For nearly 30 years, family friendly role-playing mystery games have been our parents’ brain child. Monte was a retired banker (Note: lots of our games have bankers in them, usually unscrupulous!) and for many years Barbara was a stay at home mom. They lived in the Pacific Northwest near many of their 10 children (and their families) who seemed to have acquired Monte’s same quirky sense of humor and their parent’s creative flair.
Prior to starting their own business and writing their own mystery games, Monte and Barbara attended mystery parties with store-bought games; however, they often spoke of how uncomfortable those mystery parties could be. They discovered risqué themes and questionable characters. Mom often said, “It wasn’t unusual for my character to be having an affair with another of the characters in the party, and dad would have the same problem.” With their discomfort in mind, they set out to write mystery games with the goal of having fun with a group of friends in a wholesome way. Thus, in 1988, Whodunnit Mysteries was born.
Along their creative journey Monte and Barbara found madness, mayhem, and a whole lot of quirky, yet wholesome fun! Throughout the years they wrote nearly 20 different themed mystery games: Civil War era mystery games, disability themed mystery games, Colonial themed mystery games, masquerade party games, all girls mystery parties, all boys whodunnit games, science fiction mystery parties, a newspaper themed mystery party, a dog-lover mystery game, and so much more! (Check out our games list HERE) Mom and dad wrote, tested and hosted G-Rated whodunnit mystery parties out of their home for several years. Monte and Barbara found they enjoyed playing their own games so did their friends – so much so that friends would ask to be included in the mystery parties over and over again.
Each mystery game was tested and tweaked several times as their growing circle of friends eagerly assisted with the testing process. They figured the mystery games were becoming popular when acquaintances began asking if they could come to the parties and even the grocery store checkout clerk at the grocery store commented on the games. Soon, the requests came from people who wanted to host their own parties.
Just five years after beginning, Whodunnit Mystery Games was official and the first game was sold on the Internet. Whodunnit Mystery Games now sells games worldwide, and they enjoy talking to many of their customers about the mystery parties they’ve thrown.
Popular with family reunions, team building exercises, church youth groups, bed and breakfasts, wedding parties (don’t ask!), and just fun get-togethers, Whodunnit Mystery Games’ popularity has continued to grow. Over the years Whodunnit has created their very popular all girl and teen mystery party games, specifically tailored for slumber parties, teen youth groups and any groups of teens who want to get together and have some fun – and parents who want the peace of mind their teen is playing an age-appropriate game.
As our games list has expanded, and to ensure the specific needs of our customers is met, complimentary websites have been created — Family Mystery Games.com. Both sites are still part of the Whodunnit Mystery Game family, each site is better tailored to serve the needs of families.
In 2011, Barbara lost her battle to Pancreatic Cancer, and 11 months later Monte left this earth to return to his wife, the love of his life. Now more than 20 years after their vision began, Monte and Barbara’s legacy lives on with several of their children active in the family-run business.
Now you can see the work of many children in many aspects of the company – from design, to web development, to optimization, and even a little bit of creative writing! Each of their talents are a result of the love and creativity they learned from their beloved parents and are an attempt at letting their parents’ legacy live on in their absence.
We often imagine our parents sitting up in heaven and giggling wickedly as they hear us talk of Whodunnit and all that running a business and keeping a legacy going entails. We also hope they are proud of what we’ve done with their life’s work by continuing to offer wholesome recreation for other families just like they did for their 10 children, 30+ grandchildren and 5+ great-grandchildren.
So what does the future hold? Who knows? Ask us in a few years and maybe we’ll have an idea. Until then, we’ll look for you at one of our parties.
The Cady Kids