Friday, February 15, 2013

Title:  Murder to go
By Author Susan Furlong-Bolliger

Appearing in issue #8, February 25, 2013
For sale date: February 14, 2013

Tag line:  Detective Ramos preferred to start her day with a cup of strong coffee, not a crime scene in a diner…

Law enforcement: Det. Sylvia Ramos, Det. Wes Weston
The gist:  Someone stabbed and killed Frank, the owner of Frank’s Diner

Crime scene:  Frank’s Diner
Clues:  Frank was found stabbed in his back in the kitchen of his diner.  Time of death was determined to be around midnight according to the coroner. The murder weapon was a knife pulled from the block of knives in the kitchen.   The waitress, Nancy, found the body when she arrived in the morning.  She stated that she came in at five, keyed in, turned off the alarm, got a pot of coffee going and then went into the back of the kitchen for creamers and found Frank.   She claimed Frank was a nice person and had no enemies but that the diner had not been doing well lately financially.   The dishwasher, Ted, claims he left at eleven last night and Frank was still there doing office work.  Ted claims a homeless guy has been hanging around getting free coffee.  
Suspects:  Nancy the waitress.  Ted the dishwasher.  Some homeless guy.
Red herrings:  Ted threw in the homeless guy. 
Solution:  Since the waitress had turned off the alarm when she arrived only an employee would know to set the alarm when they left last night. Since Frank was dead, that left Ted.  Under questioning Ted confessed that Frank had discovered that Ted had been stealing and confronted him about it.  A fight ensued that ended with Ted stabbing his boss.  Force of habit caused him to lock up and set the alarm.
My two cents:  This stabbing bothered me a little.  When two men start arguing and get into a physical altercation they are facing each other.  When Ted picked up the knife most likely Frank would have been stabbed in the front part of his body, not in the back.  Of course, Frank could have walked away from Ted and Ted took that opportunity to stab him.  Perhaps the solution should have been a little neater.  I also would have like a small clue in the story about the till being light at times.
Det. Ramos kept going on about wanting coffee.  Smelling coffee.  Wanting to pour a cup but not wanting to disturb the crime scene.  At the very last part of the solution Ramos asks Nancy, who is distraught over finding her boss dead (a stabbing is a bloody mess), to get her a cup of coffee.  Seems a bit cold.  And now she doesn’t mind disturbing the crime scene?

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