Sparkling chandeliers. Red roses. A cool, spring evening. A murder mystery dinner birthday party is underway!

I can think of few people more deserving of a gorgeous birthday party than my dear friend Jean. In some ways, she is my peer and in other ways, I see her as a mother figure. She has a sparkling laugh, a witty personality and a generous with a giving attitude rooted deeply in her faith. Her and her husband Marvin have seen my husband and I, individually, and our family through so much 0f our adult lives!

Okay, sun’s setting. Photographers, what do you do?

Take a portrait!

And what do you do for the hostess with the mostest? You let her host her own party. Yup, you do.

It might not seem right to let the woman who gives her all to everyone throw a milestone birthday, but trust me, friends, no one could’ve gotten it right except Jean herself.  Her lush backyard was decorated with twinkling lights. Tables were decorated with beautiful crystal details and red roses. Personalized labels adorned the most delightful red and white wines. Our delicious dinner was catered by Chef Coreen.

It was all perfectly paired with the night’s entertainment — a murder mystery!

We were told from the start: TRUST NO ONE.

So who did it? The details are complicated, slightly sordid and, honestly, not obvious. BUT, my tablemates and I did win even if we didn’t solve the mystery exactly. And you know it is a good party when there are photos you shouldn’t publish on the internet. I’ll leave it right there.

The evening’s activities ended with a cake that literally stole the, well, cake.  I mean, guys, it is a TEAPOT. With cups! Jean is from England, and nobody wise has ever denied her a cuppa.

After we sung our happy birthdays, Marvin delivered the real surprise. He sang to her. Not once. TWICE!

Her reaction says it all. Happy birthday, Jean. You deserve the best!


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