2018 Murder Mystery

Petit Gourmet Dining Car
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  • Murder Mystery


Starting at $195 per person

A senator, a lieutenant and a grand duchess walk into a bar. Or rather, board a train. Imagine what might happen! Dress in your finest 1915 period costume for an evening filled with drama, intrigue, and mystery. Enjoy three gourmet courses of fine California cuisine. And solve a murder on the side. We hear it goes best with a nice pinot noir.

Offered on Selected Dinner Trains


  • 3-hour journey aboard our vintage train, departing at 6:30 p.m.
  • Multiple course gourmet meal
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre

For Groups of 10 or more submit an request or call 707.251.5210

Package Details

The dress code for the evening is semi-formal or period attire for 1915. Please arrive by 5:45 p.m. as the entertainment begins in the Station before the Train departs. In the spirit of traditional rail seating, parties of two may be seated at a table for four with another party of two.

The Setting
The year is 1915. San Francisco has been reborn from the ashes of the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Under the vision of people such as D.W. Griffith, Mack Sennett and Charlie Chaplin, the silent film industry has taken off and revitalized entertainment. With the advent of a new railway, winemakers have discovered California’s Sonoma and Napa Valley Wine Regions and are building an industry they believe will someday rival the wines of France.

Cast of Characters for the Evening:

Dominic Giannini: Brother to the founder of the Bank of America and moving spirit behind the Napa Valley Wine Train, which publicizes the fledgling Napa Valley wine industry. President of the Board of Directors for the Southern Pacific Railway. Since his wife left him several years ago, Mr. Giannini’s name has not been linked with any one lady, though he is rumored to enjoy the pleasures of the table.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Petrovska Nybom: Born a Russian aristocrat, the Grand Duchess came to California as the wife of Captain Nybom. A retired sea captain, the Captain was the owner and promoter of the Inglenook winery, an active and generous spirit in the history of California agriculture. He died several years ago. They had one child, who is estranged from her mother.

Senator Thurston Desmond III: A jaded and corrupt U.S. Senator who has received campaign contributions from every special interest group who has the money to buy him. He is famous for his ability to stand on both sides of any issue you can mention. He is for and against Prohibition, a possible American entry into the Great War, and so on.

Miss Valerie La Veaux: A moving picture actress whose most recent film is a mystery, “The Bottle Breaks.” She is the Honorary Grand Marshal of the Panama Pacific Exposition, along with Richard Halliburton. She is glamorous, mysterious, and sophisticated.

Lt. Max Hohenberg: A lieutenant in the Royal Navy of Saxony, he is on leave to pursue his interest in the making of wine. For the past year he has been the head winemaker for the Charles Krug Winery and produces a special Mai Wein.


How to Participate

Format: The event will be an experience of “Real Life Theater.” The suspects will appear as “real people” and not on-stage actors and the mystery will occur as “actual events” rather than a performance. You will be in a place where things will happen all around you and you may not be able to see all of the clues. Be aware of your surroundings and feel free to question characters to deduce what really happened.

Solving the Mystery: At the end of this event you will be given a solution card and your team will need to determine a murderer and motive for each victim.

Key things to consider are:

  • Alibis (You may need to eliminate someone with a motive to kill because they weren’t at the scene of the crime.)
  • Means (Someone at the crime scene may not have had access to the murder weapon.)
  • Motive (What can a suspect gain from the death?)
  • Ability to Kill (Someone with motive and means may be unable to kill, being without any tendency to violence or unscrupulousness.)


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Available Dates

Thursdays: September 20

Fridays: October 19

Saturdays: November 17

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Dinner Schedule

5:30 PM - Check in
5:35 PM - Welcome speech
5:50 PM - Let the show begin
6:00 PM - Board the Train
6:30 PM - Train departs
9:30 PM - Train returns