Title: Mrs. Wentworth’s whereabouts
By Author: Michael D’Angona
Tag line: The detective thought it would be easy to lose your way in the sprawling mansion…
Police characters: Detective Sabrina Jenkins
The gist: Ella Wentworth, the wife of millionaire Gregory Wentworth, had been taken from her bedroom in broad daylight by three intruders. Detective Jenkins wondered about where the staff was when this happened, and what kind of security system Mr. W had. From the limited information she had before she reached the mansion, to her it looked like an inside job.
The chef had called in the crime. Det. Jenkins spoke to the butler who told her the chef had informed him at around 1:00 PM that he’d called the police and that Mrs. W was in danger. The butler said he headed towards her bedroom with the chef in tow. They found the sliding glass doors smashed. From the window they could see Mrs. W being thrown in the back of a van and then the van sped off. The mansion was huge with twelve bedrooms and dozens of other various rooms. The butler coughed as he was speaking to the detective and then continue to say he had been on duty since breakfast but he was available to Mrs. W around the clock. He said the chef was working in the kitchen and the gardener was outside. When questioned about how he knew Mrs. W was in her bedroom, he explained that he had seen her walk that way right before the chef raised the alarm.
Det. Jenkins thought it odd that the kidnappers knew where Mrs. W was.
Next she spoke to the chef who said he had been preparing lunch and was just about to bring it to Mrs. W. He said as the house is so large he usually used the intercom to see where Mrs. W was located, but today as he pressed the button to speak to her he heard screaming and banging noises and the sound of glass breaking. He said he called for the butler and they rushed to her room. He said the van she was thrown into looked similar to the one the gardener used.
The gardener told the detective he was behind the house fixing the sprinkler system. He said he didn’t see or hear anything. He said his van was parked by the shed where it always was.
Det. Jenkins knew who to arrest.
Crime scene: The Wentworth mansion.
Clues: The sequence of events heard on the intercom. The kidnappers knew where she was.
Suspects: The butler, the chef, and the gardener. Or three other thugs.
Red herrings: The coughing butler?
Solution: The chef did call Mrs. W a short time before lunch to see where she was; then he told the kidnappers where to go. An intercom only allows a one-way communication. He couldn’t have heard all that he claimed to hear.
My two cents: I so wanted to say the butler did it.
You don’t waste words when you’ve only got 700, yet the author has the butler coughing for no reason. That is just curious to me. I was waiting to hear that he was allergic to something. Maybe the carpet in the van or something.
The intercom thing was good. If the chef hadn’t said he heard the glass breaking I might have read right by that clue.
Det. Jenkins was right though, what about the security cameras? Did they capture the van’s plate? That was never mentioned again. And where is Crime Scene? No ransom note? Where’s her husband? Supposedly a woman was just brutally grabbed from her home a few hours ago and forced into a van and we’ve got one little ole detective doing interviews. I’m not sure why she thought it was an inside job before she got the details. I would have cut that.
Also missing… what’s the motive? Okay, her husband is rich. But who needs/wants the money and why?
This story lacked emotion, it lacked depth. It read like a page out of a phone book. It was listless, it had no energy, but it did have lots of missing details that would have enriched the tale.
((cough)) Excuse me. I must be allergic to dull.