The dining room, decorated with movies and music memorabilia, can seat up to 170 people. Call ahead for reservations.

FORT BENNING, Ga. - Since 1988, Agatha's - A Taste of Mystery has wined and dined its patrons with a flavorful mixture of humor and homicide. Atlanta's original murder mystery dinner theater lets you jump into the action as one of several minor characters offering a clue to whodunit. Play amateur sleuth and guess at the murderer's identity. But be careful: It could be the person sitting next to you - or it could even be you.

The appetizer - Upon entering Agatha's, you'll be greeted by the actors, in character, and, if you choose, given a role to play during the evening. The slip of paper with your lines tells you what act you'll be part of and when to look for your cue. You don't need more than that. Feel free to ham it up, use spontaneous props - silverware comes to mind - or just read it cold. Either way, you're sure to get a round of applause for your performance.

The entrAfAe - After filling your plate with hors d'oeuvre, make your way to your assigned table, surrounded by vintage posters and paraphernalia of silver screen stardom. The dinner bell will ring to alert everyone the show is starting. Settle in for an evening of intrigue. You may find yourself a suspect, a victim or a murderer. Two actors play a variety of roles, leading you from clue to clue till the culprit is unmasked.

The side dish - A hefty serving of burlesque lightens up the mystery. Expect plenty of puns, parodied music and pop culture references to add to the bevy of laughs. If you're lucky enough to see a friend or family member deliver a speaking part, be sure to snap a few pictures. You can't take photos of the actors while they're performing, but it's no holds barred for the audience.

The dessert - For something extra sweet, let Agatha's know if you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or recent wedding. They'll introduce you, under your stage name, of course, and you can share your festivities with both actors and audience.

The service - Between acts, waiters serve three courses: soup, salad and your choice of entrAfAe, including a vegetarian option. Dessert is served after the finale, which may make you feel a bit rushed. The wait staff, however, is very attentive. The cuisine, although not five-star, is tasty. Portions are small, but with so many courses, you're sure to fill up.

The bill - Dinner tickets are $60 Sunday through Friday and $62.50 on Saturdays and holidays. Groups of 20 or more get a discounted rate of $57.50. The price include the meal, show, tip, tax and parking, provided you bring your ticket for validation of a $5 parking fee in the garage attached to Agatha's. Some wine is included, but a cash bar is available as well. For a cheaper rate, Agatha's offers three-course luncheons, requiring a minimum of 40 people, at $47.50 per person.

The wrap-up - Be there at least half an hour before the show starts at 7:30 Monday through Thursday and Saturday, at 8 p.m. Friday and at 6 p.m. Sunday. Attire is casual, but you can also choose to dress in costume as your favorite mystery character or in keeping with the theme of the show. All in all, it's a fun night. If you're looking for an interactive comic experience, with a touch of the macabre, Agatha's is dead on.

For reservations, call 404-584-2255. For more information, call 404-584-2211 or visit Agatha's is located at 161 Peachtree Center Ave., Atlanta.

Chef selections: (shows playing at Agatha's)
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Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16