Friday, May 15, 2015

Appearing in issue #19, May 11, 2015

Title:  Double-crossed!

By Author:  Marianna Heusler


Tag line:     The wealthy murder victim raised a question for the police: Who benefitted from this death?

Police characters:   Detective Lola Wheeler, Detective Kevin McCarthy.

The gist:    A rich man was found dead by the reservoir, shot in the heart.  His wallet was missing but he still had an expensive ring on.  No blood was found at the scene.  Rich man’s fortune was willed, half to his only living relative, his niece, and half to his housekeeper.   The niece, a petite woman in her 50s, is heavily in debt and furious that the housekeeper is involved, and talking about contesting the will.  She claimed the housekeeper only started working for her uncle six months ago.  The detectives do not suspect the niece right away, although she had motive, because the body was moved and they don’t feel she could have done it herself.  When the detectives visited her home, the niece said she phoned her uncle weekly. She wiped tears and said she couldn’t believe he was dead, and couldn’t believe that he was the victim of a random robbery. She suggested the police question the housekeeper.  

The detectives found the housekeeper to be a plump, middle-aged woman with rosy cheeks. They allowed the niece to accompany then for the interview as the niece said she had never met the housekeeper and wondered if she was a floozy. The housekeeper had just baked a pie and invited everyone in for coffee and pie.  She asked the cops what they took in their coffee and she handed the niece the creamer. She said she was shocked to learn she was in the will.  On the night he was killed the housekeeper said she left early because she wasn’t feeling well.  Rich man was about to take his evening run and was in his running clothes when she left.

Det. Wheeler figured it out.

Crime scene:    Down by the reservoir. 

Clues:    The niece said her uncle was the victim of a random robbery, yet the cops never said anything about a missing wallet.  The housekeeper handed the niece cream for her coffee, yet the two supposedly have never met.

Suspects:   The niece and the housekeeper.

Red herrings:    None.

Solution:  The two woman worked together.   Why?  Dunno.  Money I suppose.

My two cents:    Geez, her only living relative was just found shot to death, and the niece is furious and hollering about contesting the will.  The housekeeper is baking pie and making coffee.  Nice folks.

I suppose money is the motive for everyone here.  The housekeeper was only 6-months into the job and not loyal or friendly with the man.  The niece was in debt. 

I guess the niece wanted to go with the police to make sure she knew what the housekeeper, her partner in crime, was saying.  Too bad.  That’s how they gave themselves away. 

I thought the comment about it being a random robbery was also a clue, as the police hadn’t mentioned anything about the wallet gone missing yet.

I’m not sure why the uncle even put the housekeeper in the will to begin with.  He left half his fortune to a new housekeeper that he wasn’t involved with romantically? 

Why would the niece point the police to the housekeeper when she knew the housekeeper was guilty, saying she must be a floozy and that she couldn’t believe the woman was in the will?  What a moron.

No mention of if the niece had tried to borrow money from her rich uncle and he had turned her down.  It would have been a nice piece of info for the reader. Although they didn’t appear to be very close.

The tag line wasn’t given much thought. 

Police work:  It’s off.  They don’t let suspects tag along on their investigation.  And they don’t sit and have pie in an interview.

Motive:   Not bad.  One woman was in debt, one woman was apparently greedy. 

Writing/Pacing:  Not the worse I’ve ever seen.  Not the best either.  There were too many story problems.

Clue:  There were two clues but the solution only mentions the coffee creamer.

Characters:  Not believable.  Nobody acted in character. 


Tamara said...

I thought it was a good clue (I got it), but I also wonder why the man would have left money to a housekeeper of such short duration.

Chris said...

Good review, Jody. Yes, why would the man leave money to an employee he'd only known for six months. We could have done with her having a husband in need of expensive medical care or something, to give him a reason for doing that and her a motive for acting out of character (apparently) and agreeing to help the niece dispose of the body. The cream clue was good, though, well slipped into the story.

bettye griffin said...

Is it me, or are these stories getting sillier and sillier?

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Chris. Yes, at least have some need for the housekeeper to need that money, and have the niece agree to give her some of the inheritance for helping dispose of the body. Makes more sense.

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Bettye The only thing I can think of is that WW is trying to appeal to EVERYONE... and not everyone is sharp. lol