Hardboiled Mysteries

Since 2019


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Upcoming Events

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Spring Show: Speakeasy Sequel!

Breaking news: April's show is going to be a SEQUEL to Foul Play at the Fizzy Lemon!

Foul Play at the Fizzy Lemon Part II: Walter's Wedding Woes

Actors still needed:

Bartholomew Babineaux - 35-55
Bart is the bartender and manager at The Fizzy Lemon, although he's gotten even more lazy and ornery since Kit Corner took over for Al Fresco, Bart's late brother-in-law. His daughter Babs is getting married today, though, so he should be in good spirits!
Walter Wheat - 21-40
A classy Illinois farmer marrying his lovely mob-adjacent sweetheart.

Shows will be April 9th-11th, 2020. Email hardboiledmysteriesiowa@gmail.com if interested!

Past Mysteries

Foul Play at the Fizzy Lemon

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It's New Year's Eve of 1920, and a new era of chaos is reigning here in the USA. Prohibition has been in full swing since January 17th, and everything considered vice has gone deep underground. Al Fresco, owner of the Fizzy Lemon, doesn't let the law stop Chicago from partying. But everyone has secrets. Can this speakeasy survive the night?

How We Run Our Parties

At Hardboiled, we begin the night with everyone alive and well. You get to know the characters first—everyone has things to do and people to see. Then, once everyone has become acquainted with one another (and gotten a chance to eat), someone gets MURDERED. It's up to the guests to figure out which one of them did it—and yes, it could be you!

Our shows also include theme-specific activities such as casino games and karaoke. You'll have a blast being someone else for a night!

Instructions for guests

  1. Sign up for either a main (named and essential part of the story) character or a supporting (mostly observer/investigative character who may have a name or just a category such as Gangster) character. Buy Tickets Now!
  2. Receive a character description and invitation with instructions in your email. These will be printed again for your arrival. Don't share your description with others.
  3. Check in at the beginning of the party with Babs at the door to receive your exposition objectives, nametag, and story money/coupons.
  4. Talk to EVERYONE to get the full story of what's going on.
  5. After the murder happens, you'll have a second sheet of objectives.
  6. You'll vote when you think you know who the murderer is.
  7. At the end of the night, the solution and awards will be given.

Our Story

Founder Marissa Carson had been throwing murder mysteries and other theme parties for fun over the years and decided one day to make them open to the public. Her goal in creating Hardboiled was to produce fully immersive, solvable mysteries that encourage people to get to know others around them‐except as someone else.

Marissa's 80's prom murder mystery party in August 2019 inspired her to start making thse parties open to the public, and to get a group of writers together to write their own.

The Team

Marissa Carson Owner, Founder, Producer, Head Writer, Web Designer, Costumer, Dessert Baker
Marissa's local theatre involvement has included acting, directing, tech, and costume work. She has also written and produced a short education film called A. S. K. and had short fiction published in The Coe Review. By day, Marissa is a freelance web developer and graphic designer and teaches at Kirkwood Community College. She has three adorable dogs and also runs a small home bakery, Marissa's Homemade Pies.
Jeremy Eble Writer, Formerly Actor (Al Fresco in Foul Play at the Fizzy Lemon)
Jeremy is a lifelong actor who has been writing and directing theater for nearly a decade. He's participated in several murder mysteries over the years and almost never figures out the killer.
Mitchell GraubergerWriter, Formerly Actor (Jack Black in Foul Play at the Fizzy Lemon)
Mitch enjoys being involved in the local art world. He works at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the Grant Wood Studio, and volunteers with various local theatres as an actor, crew member, and recently as an assistant director. This is his first time trying his hand at writing for entertainment, and he's very excited to work with the rest of the team to prepare a fantastic night.
Andrew Huffman Writer
Andrew Huffman is a software developer who loves abstract algebra, Dungeons and Dragons, true crime, and dogs.
Katie JonesActor (Barbara "Babs" Babineaux), Costumer, Writer
Katie hasn't been involved in theatrical pursuits since working in the costume shop in college but has a big personality! She also was the killer at the 80's prom party and the only one to guess correctly was Jeremy. She loves all dogs, soccer, and binge watching British comedies and reality dating shows.
Justeen SchonerActor (Beatrice Babineaux)
Justeen Schoner, resident of Marion, recently graduated summa cum laude from Clarke University with her Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre. She also has an Associate of Arts degree from Kirkwood Community College. Some theatre roles include Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors at Clarke, Fortune Teller in Side Show with Nolte Productions, and Madeline Morton in Inheritors with Starlighters II Theatre. In addition, Justeen recently acted in her first short film, learned how to operate a spotlight with Revival Theatre Company, and finished her first season acting with Nevermoor: The 5th Realm.
Chelsea White Writer
Chelsea is the author of multiple short plays and monologues. "Theodosia" (2018) was featured in the 2018 Underground New Play Festival in Theatre Cedar Rapids' Grandon Studio. Two of her monologues, "Where the Sidewalk Doesn't End" (2019) and "A Million Voices" (2019) have been performed in various staged reading events throughout the United States; Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. She is a frequent costume crew volunteer at Theatre Cedar Rapids and has also done volunteer work for Rich Heritage of Cedar Rapids (RHCR) Theatre Company and Revival Theatre Company. When not doing theatre, she works at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa and pursues her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership degree from Abilene Christian University Online.

Venue & Catering +

Jason AlbertyDirector of General Happiness, Shores Event Center
Shores Event Center Website
Blend-Events Caterer
Blend-Events is the product of chefs Andy Deutmeyer and Vic Kuper (formerly of Blend Restaurant in C.R.) Vic and Andy have been cooking together for the past 18 years. We are dedicated to high quality products and prompt, courteous service. Our aim is not to merely meet expectations but exceed them.

Past Team Members +

Emille LacsaActor (Hold'em Harry in Foul Play at the Fizzy Lemon)
After Emille left theatre behind in 2013, he never thought he'd be in another production again. This year, he returned with roles in Iowa's independent film circuit. He finds some humor in playing a blackjack dealer: four of those six years away were spent dealing in a casino professionally and now he finds himself here. When not in the Corridor, he lives in Burlington with his loving girlfriend Charlie and their Maltese, Lucy.
Tristan Maynard Writer
Tristan Maynard is a local actor and writer (and sometimes director) in eastern Iowa. He typically does comedies, so this event is a big step in a dark direction for him. He still enjoys writing for it though. He also likes dino nuggets.
James TrainorActor (Kit "Dead Guy" Corner in Foul Play at the Fizzy Lemon)
James E. Trainor III graduated from Cornell College with a B.S.S. in Playwriting and has been teaching theater to young people ever since. He currently spends most of his time at home with his daughter Calliope; before that he could be seen in various amateur Shakespeare productions and smaller theatre festivals.
Josh WastaActor (Bartholemew Babineaux in Foul Play at the Fizzy Lemon)
Josh's role as the bartender is his first time acting in over a decade. He was previously a founding member of the Cedar Rapids based "Comics In Action" and is the co-host of the podcast Graphically Novel. He lives in the College District with his wife, Jenn, stepson Alex and two adorable Yorkies named Oliver and Odysseus.

Get Involved

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See our upcoming events and Facebook page for more information on opportunities to participate in our mysteries. Message the page or email us at hardboiledmysteriesiowa@gmail.com to ask any questions.