Surprise! It’s a Murder Mystery Birthday Party!

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Surprise! It’s a Murder Mystery Birthday Party!

By Paula Deen

When you’ve had as many birthdays as I’ve been lucky to have, there’s not much more that a woman, a mother, grandmother, wife, or sister can ask for. You see, I’ve been so blessed in life to have such a loving and precious family that, well, I just feel down right guilty asking for anything more. Any opportunity for all of us to sit around the dinner table and cut up and remember the good old days is a time worth celebrating to me. (To this day, I still remember making Bobby his is favorite caramel cake each year for his birthday- a tradition we still uphold.)

Last year, though, my clever Creative Director, Brandon Branch, had other plans for me. He pulled off the biggest surprise birthday party any girl could wish for. If y’all know me like he does, then you ‘re well aware how much I love a good mystery. Flipping through the suspense-filled pages of a novel is one of my favorite pastimes. So with that in mind, Brandon and the rest of my wonderful friends threw a murder mystery dinner party that was to die for! (Pun entirely intended.)

Y’all, I had such a hoot! The best part was that all of the guests were required to dress up as characters of the mystery plot. These weren’t just any run of the mill characters though. Each guest was assigned a character that was just a little bit out of the ordinary. For example, my amazing scheduler and favorite gal from Kentucky, Sarah Meighen, dressed up as a Hollywood actress promoting her newest movie…as a vampire bride! The always hysterical and ever-stylish Senior Food Editor, Libbie Summers, donned a habit and came as a nun, and let me tell you, that sister needed a prayer or two! Y’all, my son Jamie was the butler. He was hysterical! He wore this funny little mustache, and he said it was the perfect role for him, because he could carry his drink on a tray all evening. And finally, my beloved agent and business manager Barry was the murderer. It was such a fun and unforgettable night!

Brandon found the perfect setting for our evening full of mystery. He rented this beautiful villa in historic downtown Savannah from our friend, Robbie Bell. I felt like I was stepping right out of the pages of one of my favorite novels! The wonderful Susan Mason catered the evening, and Brandon ordered my cake from the fabulous Back in the Day Bakery. The food, the guests, the memories- it was all such a fabulous evening, and one that I know I will remember for years to come.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Take a look at some of the hilarious photos from the party. Even though it was a year ago now, I still crack up just lookin’ at them!

imageHere’s Jamie in his butler get-up. He said it was the perfect role for him because he could carry his drink around on that tray all night.
imageMy son Bobby and Senior Food Editor, Libbie. They are such hams!
imageY’all I was so surprised! I have the sweetest friends in the world to think of me in such a special way.
imageHere’s me and Bobby again with my beautiful niece, Corrie. We were starting to really get into the game.
imageEven my agent and business manager, Barry, got in on the fun! I think everyone had just as good a time as I did. What a night!
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Reader Comments:


I have been watching your show for years and Ilove your recipe and I want to say ty for all your greart recipes .

By janiceprescott on December 19, 2013


This party looks much safer than your last one (which was a skaking party). Girls OUR age(even though I am a few months YOUNGER) need to stay on solid ground!

By Bunnie Tatarek on February 26, 2011


I went to Louisville, KY to see Paula and had the very best time. I would have done anything to have meet her in person, but just wasn';t that lucky. My cousin, sister-in-law (twice removed)all took a trip to Savanna just to eat at The Lady and Sons. It was the best meal I think I have ever had.

By Nancy on February 23, 2011


Hi Paula, I am a great fan of yours i wish i had a birthday party with that mush fun smile, u go girl

By alasha on February 07, 2011



By emily on February 05, 2011


Paula ,I have always loved your show and in the recent years it has gotten better and beter . I hope that one day I can see you in person because trutly belive that I am your number one fan . I love you Paula keep up the good work

By glenda wade on February 03, 2011


Happy belated Birthday we really Love your Shows.

By Rich on February 02, 2011


Paula i miss your bir-day party. happy birthday paula!

By keisha williams on February 02, 2011


Paula, missed your birthday, but I know you had a good one. Wishing you many, many more. I watch you religiously, when I'm not teaching school. My whole family and I feel like we are all best friends. Every new recipe that I try, they ask if it's a "Paula Deen" special. You seem like an older sister that I would have loved to have had. Keep it up girl, looks like it's working for you. The Maze Family in Alabama love you and your boys.

By Anonymous on January 25, 2011


Hi Paula, I am a really BIG FAN of yours, I watch you all the time, buy your books whenever I can and talk about you all the time all of my friends say that I am truly a "Paula Deen" fan. I wanted to come and visit your place in Savannah but it has been really cold here in Michigan and I lost my job so I haven't been able to travel BUT! as soon as I can I am going to come. I just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, may GOD bless you and your family in a special way and I hope you have many, many more!

By EY Johnson on January 25, 2011



By bil on January 24, 2011


Happy Belated Birthday Miss Paula. I just can't miss one of your shows but I'd sure like to know how you stay in such great shape? You are so beautiful and such an encouragment. Thank You for blessing me. I admire and Love You. Rachel Keepers

By Rachel Keepers on January 23, 2011


This is a fun,cheap way to enjoy all of your recipes and ideas. Happy Birthday, and many blessings to you and your lovely family. I am from Smithfield, Va. So I absolutely love your commercials for Smithfield Foods. Especially at "The Inn" ( Smithfield Inn of course!) I worked there my senior year in high school. We won't mention when. I can remember a customer asked for a ham sandwich with boiled ham. Naturally I got her a wonderful Smithfield Ham sandwich. *Note: you always boil a Smithfield Ham. Problem: she meant a luncheon meat ham sandwich. I had no idea what the heck she was talking about. I had to go ask the cooks. The only ham I had ever eaten in my short little life had always been a Smithfield Ham. I couldn't believe she wanted that old luncheon meat! You sure can learn a lot about folks as a kid. And as a grown up. Have fun. Patti

By Patti O'Neal on January 22, 2011


Happy Belated Birthday Paula... thank you for being you... I love watching your shows and enjoy your recipes.. Sharon St.P

By sstp3104 on January 21, 2011


Happy late Bithday you darling lady. May all the days of your life be as happy as you can stand it!!! Luv Ya, Penny

By Penny Schroeder on January 21, 2011


Paula please schedule another show in Minnesota. I lived in Atlanta before your show came on, and am to far now. Love your show and family. Kathy

By kflister on January 21, 2011


Happy belated birthday Paula. You make growing older more enjoyable, we can't change it so we might as well enjoy it. I just made your lobster shots for Christmas, everyone really enjoyed them. I try & watch you every chance I get. We did come to see you in AC, NJ. We enjoyed the show but next time I get to see a show we will get closer. My husband & I both love watching your shows. Keep up the great shows & enjoying your family as well. Love & best dihes, Ellen

By ellen on January 21, 2011


Happy Birthday Paula, I just love you, love your shows, love your magazine and just love everything about you....would love to catch one of your cruises one day... By Lisa Whitesel

By Anonymous on January 21, 2011


Happy Late Birthday Paula. I love you, my family and I especially me, we what your shows all the time and I also have one of your books. But anyhow was just wanting to tell you Happy Birthday and to let you know that you inspire me, cause I really love to cook and bake. And we just love you so much. And see I had told my husband hopefully one year on our anniversary, he could take me to savannah to meet you. But anyhow hope you have a Great and God Bless You !!! Love ya

By Mary Kristina McClure on January 21, 2011


Happy Birthday, Paula. We share alot, love to cook and BIRTHDAY DATE. love your show and hope to come to Savannah some day....Happy Birthday..Debbie

By Debbie Pinkston on January 21, 2011

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