Writing for Woman's World Magazine and others. Half critique. Half blog. Half not so hot with math.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Appearing in issue #11, March 17, 2014
Murder is a black tie affair
Author: Michael D’Angona
Tag line:The detective knew she had to get the
dirt on all the guests at the fancy party…
Police characters: Detective Kara Peterson.(WW loves female detectives)
The gist:Austin Fairbanks was at his 70th
birthday party at the lavish Billington Club.He left the festivities to have a cigar in the smoking room. A half hour
later he was found dead, an apparent poisoning.
Kara spoke to Austin’s daughter, Margot who was standing with her husband
looking distraught.Margot was the last
person to see her father alive.Margot
was stunning, as only the truly wealthy can be, and was perfectly flawless in a
white satin gown.She told Det. Kara
that just before the party was going to toast the birthday boy, Austin decided
to have a cigar.After a short time had
passed, Margot sent her husband to bring him back.Austin wasn’t done with his cigar and
remained in the smoking room. After another 15 minutes Margot went to fetch him
and found him standing with his back to the window, clutching the wine glass
with one hand, cigar in the other hand, looking a bit odd.His eyes were wide and he was trembling. She
rushed to him and he collapsed on her sending them both to the floor knocking
over a table and smashing his glass.She
noted it was a miracle they weren’t sliced up.She reported that Austin muttered one word before he died…Terri.
Terri is one
of Austin’s grandchildren and somewhat of a black sheep in the family.Austin had a soft spot for her nonetheless
and wouldn’t take her out of his will as everyone suggested. Terri told the police she was at the bar
getting her granddad a glass of merlot when Margot came running out yelling to
call an ambulance.Terri added that most
of the relatives were just greedy vultures and all wanted a piece of the
fortune, but couldn’t get one cent until Austin died.Terri admitted she knew she was in the will,
and that her boyfriend also knew.
Kara had a suspect.
Crime scene:Billington Club, a prestigious club
that caters to the rich.
Clues:Wine.Will.Muttering the name
Terri.White satin gown. Terri was
getting wine for her granddad.Terri’s
boyfriend knew about the money.
Suspects: Margot, her husband, Terri, Terri’s boyfriend.
Red herrings: Granddad muttering the name Terri.Terri’s boyfriend, who wasn’t at the
party.Or was he?
Solution: All had motive (the money) but Margot’s story
was not believable. If her dad had fallen on her and they both crashed to the
ground breaking the glass, her white satin gown should have some red wine on
it.Her husband poisoned Austin when he
went in the first time.Margot lied
about her father uttering the name Terri to throw suspicion on the
My two cents:I have to say I’m pretty impressed
with this author.There were a couple of
red herrings, he buried the clue early on, and the whole thing flowed along
seamlessly.I didn’t find any police
procedural issues. The story was written in first person, which worked for this
So here we
have two killers, Margot and her husband.The husband did the dirty deed and Margot planted false evidence. Terri
didn’t even know her granddad had his favorite wine and was getting him a glass
when the murder took place, which took her out of the picture for me.I was a little suspicious of her boyfriend,
but he wasn’t in the story enough to be really considered.I was pretty sure Margot’s husband did
it.So much so that I didn’t even think
about Margot being involved. That was a nice twist.
‘Stepped off the page of a fashion magazine’
is clichéd, but I know what the author was trying to do there; cement the
flawless image in our minds, so I’ll forgive him. This time.
I can’t find
any reason not to give this story 5 stars.