Title: Scratch that
By Author: B.K. Stevens
Appearing in issue #25 June 23, 2013
For sale date: June 13, 2013
Tag line: A clever friend and a protective kitty helped Evelyn discover exactly who had stolen her money …
Police characters: None.
The gist: Evelyn always kept cash in a candy tin in her bedroom. She knew how much she had in there. When she went to get some cash for church, she found she was missing $350. She was so upset she didn’t go to church. Evelyn had two nephews, Carl and Tom, who were at her house working by the pool and swimming. The one working by the pool, Tom, had on a long-sleeved sweatshirt in the heat. The boys knew about her tin of money, as she had given them money from it in the past. Both boys also knew where she kept her spare key. She suspected one of the boys took the money. Her friend, Liza, stopped by when she didn’t see Evelyn in church. Evelyn’s cat lunged at Liza, hissing at her, when she came to the door. Evelyn scooped up the cat and said “She won’t scratch you. Fluffy is a fierce guard kitty and very protective of me but she’s an excellent judge of character.”
Evelyn didn’t want to accuse the wrong nephew. She had a plan. She invited both boys into the house for a cool drink. She told them that to thank them for their hard work she was going to go upstairs and get them each $100 . Both boys declined the money but Tom urged Carl to hurry up and finish his drink so they could get going. Evelyn knew he was the thief, as he didn’t want her going up and looking into the can and seeing there was money missing.
Liza tried to get Tom to take a swim before they left, stating that he looked hot from working. He declined and both boys left. Evelyn wondered why Liza wanted Tom to take a swim. Liza said to get extra proof.
Crime scene: Evelyn’s house.
Clues: Tom had a long sleeved shirt on. Tom tried to hurry out of the house when Evelyn said she was going to get money from her bedroom for them. The cat.
Suspects: Tom and Carl, the nephews.
Red herrings: None.
Solution: Despite the heat, Tom’s wearing a long-sleeved sweatshirt. He wouldn’t take it off to go swimming because it’s hiding scratches Fluffy dug into his arms when he stole Evelyn’s money.
My two cents: Really? That’s the solution? The cat?
This story was actually solved when we saw Tom get nervous and rush his brother out of the house. Up to this point I had no problems with this story -- until they had to go and involve the cat. Both boys had been in her house before many times. The cat was familiar with them. The cat didn’t lunge at them when they came into the house, and as a matter of fact, didn’t attack them when they came in for lemonade this time. Why on earth would the cat attack and scratch Tom when he went into the money tin? Are we supposed to believe the cat knew he was stealing? I’m speechless.