Friday, March 22, 2013

Title: Just the right size
By Author Dede Hammond

Appearing in issue #13, April 1, 2013
For sale date: March 21, 2013

Tag line:  Daisy picked up on an important clue that everyone else seemed to have missed.
Police/characters: Chief of Detectives David Glenroy.  His sister Daisy.

The gist:  Daisy sees her brother, the detective, going into her neighbor’s house.  Then she sees the neighbor’s very tall business partner and very short nephew both enter the house.  She goes over to snoop and learns that the neighbor has been murdered.  Both men are bickering about how the other could have done it.  All three were at a lodge meeting the night before all wearing the maroon lodge jacket.  The business partner drove the victim, Mitchell, home, dropped him off and said he didn’t even come in.   He has no alibi for the rest of the night, saying he was home alone. There was a problem with an audit at work that the nephew threw in the business partner’s face.  The business partner noted that now that the uncle is dead, the nephew will inherit all his property.  He added that the uncle has had to bail the nephew out from gambling debts.  There is a maroon lodge jacket that had slipped to the floor.  Daisy picked it up and placed it on the back of a chair.  She noticed the hem dragging on the floor.
Crime scene:  The victim’s home.

Clues:  There was no sign of forced entry.  The victim knew his assailant.  The maroon jacket was large enough to hang to the floor.
Suspects:  The business partner or the nephew.

Red herrings: Trouble with the audit and gambling debts.  The business partner did make a good argument that if he had killed Mitchell he certainly would have a better alibi in place. 

Solution: Daisy realized the maroon jacket was too big for the neighbor and must belong to the business partner.  Turns out the business partner did come in last night and following a heated argument about the shady accounting he killed Mitchell.  In his haste to leave he grabbed the wrong maroon jacket.

My two cents:  Well, it all works.  Notice this author didn’t tell us how he was killed.  We don’t have any mention of a body, yet they are in the house where the murder took place.  This is a “cozy” murder. No gruesome details, no blood splatter, no knife sticking out of somebody.  The author portrayed the nephew as being a nasty little thing.  You almost wish he had done it.  That was a type of red herring as she was leading you to dislike one of the characters.

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