Friday, June 20, 2014

Appearing in issue #25, June 23, 2014

Title: The body on the beach 

By Author:  Kendra Yoder


Tag line:     The detective had to learn the victim’s identify before he could find the culprit!

Police characters:   Detective Clarence Melton

The gist:    A female body is found on Gilligan’s beach, the apparent victim of strangulation. The coroner estimated the time of death to be the night before. The victim’s identity was not known. The woman who found the body was out walking her dog.  She said she saw a blue sports car pulled off the road last night but thought it was teenagers necking.  She did hear a shriek but thought again it was them goofing around.  She got a partial license plate of TMJ.  Very shortly the victim was identified as a local woman from the next town over. The sheriff verified the dog walker’s whereabouts and did not consider her a suspect.  The police department found two cars that matched the description and had a partial tag of TMJ.  The detective told the first guy, a burly, tattooed bouncer, that a woman had been strangled on Gilligan’s Beach.  The man recognized the woman’s photo as a customer at his bar.  When asked if he saw her yesterday at the bar, he claimed he was off work yesterday and out with friends. The second suspect, a twitchy, hollow-cheeked, watery-eyed man was shown a photo of the victim and told she was murdered.  He said he didn’t recognize the woman and added he wasn’t anywhere near Gilligan’s beach. 

Crime scene:    Gilligan’s Beach

Clues:    Only the perp knew where the killing took place.

Suspects:   The two men with the partial plate of TMJ.

Red herrings:     I suppose the burly tattooed guy is a red herring.  I mean as opposed to the little hollow skinny twitchy dude.

Solution:   The second guy gave himself away when he said he hadn’t been anywhere near Gilligan’s Beach, as the detective never mentioned where the murder had taken place.  The woman had refused his advances so he murdered her.

My two cents:    Yawn. 

What a coinkydink that two men in town have little blue sports cars with the same partial plate.

Why the sheriff is blabbing to everyone that the victim was strangled at the beach is anyone’s guess.  It’s a rookie mistake.

What kind of crackpot murders a woman because she doesn’t want to have sex  with him?  And I don’t know why.  He sounds wonderful. I’m thinking there’s a long list of dead women in twitchy’s past.

I’m not sure why we had to have an unknown victim to make this story work.

To like the story, you have to like the characters.  The sheriff is not likeable.  He complains about the beach being a tourist trap, he sourly thinks the murder must have something to do with alcohol, he sighs and winces, and is just overall a tedious guy.

Two stars.  This story was dull, unexciting, lackluster, and lifeless.   Did I mention it was dull?


Chris said...

The crime about this for me was that the victim, 'the 'lead' character, was never named. Poor woman had been snuffed out by Twitchy because she turned him down and yet, out of all the characters in the story, she didn't deserve to have a name. All the time it was 'this woman', or 'the victim'. Even after they'd identified her, all we got was that she was 'a local woman from the next town'. AND??? Her name was? Because we learned absolutely nothing about her, it meant she stayed completely anonymous and I couldn't really care about her one way or the other. I did wonder what the thinking was behind that.

The clue leapt out at me, too - unlike the cop, who had to leave the room before the penny dropped.

Elizabeth said...

Ho hum. I think I've read this story before, with the location and the characters' names changed. Might even have been by the same author.