We’ll admit it took us a little while to

warm up to The Mentalist, airing Tuesdays on CBS, probably because of the

name — it sounds as if we might have to do actual thinking. Couple that with

the fact the lead character is a dude named Jane with a penchant for

three-piece suits, and this had “yawner” written all over it. But now we’ve

seen the error of our ways, and we’re hooked like a grouper on some chum. So

call your friends and neighbors; we’re thinking about throwing a party!


Setting the scene:

Decorate around a crime scene. Hire a local

college student to play the dead body in the middle of the room. It’s almost

always a woman (isn’t that weird?), so have her in a cocktail dress lying on

the floor beside a spilled tray of hors d’oeuvres. There’s a little blood

dripping from her mouth and powdered sugar on her fingers, her Bluetooth earpiece is still blinking, and she’s wearing muddy Wellies as though she just rushed in from the shed out back. She’s

been poisoned, but how? And by whom? Leave clues throughout the rooms where the

party is taking place. For example, a note threatening the victim written in

crayon, photos of the victim in an embrace with someone at

the party, an invoice for rat poison with another guest’s name on it, etc.

Guests can also take part in a trivia game for the show. Questions can be found

on the show’s CBS Web site.



While almost anything is appropriate for a

crime drama, encourage everyone and his mother to wear a vest.


On the menu:

Since our victim was killed during her own

dinner party, serve what she was serving — shrimp cocktail, petite pork loins

served over mashed potatoes in a martini glass, hors d’oeuvres of bruschetta,

sushi and hummus, and for dessert, jelly doughnuts with the jelly spilling out.

(The red helps drive the murder home.)


On the hi-fi:

CBS isn’t exactly breaking new ground when

it comes to the “Internets.” That means the show’s site doesn’t list music that

appeared on the show, so you’ll need to wander into the fan forums to see what

has aired. Some of our favorites include Trouble by Bitter:Sweet and Flood by Jars of Clay.

But we recommend a British group called the Mentalists.


The showstopper:

Local laws may vary, but we recommend filling

your front yard with used police cruisers — lights flashing. You’d be surprised

how many are available for sale at

Posted by:Michael Korb