It was the butler in the pantry with the candlestick. No, it was the cook in the den with the crowbar. If you're looking to add a little intrigue to your next getaway, consider taking part in a murder mystery weekend. The action plays out like a real-life game of "Clue." Prepare to suspend your reality and dive head first into the plot. Perhaps you'll be the wily sleuth, or the conniving murderer. No matter your role, it's sure to be a bloody good time.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Guilty or not guilty? With this mystery, step back to the early 1930s and be part of the jury that decides the culpability of mob boss Leo Pompeii in the murder of his partner. The evidence points to a guilty verdict -- after all, Pompeii slid on similar charges six years earlier.
Keep your eyes and ears open during this entertainment-packed weekend, which includes five-course dinners on Friday and Saturday, full breakfasts Saturday and Sunday, and a Saturday grand luncheon buffet and evening reception.
When you're not busy being a master sleuth, take advantage of complimenta- ry golf green fees (cart fee required) and tee off on The Jewel, or snag discounted ferry tickets and explore some of the Great Lake State.
Oct. 23-25, $859-$1,175/person, $959-$1,275/couple; 286 Grand Ave., Mackinac Island, Michigan, 800-334-7263, grandhotel.com
The French Manor Inn and Spa
South Sterling, Pennsylvania
See here, sonny, you can be on the right or the wrong side of the law at this 1920s-era weekend in the Poconos. So pack your bags and get away to the mountains to take part in the "All Mobbed Up!" murder mystery weekend at The French Manor Inn and Spa this November.
Will you be a mobster or part of the fuzz? Find out in your personal mystery character information two weeks before arrival. You'll get more details at check in and then it's time to enjoy the weekend with a welcome wine and cheese party on Friday night; full country breakfast on Saturday, as well as a cocktail party and gourmet dinner Saturday night; and round out the weekend with an awards breakfast Sunday morning.
In your down time, book a treatment at Le Spa Foret or explore the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside.
Nov. 13-15, $359-$495/person; 50 Huntingdon Drive, South Sterling, Pennsylvania, 877-720-6090, thefrenchmanor.com
Newport, Rhode Island
Whether you're looking for a jazz age thrill, want to partake in a murderous seance or feel like stepping back into a crime-riddled Victorian era, the Murder Mystery Weekends at the Architects Inn offer a variety of options for your role-playing pleasure.
Situated in the heart of Newport, the bed-and-breakfast -- itself a historic home designed and once occupied by famous Newport architect George Champlin Mason -- hosts several themed Murder Mystery Weekends presented by the Marley Bridges Theater Company throughout the fall and winter.
Take some time to also explore the city and check out the largest collection of Colonial Era architecture in the country, the National Museum of American Illustration or hit the shops in Downtown Newport.
Included in your weekend stay are character profiles based on your personality provided pre-arrival, a dessert reception on Friday, full breakfast on Saturday, dinner at the inn on Saturday night where the plot thickens, and an awards breakfast on Sunday morning. Just keep in mind: You may need to be flexible with your dates as some weekends may be rescheduled due to a lack of enough guests.
Now through Feb. 7, 2016, prices vary; 2 Sunnyside Place, Newport, Rhode Island, 401-845-2547, architectsinn.com
The Henry Sawyer Inn
Cape May, New Jersey
Enjoy some murderous mayhem in Cape May, presented by the East Lynne Theater Company, as experienced retired Philly police detective Frank Smith offers his honed sleuth skills to the action and provides you with enough info to get your gears turning.
Packages include Friday night appetizers at the inn, dinner at a Cape May restaurant, breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and a dessert reception Saturday evening.
It may be the off-season for the beautiful shore city, but there's still plenty to explore amid one of the country's largest collections of 19th-century framed buildings.
Various weekends from Nov. 13 through April 9, 2016, deluxe room $439/couple plus tax; 722 Columbia Ave., Cape May, New Jersey, 609-884-5667, henrysawyerinn.com
Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Fancy yourself a Hercule Poirot? Or perhaps you're more the Jessica Fletcher type. Whatever your investigative inspiration, this murder mystery weekend is sure to bring out your master sleuth skills.
Presented by Muster Mystery Weekend, "An Island Getaway That's Murder" includes a welcome gift, a Friday evening reception with open bar and a heavy hors d'oeuvres dinner, a group breakfast buffet and lunch on Saturday, dinner Saturday evening and a closing breakfast on Sunday where you'll demonstrate those case-solving skills by turning in your take on whodunit.
And while you're working out your theory, enjoy the history and nature of the island. Take a horse-drawn carriage and beach tour, explore the historic district, play a round of mini-golf or just sit back and relax on the gorgeous grounds.
Aug. 19-21, 2016, $695/single, $995/double;371 Riverview Drive, Jekyll Island, Georgia, 855-535-9547, jekyllclub.com