Saturday, March 30, 2013

Title: Swan Song
By Author Kendra Yoder

Appearing in issue #14, April 8, 2013
For sale date: March 29, 2013

Tag line: A scene-of-the-crime-investigation revealed an open-and-shut case!
Police characters: Officer Phil Perkins and his partner Officer Wendy Kerr

The gist:  Ricky, a musician, is shot to death in his home garage where the band rehearses.  The coroner believed the victim was sitting on a folding chair, was shot by a known person, and slumped to the floor dead.  The makeshift practice area in the garage looked like this: catty-corner from the chair was a music stand with a song book, on the floor beside that was an open guitar case holding an electric guitar, and in the opposite corner stood a set of drums.
Crime scene:  In the garage with the garage door open.

Clues: Ricky knew his assailant.  When questioned Ricky’s wife stated she was in the kitchen making lunch when halfway through a song she heard a bang.  Officer Perkins told his partner that the wife was lying.
Suspects: Ricky fired Bo, the lead singer, last weekend. Bo was a bad influence, always staying out late and drinking. Bo was furious and called Ricky a dead man before he stalked off stage.  Ricky’s agent had just been accused of skimming money and they argued yesterday.

Red herrings:  The fight with the lead singer and the fight with the agent.  Both were orchestrated to throw you off the wife’s track.
Solution: The wife said she could hear Ricky practicing his guitar when he was shot, yet his guitar was still in the case.  The wife was tired of her husband’s drinking and carousing so she decided to end her marriage the quick way and try to frame one of the men.

My two cents:  It is possible for someone to enter through the garage door opening, wave to Ricky to stop playing, Ricky puts down the guitar (most musicians are careful with their expensive equipment and lay it in the case when not in use) , and when he looks back up he immediately gets shot.  I think the wife’s statement should have been written better.  “Halfway through a song and she heard a bang” is not clear enough for the officer to think she was lying.  Also Bo stating that Ricky was a ‘dead man’ was a bit of a forced clue by the author.  I don’t know that much about the music world, but do ‘garage bands’ even have agents?


Anonymous said...


Are you going to critique the recent WW story about the jacket that slips off a chair and thus leads to the killer? I didn't think that was a very believable clue.


Sharon C.

Jody E. Lebel said...

I don't get my WW until Fridays in this area. (sometimes Saturday) I will indeed be slicing and dicing that story. Thanks for stopping by.