Monday, July 7, 2014

Appearing in issue #27, July 7, 2014

Title:  Recipe for crime

By Author:  S. Furlong-Bolliger

Tag line:   Would the sheriff be able to sift through the facts and solve the crime?

Police characters:  Sheriff June Clark, Deputy Beau Hicks
The gist:    The Corner Café Bakery had been trashed with most of the damage in the kitchen. Nothing appeared to be stolen, and in fact the cash box was still full and under the counter.  The refrigerator was open and the contents strewn.  The drawers were overturned.  All the shelves, which were floor to ceiling, were emptied.  Sheriff Clark noticed a flour bag had been emptied onto the floor but no footprints were in the mess. The owner came up with the names of three people who might want to harm her business. The first suspect, a short plump woman who was the bakery owner down the street, said the Corner Café had a lousy baker and it didn’t affect her business one bit. She had flour on her apron. The second suspect, a fired employee, a tall lanky male, said he was mad that he got fired but he didn’t trash the place.  The third suspect was the estranged husband, a short balding man, who said his wife was a lousy baker and even worse cook and that she was wasting their money on the bakery.
Sheriff Clark knew who did it.
Crime scene:    Bakery.
Clues:    The flour all over the floor, the tall shelves emptied, the height of each of the suspects.
Suspects:  Competitor bakery owner, fired employee, estranged husband.
Red herrings:    Flour on competitor’s apron.
Solution:  Only the fired employee was tall enough to reach the high shelves.
My two cents:    I think the clue was planted well in this story.  It was hidden in the info of each suspect, something the reader barely pays attention to. 
Of course this works only if it really was the fired employee.  Just because a finger was pointed at him, doesn’t mean he did it because he’s tall.  Could have been random vandals out on a destruction spree and craving a cupcake.
All in all a decent story, paced well, with a not-so-obvious clue.  Even the tag line was clever.  My only complaint is that the word lousy was used twice.  Find a thesaurus.
Four stars.  Who can tell me what crime was committed here?
PS  Speaking of thesauruses here’s a joke:
A truck carrying a load of thesauruses careened off a bridge.  The bystanders were dazed, astonished, dismayed, shocked, startled, speechless and dumbfounded.  
Hee hee.


Tamara said...

I love your joke, Jody. And, I thought this was a clever story with a good, well-placed clue. Guess the crime was vandalism or criminal damage to property?

Chris said...

As a littley, I can still reach stuff on shelves. I use something called a ladder (or a chair, or I stand on an upturned box). I have even been know to use a broom handle to hoik stuff down before now. There's no end to the ingenuity of the small people. Ve haf vays of getting things down.

Nicely done story though and I loved the joke, Jody.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Tamara. Yes, vandalism, property damage over $250, and breaking and entering.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Chris. Good point. It wasn't the best clue as to whodunit, but it was well hidden in the body of the story. I sent in a kitchen murder where when the perp showed up for questioning, although he had gone home and changed clothes and shoes, he had a little smudge of flour in his got rejected.

Tamara said...

Did you show us that one, Jody? It is sounding familiar.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@Tamara -- Yes, I posted that one. I guess I should have made him taller. :)

Tamara said...

ha ha. I left you a message on the romance site under my "Shakespeare & Love" post. Since Kate moved on to a new story, I figure you won't go back and look at it.