Friday, April 5, 2013

Title: The drive-by detective
By Author S. Furlong-Bolliger

Appearing in issue 15, April 15,  2013
For sale date:  April 4, 2013

Tag line:  Mrs. Whortle was in the right place at the right time – which was bad news for the tire-slasher!
Police characters: Officer Christine Bell

The gist:  Someone slashed all four times of Nate Spencer’s sports car in the night.  He discovered it the next morning.
Crime scene:  On the street in front of his house.

Clues:  Mrs. Whortle, Nate’s elderly neighbor, had been driving late last night and saw what she perceived to be a man dressed in black running from Nate’s car.  When asked why she thought it was a man she replied “who else could have done this kind of damage?”  As she drove past the ‘man’ she saw that he got into a parked car and she saw the vanity plate in her rear view mirror.  It said HOT.  Nate believes that stood for Harold O’Toole, his partner.
Suspects:  According to Nate there were plenty of people who would slash his tires.  His co-worker Harold O’Toole had been furious that Nate got the promotion and had threatened that he’d get even.  Nate’s ex-wife wanted the car in the divorce and Nate wouldn’t let her have it.  She worked at a successful home brokerage by the name of Topsell Offices and Homes.  Nate also claimed that his brother had lost a bet on a game and was mad about it.

Red herrings:  Nate seemed to have a lot of people who would have a reason to slash his tires.  I don’t know that they are so much red herrings as much as Nate is a bit of a jerk that nobody likes. 
Solution:  That’s it…that’s all you get.  Can you solve it from the above info?  Officer Bell did.

My two cents:  The author did a good job of making the victim an unlikeable character.  That makes it harder to find your suspect.  I was thinking of slashing his tires when he whispered to Officer Bell that his nice elderly neighbor lady, who was trying to help give the officer some valuable information, was a busybody, and then he proceeded to roll his eyes.   
I don’t think tire-slasher as used in the above tag line should have a dash.  WW did that.  Those things are out of the control of the author.  And WW always uses a lot of exclamation points.  Not my favorite thing.  Looks very high school to me, but that is also out of our control.


Tracie B. said...

Was it his ex-wife? The initials for Topsell Offices and Homes would be HOT in the rear view mirror.

Jody E. Lebel said...

Tracie B,

Yes, exactly right. The author put a red herring in by saying it must have been a male dressed in black. The author did a nice job of leading us around.

Thanks for stopping by.