of the room will tell if any piece of furniture was moved after the murder. When the detectives look at that spot, they will find another clue.

5. Directions

Directions will come into use if your murder mystery event is in a large, open space. These directions will not confuse the players and provide an easy way to get to the right spot.

You can also leave directions for the next clue in the previous one. For example, walk 200 meters to the south and turn left.

Another great idea is to place maps as a clue. These maps will guide the participants to the next clue. You can also provide a map at the beginning of the murder mystery game to make it easy to find clues.


Team building murder mystery ideas will vary according to the game theme and player preferences. These activities and games will keep your employees engaged and focused.

These games and ideas also build professional relationships among coworkers since the activities often require discussion and cooperation. Not to mention, the games can add an element of playfulness to team building events. The participants love to solve riddles and clues and use their mind skills to solve each level of the game, making it more challenging with every next step.

Next, check out virtual crime scene investigation games and online murder mystery games in the UK.

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FAQ: Team building murder mystery ideas

Here are answers to common questions about team building murder mystery ideas.

What are team building murder mystery ideas?

Team building murder mystery ideas are indoor or outdoor activities that sharpen the thinking skills of employees. The players play in groups to solve riddles and hints to reach the next level. In the end, the participants must reach the murderer using thinking and collaboration skills.

What are some good murder mystery ideas for team building?

Murder mystery dinner parties and mystery boxes are some good ideas for team building. However, you can also choose a specific theme and plan a murder mystery accordingly.

Examples of themes are:

  • Zombie theme
  • Sherlock Holmes theme
  • Holiday theme
  • Spooky theme

Murder mysteries are playable online and in-person. Thus, virtual teams can also ensure team building despite the distances.

How do you plan a team building murder mystery event?

Here is how you can plan a team building murder mystery event:

  • Choose a theme.
  • Plan a story and plot according to the theme. The most interesting part should be the death of the victim. You can also hire actors to make it entertaining.
  • Choose a venue or location for the event. Also, focus on the decoration.
  • Provide the costumes to the participants.
  • Make clues and riddles that will help the detectives solve the mystery.
  • Host a dinner after the activity.

An efficiently planned murder mystery party will become more fun and challenging for the participants and enhance their thinking skills.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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