Sunday, June 29, 2014

Appearing in issue #28, July 14, 2014

Title:  A kernel of untruth

By Author:  Adrian Ludens


Tag line:    Sara Miller was determined to find the missing money!

Police characters:   None.

The gist:    Sara returns home from work to find her three kids, aged 6, 9 and 12, just finishing up a movie she had rented.  The babysitter said the kids were fine and she’d be glad to return the CD on her way home.  Sara turned to the fridge to get the four $5 bills she had placed there to pay the sitter and discovered the money was missing.  She asked her children if they had seen the $20 and who might have taken it.  The two younger kids verbally said they didn’t take it but the older son just shrugged.  Everyone was in the kitchen alone at some point during the movie making popcorn, getting drinks, or cleaning up. The sitter claimed she never even saw money on the fridge. Sara asked the sitter to turn out her pockets, which she did.  A $5 bill was in there along with her lip gloss.  The older son pointed that out but the sitter told him “I had that money when I got here.  It’s not one of the fives from the fridge, so chill.” The babysitter offered to just take $10 for the sitting job and Sara thought that was nice of her.  Then Sara decided to return the movie to the rental store herself. 

How did Sara know the money was in the CD case?

Crime scene:    Sara’s home.

Clues:    Only the thief knew the denominations of the $20.

Suspects:  The story suggests it might be the older son or the babysitter.

Red herrings:    The older son didn’t answer his mother when asked about the money, he just shrugged, making him look a bit guilty.

Solution: The babysitter took the money when she went to make popcorn and then hid it in the CD case when the kids all ran to greet their mom. She gave herself away by saying her $5 bill wasn’t one of the ones on the fridge when she claimed she never saw the money.

My two cents:    Next time the sitter will stick the money in her bra and be more careful what she says.  That is, if anyone will hire her now that she’s ruined her reputation.  She committed babysitter job suicide. And she only got $10 for the gig.  Heh heh.

I have to give this story 5 stars.  I could find nothing wrong with it.  It was written well, flowed along, and the author created good characters. It did use a standard, tired, and unoriginal formula, but don't they all?

The title fit.  I wish WW had used a more creative tag line.  Any suggestions?


Chris said...

I enjoyed this one. It jogged along nicely and felt like a 'normal' story rather than the set up for a mini-mystery. Even though the solution was obvious I forgave it because I'd enjoyed the journey. So unusual to see kids in the line up of a m-m.

Jody E. Lebel said...

Also no one died. A very nice change yet still a mystery. I wonder if author Adrian is a male?

Mary Ann said...

I picked up on the clue right away, but all in all, I thought it was a clever diversion from the usual dead body mysteries.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Mary Ann...the kids were cute. I was about to say I don't know anyone who gets their videos at a video store any more, but then I remembered Red Box.

Jody E. Lebel said...

Oops...I haven't been getting my WW in the mail on a regular schedule because of the move. I just realized I have the wrong date on this story. I'll change it and do the correct story next week.

Mary Jo said...

Well, darn. Now she's going to have to get another baby sitter.