Friday, March 1, 2013

Title: In other words
By Author John M. Floyd

Appearing in issue #10, March 11, 2013
For sale date:  March 8, 2013

Tag line:   No one had to tell Angela Potts how to spell “murder”.
Police characters:  Sheriff Jones.  Angela Potts, Jones’ old school teacher turned amateur crime fighter.

The gist:  Senator Hill was found stabbed to death in the study of his mansion. Senator Hill was a mystery buff and had books lining the walls of his study.   A Scrabble board was on the desk, and letter tiles were scattered as he fell out of his chair to the floor where he succumbed to his injuries.  His private nurse of many years was distraught. They had been playing the game when the senator got a craving for peanuts and had sent her to the all-night store.  When she returned he was dead.  The only clue was Scrabble tiles spelling out niece did it.  Senator Hill had two unmarried nieces that lived with him and both would become heirs; Edith Hill and Mary Brooks.  
Crime scene:  Senator Hill’s study.

Clues:   Senator Hill was able to access the tiles on his rack only as he lay dying.  He had the letters in the message he wrote along with two Us, an H, a W and two Ps. 
Suspects:  Nurse Larkin and the two nieces.

Red herrings:  It was suggested that one niece may have committed the crime then left the message to frame the other niece.
Solution:  The senator had the correct letters to spell out Edith if he needed to.  What he didn’t have were the tiles to spell either Mary or Brooks, the killer.

My two cents:  This story was just delightful, right out of a Clue movie.  The niece did it in the study with a knife. Usually I don’t care for the long setup this author uses, feeling it wastes precious words that could be better used to amp up the crime, but in this case I found the intro charming.  It helped us understand the personalities of the two characters in an amusing way.  I found it funny that usually Mrs. Potts bugs the heck out of Sheriff Jones because she almost always solves the crime before he does, but in this case he came and woke her up at 11:40 at night to go with him to the murder scene.  And Mrs. Potts had some pretty good lines.   Their relationship is evolving. 
This story worked on all levels.  It was entertaining, the pacing was good, and Mrs. Potts solved the crime again…lol.  I couldn’t find even one thing to pick on.   And you know I looked.

1 comment:

Jody E. Lebel said...

Left on my personal e-mail from John:

"Thank you, Jody! Sure glad to hear you liked this one.

Best to you and yours--Hope you have a great weekend.