1851 Maple Hill Manor

A Homicide in Horse Country

1851 Maple Hill Manor, Springfield, Kentucky

The Inn: It’s one of the most well-reviewed inns on BedandBreakfast.com, conveniently located on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail. Rooms are darn near regal, with oil paintings and 600-thread-count linen and canopy beds. Within its grounds, the inn has, well, everything to recommend it, from nature reserves and fruit orchards to flowering gardens and an alpaca farm, many visible from guest-room windows. But it’s not just the views — the murder mystery weekends have drawn crowds here for well over 30 years.

The Details: Join the ranks of budding sleuths in a public event, or plan your own private weekend to its every last detail. Just pick your poison, from a 1930s English country estate to a ’70s disco theme, and Maple Hill will do all the work, including a suitably lavish five-course dinner customized for your group. Characters are assigned in advance, and prizes are awarded for snagging the suspect, so apply your best mustache, prep your most authentic accent, and head to Kentucky.

 


 

Railroad (Mis)Fortunes in the Lehigh Valley

Railroad (Mis)Fortunes in the Lehigh Valley

The Harry Packer Mansion, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

The Inn: This B&B is truly over the top, a Victorian replete with Tiffany windows and Oriental carpets and glittering chandeliers in most rooms. (No surprise there, for this manse was built as a wedding gift for the founder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Lehigh University.) You could spend years just exploring its rich furnishings and ornate details, or discovering the charming town of Jim Thorpe. But we have other ideas in mind ...

The Details: Forget the murder mysteries that come out of a kit. This one is based on true events. The fabulously wealthy Packer family and its social circle of robber barons are at the center of the inn’s Victorian-era scandal, now so central to the inn’s history that themed weekends happen continually throughout the year. Your weekend persona is that of a real-life Packer or family friend; you’ll act out family dramas that truly happened as you match wits with railroad men of yesteryear.

 


 

Architects Inn

Old Money, Timeless Crimes in Newport

Architects Inn, Newport, Rhode Island

The Inn: One of the grandest buildings along Newport’s Bellevue Avenue is now home to the Architects Inn. With its colorfully updated but undeniably Victorian interiors, plus a couple of self-described hipsters at the helm, the B&B is a winning stay almost any time of year. But with all its unique details to discover and make-believe mysteries that extend way beyond your everyday murder, a mystery weekend may be the best way to experience this palatial Newport home, once the private digs of the famed Gilded Age architect George Champlin Mason himself.

The Details: Themed weekends are presented by a local theatre company and fittingly include Newport’s own old-money history into the various plotlines, from millionaires’ treasure heists to haunted houses with extra-spooky paranormal investigations. There’s even a dessert reception on Friday night to kick things off in extra-sweet style.

 


 

Madison Street Inn

A Very Silicon Valley Whodunnit

Madison Street Inn, Santa Clara, California

The Inn: With just six rooms on-site, the Madison Street Inn is cozy and comfortable, well hidden away from the hustle of Silicon Valley. Outside, the backyard has a pool and private gardens surrounded by a white picket fence, while the interior is filled with Victorian charm. The innkeepers provide fully customizable stays, attending to every detail and batching up fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies that past guests swear are to die for.

The Details: Go head to head with a team of CSI junkies just like you. Comb through clues, read lab reports, and even review forensics from the “crime scene” with your squad of amateur analysts. End the evening by cracking the case — hopefully — and dining on Madison Street Inn’s high-end fare before bedding down for the night in the contemporary guestrooms. And if the thrill of solve-it-yourself felony isn’t enough, the enthralling and creepy Winchester Mystery House is just minutes away.

 


 

The Roosevelt Inn

It’s Elementary in Idaho

The Roosevelt Inn, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

The Inn: Among the tall pines and shady maples of Idaho sits The Roosevelt Inn, a schoolhouse turned romantic B&B. The inn is a short stroll from Idaho’s prettiest lakeshore, making it the perfect place for waterside activities in warmer months. Yet the former four-room schoolhouse, now elegantly updated into a leading B&B, is a wonderful setting for a little midwinter mayhem.

The Details: A Sherlock Holmes–themed murder mystery package comes complete with a two-course breakfast, a four-course dinner, and a dip in the inn’s hot tub, plus one night in a lushly decorated deluxe room. Bring along a Watson or two, or reserve for 10 or more guests during the winter and make it a party. While costumes aren’t provided on-site, you’re welcome to provide your own. May we suggest the iconic deerstalker cap? (Cumberbatch facial features not included.)

 


 

Bellaire Bed & Breakfast

A Mystery in Michigan

Bellaire Bed & Breakfast, Bellaire, Michigan

The Inn: Meals may very well be the main event at Bellaire, with innkeepers David and Jim at the hob. If the blazing fireplace or the private gardens or of course the cozy crime-filled weekends don’t get you at the award-winning inn, the scrumptious breakfast will. Past guests rave about the yummy morning goodies, including French toast stuffed with raspberries or peaches, drizzled liberally with real Michigan maple syrup. (Recreating this dish needn’t be a mystery; Bellaire helpfully shares the recipe on its website.) Adding to the adorableness in cozy northern Michigan? Canine “apprentice housekeepers” Tucker and Chips.

The Details: November and March bring the puzzle-solving crowds to Bellaire’s doorstep, when the inn turns upside down with murder. Check in on Friday and learn the ropes. Enjoy some free time around Bellaire village on Saturday before returning to the inn for the murder mystery dinner where more gustatory delights — and justice — are served.

 


 

Brookview Manor

Crime and Punishment in the Poconos

Brookview Manor, Canadensis, Pennsylvania

The Inn: On some 200 acres of dense private forest dotted by rolling hills, uncover the Brookview Manor. This inn is all pastoral elegance, with stained glass windows, a grand piano, and a wraparound porch with rocking chairs to curl up in. Brookview is romantic and secluded, well-suited for honeymooning couples in need of a quiet country retreat (or a ski weekend, with some of the Poconos’ best powder just around the corner). Oh. Or crime -solving, if that’s your thing.

The Details: It all begins on Friday night, when participating guests are gathered in the parlor by a local detective to find out there’s been — what else! — a murder most foul. The following day brings clues and activities at the inn, plus a Saturday night dinner with your fellow travelers as you suss out the culprit, Twelve Angry Men–style, over tense accusations and a delicious home-cooked feast. While 2017 is already full up, dates for 2018 are coming soon. Start plotting accordingly ...

 


 

Bernerhof Inn Bed and Breakfast

White Mountain Mysteries

Bernerhof Inn Bed and Breakfast, Glen, New Hampshire

The Inn: The Bernerhof may be one of many New Hampshire inns, but it stands out for its on-site dining, from the gourmet country breakfasts to its Black Bear Pub and martini bar. (There’s also a cooking school, if you’d like to learn a little DIY.) Among the piles of snow that smother the White Mountains — and the occasional old-timey murder — the Bernerhof’s eco-friendly fireplaces and pampering spa are sure to provide some heat.

The Details: This two-night weekend is fully immersive and filled with capers, beginning even before you check in when your custom “character packet” arrives. Prepare your costume and rehearse your act in advance; there are Best Dressed and Funniest Costume awards, so really committing to the bit is encouraged. Enjoy a creepy-but-sophisticated dinner by candlelight plus the madcap fun of solving a “professionally curated” mystery deep in the White Mountains. Best of all, rates are the same for all room types, so if you snag your spot early, your stay could be suite indeed.