Friday, March 15, 2013

Title: Revenge at the gym
By Author Kendra Yoder

Appearing in issue #12, March 25,  2013
For sale date: March 21, 2013

Tag line:  It Turned out that someone’s workout was a real killer!
Police characters: Sheriff Mark Peters, his partner Officer Allie Cooper

The gist:  Someone bludgeoned the victim on the back of the head with a 10-pound dumbbell.  She was found dead in the locker room by the front desk clerk, Gina.  Vanessa, the victim, worked out every day between 4:15 and 4:45 AM. Gina told police that she didn’t know her personally but that Vanessa had a reputation with the men.

Crime scene: The BodySlim Gym
Clues:  The gym opens at 4:00 AM.  Police were called at 4:43 AM and arrived at 5:04 AM.  The victim checked in at 4:33 AM and was found dead at 4:43 in the locker room by the front desk clerk, who had immediately called the police.  As she was killed in the locker room 10 minutes after she checked in, Officer Cooper thought someone must have been waiting for her.

Only two other people logged in at the gym: Dixie, who was in the weight area lifting dumbbells, arrived at 4:15 AM; and Chelsea who was in the swimming pool.  Dixie told police that she had found Vanessa fooling around with her husband and she had nothing good to say about the woman, but she didn’t kill her. Chelsea reported that she had been swimming laps in the pool since the gym opened at 4:00 AM and told police that Vanessa had been a bridesmaid in her wedding.  Officer Allie Cooper enviously made a note of Chelsea’s great swimmer’s body, smooth skin and perfect manicure and pedicure.
Suspects:  Gina the front desk clerk, Chelsea who had had the victim in her wedding party, or Dixie who found her husband cheating on her with the victim.

Red herrings:  Dixie used dumbbells.  The victim had fooled around with Dixie’s husband. 
Solution: Chelsea.  She said she’d been swimming laps since 4:00 AM but her hands and feet were not wrinkly from her alleged 45-minute swim.  Come to find out victim Vanessa had been fooling around with Chelsea’s husband, too.

My two cents: Since all the evidence points towards Dixie you almost know she didn’t do it.  But this was a solid story.  It does take about 30 minutes to start pruning in water.  If Chelsea had thought it through and realized she needed to have wrinkled fingers, she could have swum for a bit first and then go and wait in the locker room as Vanessa usually arrived by 4:15 AM.  In that event she might have left a water drop trail along the way though.  At that time of day it was very quiet at the gym but she did take a chance that the front desk clerk wouldn’t go check the pool area, as she had the locker room area where she found the body.  If it hadn’t been for Officer Cooper being a bit jealous of her, Chelsea might have gotten away with it. This was a decent story where the author had all her ducks in a row.

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