Ever since I watched Neil Simon's Murder by Death over the weekend, and subsequently wrote about it, my head has been full of murder mysteries. More specifically, those set at the dinner table.

There's just something about a large feast, a collection of quirky characters, and the need to solve a mystery that works wonderfully again and again. It's no wonder there's a whole business dedicated to murder mysteries over dinner. Do those gourmet flavors like Sharks' Fin Soup inspire mental clarity? Or is it just the fact that sitting at a large table makes it harder to flee when hard truth hits? I've no idea, but again and again, the suspects sit and the truth ultimately comes out -- usually with the help of a clever detective like Nick Charles, Hercule Poirot, or a handful of colorful suspects pointing the finger at themselves.

Murder by Death, Ten Little Indians (and its many adaptations), Clue, The Thin Man, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Gosford Park ... you name it! There's food at every turn. They sit; they eat; they detect. But which is the best? Is there any way to really put one above the rest? There are so many great instances that it seems like the most impossible task to choose just one. Myself, I can't pick -- each has its magic, whether it be slurping soup, serving nonexistant soup, or a clever revelation of the killer Charles-style.

But what about you? Which dinner mystery do you think is the most foul pleasing?
categories Cinematical