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Ian Waller and his family turn detectives as part of a brand new family challenge that perfect for half term fun

A terrible crime has been committed and it was up to my 11 year old son, his mum and me to solve it! The only problems were that we weren’t sure what the crime was, who had done it or why, and we only had 45 minutes to solve it. Oh yes, and the only clue was a locked suitcase…

So began The Body In The Suitcase Game, a hugely enjoyable family mystery treat at the always excellent Mary Shelley’s House Of Frankenstein, one of Bath’s best and certainly most entertaining places of interest (you can find it on Gay Street, just a couple of doors up from the Jane Austen Centre…).

We’ve visited the House of Frankenstein on a couple of occasions before, once for museum tour and again for the Escape Room. Both were great fun, the first a perfect way to find out more about the story behind Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein – with some incredible exhibits along the way – the second a fiendishly challenging bit of fun that, yes, OK, beat us, but was still a good laugh.

This time around we were shown to a side room where we were introduced our friendly guide and a rather plain-looking old fashioned small brown suitcase. Everything we needed, our guide explained, was in or on the suitcase, and we have 45 minutes to solve the riddle. And off we went…

Now for the sake of not spoiling the fun, I can’t pass on too many details, but suffice to say, it really was challenging, clever and hugely enjoyable. It’s one of those situations where everyone taking part will bring their own skills to the table, with my 11 year old certainly being an active participant. And just in case we were really struggling, our kindly guide provided the occasional little hint or clue.

Created specifically for the House of Frankenstein by Chris, the creative genius behind the venue, inevitably there is a very slightly gory element to the proceedings, but this is in far more of a fun mode that anything at all scary – certainly nothing that our 11 year old found off-putting or worrying.

Who is the mystery suitable for? I’d say anyone ten plus can take part, with your average family-sized team kind of perfect for the job. Did we succeed? Amazingly, yes… just… with a handy tolling bell helping out by sounding every 15 minutes as the game progresses to keep contestants on track.

As a half term treat for families or indeed a pre-meal out challenge for grown-ups, we can absolutely recommend The Body In The Suitcase Game at the House of Frankenstein. At 45 minutes long, it’s a perfectly timed piece of family fun. And you could always copy our example by following up the fun with a visit to Franco Manca down in Brunel Square for a post mystery lunch. The pizzas are great, the lemonade’s tangy, it’s just a pity about the terrible chocolate brownies!

For more information about The Body In The Suitcase Game and to book tickets, click here