Five Real-Life Activities for Fans of Thrillers and Intrigue
by Karen Green
If you are a reader of thrillers, intrigue and suspense novels, then you appreciate the twists, turns and surprises that meet you on every page. The excitement of a fast-paced plot paired with elements of danger, mystery and romance are a buzz to the senses—and a challenge to the mind—as you try to keep up with the action.
But that doesn’t mean the excitement has to dissipate when the book is finally closed—there are now lots of ways to transfer a love of suspense and intrigue novels to activities outside of the library. From the team challenge of escaping from a locked room to solo games for your tablet, here are five ways you can continue to keep the thrills coming while you search for your next great read.
While the origin of this recent activity is a little bit hazy, the fad has seen a worldwide boom with escape rooms now found in cities across the globe. To participate, a team of four to six players is “locked” in a themed room laden with clues that will ultimately lead you to a key that unlocks a door and allows the group to “escape.” Along the way are scores of puzzles and code-breaking challenges, with just enough red herrings to keep everybody guessing. Oh, and if that doesn’t seem difficult enough, there is a strict time limit imposed, and trust me, that time winds down quickly. For an idea of what an escape room is like, check out these amazing adventures at Toronto’s Casa Loma.
If you’re interested in an adrenaline-filled escape room, you’ll love Frozen Memories by Cassie Miles
Sitting comfortably at the intersection of comedy, intrigue and food, mystery dinner theater is enjoying a renaissance. Take a group of friends or have a fun date at these interactive evenings where a mystery must be solved by the time dessert is finished. Actors in various roles mix with guests to advance the evening’s plot and ultimately solve the mystery, giving you a front seat for the hilarious case, as well as a chance to get involved in the action. To see some mystery theater with a Western flair, take a look at Branson Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.
For some Western intrigue, read Fearless Gunfighter (The Kavanaughs) by Joanna Wayne, out now!
A classic night in never goes out of style, and there are now more options than ever for games nights featuring strategy- and mystery-laden board games. You can always start with the classic Clue or try your hand at solving the crime with the Sleuth card game. And if you’re in the market for a great new game, try Mystery of the Abby by masterful game makers, Days of Wonder.
If you like a classic whodunit, you’ll love Fashionably Late (The Ladies Smythe & Westin) by Lisa Q. Mathews
Puzzle Pub Nights
Merging the problem-solving aspects of an escape room with the competitive play of a pub trivia night, puzzle nights are starting to catch on. This exciting social activity even begins with a puzzle that participants have to solve to figure out where in their city puzzle night is being held. From there, the evening consists of puzzles, pints and plenty of excitement as sets are solved and fun is had by all. Check out Puzzled Pint for a pub night near you!
Think you’re a sniper when it comes to achieving your mission? Check out Bullseye: SEAL (Red, White and Built) by Carol Ericson.
Hidden Clue Interactive Games
For some solo intrigue action, there are plenty of options available. From solving crimes to chasing clues and finding hidden objects, these games are often free, well developed and addictive. Available online from gaming sites or as apps for a cell phone or tablet, uber-popular mystery games come in every theme imaginable. Take a look at the Ravenhearst series of hidden object and mystery games available to play online or download today.
For more puzzling adventures, take a look at Liar’s Key (A Sharpe & Donovan Novel) by Carla Neggers.
Have you ever tried any of these intriguing activities? Let us know in the comments!