I think these kinds of parties were no longer all the rage when we were growing up, though I vaguely remember my older sister hosting one long ago. They are quite fun though, particularly the dressing up.
To pull the game off, you need a devoted party thrower, and Mike (who also played the cook Mrs. B and the detective) was awesome at putting everything together. We each received an email?informing us of our character, then received an envelope upon arrival of a few integral plot objectives we had to act out and a prop.
I was the spinster sister of the diseased (played by our out of town friend via video). I hate my brother's widow who has three dashing sons of various ill repute… and was right to do so since she ended up being the culprit. Lots of fun, lots of role playing, lots of gloves , eye patches, feathers, wine and MURDER!
Mike based the structure on an online version, but customized it with his own creative names and touches (like the video taped will reading).