Afterlife of the Party: The Making of The Last Chapter


What happens when you bring to afterlife some of the greatest storytellers of all time?  You throw a party!  But a serious party-pooper has rewritten the closing chapter of this post-mortem writer’s retreat. Now with a serious attack, a group of spectral suspects, and a ticking clock, our guests will need to solve a series of challenges to earn clues to the mystery.  Where did we get our inspiration for our colorfully titled challenges?  Find out as we take a sneak peek beyond the veil at our latest Master Mystery Production–The Last Chapter.

AFTERLIFE OF THE PARTY: The Making of The Last Chapter

The Wit’s Challenge…The Bard’s Challenge…The Adventurer’s Challenge…

Each of those names were taken from our seven suspect storytellers, each one a master at their craft.  Who are our seven authors? We’ll have William Shakespeare, Dorothy Parker, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie, and the ghost host with the most, Charles Dickens.  Our selections were based a number of factors.  We wanted to pick notable names in the literary world.  We chose authors of all types: playwrights, poets, novelists, critics, journalists, etc.  And we wanted writers with some definable personality, so we can pair them together for reasonable conflict and alliances.  An exciting twist is that the client has provided seven guests who will play the seven authors at the show.  Dressed in all white to emphasize their ghostly nature, these actor-authors will be sneaking off for secret rendezvous, throwing shade, trading snarky lines and looks, and building relationships for the audience to spy on and employ in their detection of the crime.


For The Last Chapter, we designed the game to be a rotating series of challenges.  The crowd will divide into seven teams, each one headed by a different author.  The challenges will be a series of seven stations.  Each team starts at one of those stations. Under time pressure, they must complete the challenge correctly in order for their team to win the author’s clue to the mystery as a whole. Then the teams move to a new station.  Should the teams successfully collect all seven clues, they will be able to piece together the truth behind the mystery.

Each challenge is named after an author and is designed to reflect certain aspects about the author’s work or career.  The challenges test logic and language skills (it is a writers’ retreat after all). Below we’ll give a brief overview on the challenges and their inspirations.


The Bard’s Challenge deals with William Shakespeare.  The playwright has created some of the most famous shows and lines in history.  Our guests will need to be able to recognize which line belongs where.  Let’s hope they’ve brushed up on the more unusual plays.

The Recluse’s Challenge is for Emily Dickinson, who was a noted recluse in her lifetime, her poems only being published after her death. It will be a case of grammar with an Emily Dickinson poem that our teams will have to solve.

The Wit’s Challenge is for Dorothy Parker, the wry, sarcastic woman with a sharp tongue and sharper mind.  Famous for scalding critique and quick quips, Parker spared no one with her barbs.  Using one of her rare poems as a challenge, guests will have to step into her wit to fill in the missing pieces of her work.

The Adventurer’s Challenge was inspired by that writer of the world, Ernest Hemingway.  He worked as a journalist and a correspondent before turning seriously to novels and was famous for his pared-down, to-the-point style of prose.  It’s a case for journalistic observation for his challenge as guests will use some sparse information to find a thief in a photograph.

The Haunted Soul’s Challenge describes Mr. Edgar Allan Poe, whose tragic death only adds to the mystique of his life and work.  Poe was a lover of ciphers and codes and we created our own cipher for the guests to crack.  Can they decode the truth from these strange, mysterious symbols? We’ll find out.

The Queen’s Challenge is for Dame Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime.  One of the most prolific writers ever with a huge catalog of work behind her, Christie is a legend in the mystery genre (and may prove to be a threat to the culprit in The Last Chapter). Knowing when all her books have been published is a challenge on its own.  Think the guests are up to it?

And finally the Victim’s Challenge…

We’re keeping that one a secret.

The Last Chapter
Official Poster

The Last Chapter, the seventeenth Master Mystery Production, premieres this Saturday in Garden Grove, CA.  Single admission is $20 and couples admission is $35.  For further ticketing information, contact

We hope to see you at the show!  Come be the afterlife of the party!

–Master Mystery Productions

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