Friday, October 10, 2014

Appearing in issue #41, October 13, 2014

Title:  Truth in the details

By Author:  Clare Mishica

Tag line:     Detective Landon wouldn’t give up until he’d wrapped up the case…

Police characters:   Detective Judd Landon

The gist:    A real estate magnate was found dead in her study by her longtime housekeeper Ellen.  Ellen had arrived at nine. It was the victim’s habit to get up early and to out to get a newspaper.  Ellen told police that the victim never locked her door when she was in the house. The victim had been strangled with a lamp cord.   Det. Landon photographed the scene and noticed a mug of cold coffee and a plate with a half eaten piece of toast nearby. The victim’s chair had been overturned and her desk ransacked.  Stacks of business files littered the floor. When Ellen was questioned she told the detective that everyone loved the victim except her two nephews, her only heirs.  Nephew #1 wanted his aunt to sell him some of her land but she wanted to donate it to charity.  Nephew #2 managed her business affairs.  She added that #2 was bossy and inconsiderate and that no one in town liked him.

When questioned Nephew #1 seemed upset.  He claimed he loved his aunt and that she had given him some great business advice.  He admitted he did want to buy her land, but said she wasn’t agreeable to it. He said he had spoken to her this morning and at the time she had told him she was making coffee.  He asked how his aunt had died and if anything was missing.

Nephew #2, when he was told his aunt had been strangled, tried to be very helpful to the police and gave them names of two people that were angry at a settlement she had just won.  When told someone had rifled through her files, Nephew #2 asked if any fingerprints had been found on the papers or the cord. 

Det. Landon had his man.

Crime scene:    The victim’s house.

Clues:    Only the murderer would know about the murder weapon.

Suspects:  The two nephews.

Red herrings:    Absolutely none.

Solution:  Nephew #2 gave himself away with the cord comment.  He had been stealing money from his aunt’s business and when confronted, he strangled her and stole incriminating files.

My two cents:    ((zzzzzzz))  Oh, excuse me.  I dozed off there for a moment.

So here we only have two suspects because there is nothing, nothing, to implicate the housekeeper.  One of them gave himself away.  The end.

I’ve said this before, the police don’t give details to people they are questioning.  When asked How did she die? the detective would have responded We believe foul play was involved.

The tag line doesn’t fit the story.  He wouldn’t give up?  He only had two suspects for Pete’s sake.  He was on that faster than a zombie that smells brains.

The housekeeper said everyone loved the victim but the two nephews were a different story…and then the author goes on to paint Nephew #1 as a genuine, caring relative.  Yeah, I know, Ted Bundy was a charmer.  But this flip/flop didn’t work for me.  

The guilty nephew was interviewed second in this story.  Right before the detective said he knew who the murderer was.  This author didn’t even try to bury the clue, nor was she clever about it. Poor pacing IMO.

“She added that #2 was bossy and inconsiderate and that no one in town liked him.”   The author didn’t even try to trick us or twist this story.  The guy that nobody likes is the killer?  Whaaat?  Get out of town!

One star for this snooze fest.  Why?  Because it wasn’t awful, but it was trite, tiresome, unimaginative, boring and dull.  Okay…it was pretty awful.


Elizabeth said...

The story gave me the feeling of deja vu. I think I've read it in Woman's World three or four times already!

bettye griffin said...

I wasn't impressed with this one, either...

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Elizabeth. It seems to be a not so new twist on an old sad story. Geez, you'd think they'd get better, not worse.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Bettye. Yeah, there wasn't much to sink you teeth into here. This author has produced far better stories. Who knows, this could be the victim of the dreaded red pencil. In that case, the WW editors should know better. I wonder if they have Beta readers throwing opinions at them? Naw. I don't think they bother, or this wouldn't have made the cut.

Victoria said...

I don't buy Women's World Mag but I've read all your blog posts in the past 3 days(and most of the comments). Its better than a good book. Couldn't stop reading!
I have to say that I'm glad my sister does not have any children. If Women's World Mag is to be believed then nephews are the #1 killers in the country. LOL
Actually I did buy the WW today just to see the mini-mystery. All because of your blog. You are bring WW extra revenue and they should seriously pay you for the online advertising!

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Victoria. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you got a laugh or two. WW makes it so easy for me to slice and dice their stories. But I don't think they're big fans of my blog...they've never sent me as much as a 50% off coupon, never mind paying me. Take care and keep reading. :)

Victoria said...

Jody, there has to be a way for you to earn an income from this blog. Maybe it needs to reach the "tipping point", or maybe you can look at some advertising?
You are a very clever narrator with a terrific sense of humour! Sometimes wicked sense of humour :)
You totally deserve compensation considering the effort and energy you put into this blog.