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.