Appearing in issue #1, January 6, 2014
Tag line: Sheriff Jones wasn’t sure if the victim was the only one who would end up taking a fall for this accident!
Police characters: Sheriff Jones and wanna-be crime solver Angela Potts.The gist: The first 73 words talk about Angela dropping in for a visit and Jones eating greasy chicken. (I don’t know how the author gets away with this.)
On with the story: Dispatch announced that Gumbo Harris out at Pinewood Apartments just fell off a house. So Sheriff Jones had to abandon his chicken and give Angela Potts a lift to the scene. They were met by the complex’s developer, Gary, who it was rumored was knee-deep in loan sharking and gambling. “What happened?” the sheriff asked wearily. (Must be tiring eating chicken.) Gary took Potts and Jones up the stairs to the 4th floor in a building under construction. (Old Ms. Potts must be in good shape.) Gary pointed to a closed door and explained that Bud, Gumbo’s cousin and the foreman on the job, was showing Gumbo around. Allegedly (Like that word? It’s not in the story.) Gumbo started wandering and walked out the door Gary was pointing to and fell to his death. The closed door was 40 feet up the side of the structure set in a blank wall. There was nothing on the other side but open air. (Gary didn’t die from the fall, but from the sudden stop. I couldn’t stop myself from typing that.) Gary claimed that nobody went near the door or the area where Gumbo fell. Gumbo owed money to Gary and Gary was unhappy that he’d never see it. Sheriff Jones accused Gary of making an example of Gumbo for the rest of the bums that owed him money. Gary denied it. Sheriff Jones said, “We’ll see. Meanwhile, you’re under arrest for the murder. I think you walked him to the end of that hall and opened the door and pushed him. And I think the lady across the street who happened to be looking out her window is going to make a great eye witness.” Gary still denied it. Sheriff Jones said, “If it wasn’t you, then who was it?” Gary ratted on Bud, saying Gumbo owed him a lot of money, too. Both Gary and Bud were arrested. Jones had made up the eye witness story to get the truth out of Gary.Crime scene: Building under construction.
Clues: The door.Suspects: Gary or Bud.
Red herrings: Gambling debts … maybe … not really sure because the story didn’t say why Bud killed his cousin.Solution: Whoever pushed Gumbo out the door must have closed it. If Gumbo truly fell, the door would have been open.
My two cents: Well, we aren’t starting the new year with a bang…more like a smack. Or a big plop. Like I said we don’t know why Bud killed Gumbo. If he owed him money, he sure wasn’t going to get it now. Maybe Bud was also a ‘businessman’ who might want to make an example out of a non-payer. Maybe there was an insurance policy. Maybe if we didn’t get so many greasy chicken details, a real motive could have been added to the story.We didn’t really need Mrs. Potts in this one. I guess she’s just arm candy here. Or maybe in keeping with the theme of the story -- a scrawny chicken leg.