Here you will find more short tales that will test your ability to interpret information, gather data and solve the crime!!! Once again, try to determine how, where, or why the perpetrator has make a critical mistake, thus exposing the guilty party.
#1 The Concert Murder Mystery
Jane Doe's body lay beside her Toyota sedan in the driveway of the apartment house where she lived. She had been killed at 7:30 P.M., about 30 minutes before she was due to perform at a concert that was to start at 8 P.M.
Jane had been shot twice. The first bullet pierced her left thigh, leaving a large bloodstain on her dark sheath skirt. The second bullet had gone right into her heart, leaving a dark red bloodstain on her white blouse.
Inside her Toyota was her cello.
The police took statements from three people.
Her landlord, Mr. Brown, who found the body, said Jane had decided to attend the concert but not play in it, because she had been disgruntled with an overly aggressive suitor. Charles Drake was his name and he was also in the orchestra. Jane had not practiced her cello or even taken it from her car in days.
Charles Drake insisted that he and Jane had patched up their romance and that she told him that she would play at the concert. She said she would pick him up at 7:40 P.M. and they would drive together, as they always did, to the auditorium. He waited and waited for her to arrive, but she never did.
Bernard Landstein, the conductor, said that the women members of the orchestra wore dark skirts and white blouses to perform and the men wore black pants and white jackets, although minor style details were optional. Orchestra members dressed at home. He said that Jane, if she decided to play, would have been able to perform well, even without practice, because this was to be a repeat of a previous performance.
After reviewing all three statements, the lead detective was able to determine who was lying.
How did he know someone was lying and who was it?
#2 The Office Murder Mystery
As detective Hobbs looked over the tiny office belonging to Joe Joyce, Clyde Clark said, "I didn't touch a thing, except the phone on the desk to call you right away."
Joyce's body lay on the floor behind his desk. Near his left hand was a small German pistol.
"Tell me what happened," said Hobbs.
"Joe asked me to come over to his desk and then started accusing me of consorting with his wife," said Clark. "I told him he was way off base, but I couldn't calm him down. Suddenly, he jumped up and shouted, 'I'm going to kill you!' Then in almost one motion he opened the top desk drawer, took a gun out and shot at me. He missed. I shot back immediately and he went down. It was a matter of self defense."
Hobbs took a pencil out of his pocket, inserted it into the barrel of the gun and lifted it off the floor. He opened the top desk drawer and slid the gun inside.
"I'm a private investigator, my gun is registered to me and I have a license for it," said Clark.
"We found a bullet from the German gun in the wall opposite the desk," said Hobbs' assistant. "That would be the one that Clark says Joyce fired at him first. The gun has Clark's fingerprints on it, but he must not have had a license for it, because we can't trace it."
"You will be charging Clark with murder, of course" said Hobbs.
What was wrong with Clark's story?
#3 The Sliding Door Murder Mystery
Detective Hobbs bent over the dead body and examined the bruise on Dan's left cheek and the blood seeping from the back of his head. After crashing through the sliding glass door, Hobbs concluded that Dan must have hit the back of his head on the ceramic tile floor and fractured his skull.
Dan's neighbor Pete, told Hobbs, "The fence between our houses isn't too high to see over; so when I heard the loud voices, I looked over to see Dan and a stranger outside the sliding door. The stranger had his back to me so I really didn't get a good look at him."
"Just tell me what happened," said Hobbs.
"Well, as I said, I heard the loud voices, then they started shouting and squared off against one another. The stranger threw a couple of jabs and then a left hook that caught Dan and sent him crashing through the glass sliding door. I guess the stranger panicked, because he took off running and that's when I called the police"
"I'm glad you heard and saw a little of what happened, but you might want to change your story after we get downtown."
Why didn't Hobbs believe his story?
#4 The Robbing Clown Mystery
Happy the clown, still dressed in his knight outfit made of metal pots and pans clanked and clattered to a nearby chair and sat down.
"It's true, I passed Valerie's trailer about 10 minutes ago, but I didn't break in and steal anything."
"I saw him come out of her trailer, put a bag under his arm and then hurry off." said Jill the bearded lady.
"You must be stressed out, Jill," said Valerie, the ringmaster. Everyone knows where I keep my money. Why would Happy hit me and then steal from me, he's been with the circus for 10 years!"
"Stay calm," said detective Hobbs. "With that bump on the head you need some peace and quiet."
"Don't worry about me," said Valerie. "Try to find the thief, I was relaxing in my trailer reading a book. I had my back to the door and didn't even hear the thief come in. What did he hit me with?"
"This pot," said Hobbs holding up a dented metal pot.
"But that's not mine," protested Happy.
"Don't believe him," said Jill.
"Hobbs looked over at Happy, then turned and glared at Jill, and said, "Your attempt to frame Happy isn't going to work!
How did Hobbs know that Happy was being set up?
#5 The Case of the Barbecue Murder
"George would have met you at the train station himself, detective Hobbs," said Jane Love. "But since I was already in town he asked me to pick you up. He wanted extra time to prepare for the barbecue."
George Pope, however, was past preparing for barbecues when Hobbs and his hostess arrived at the house half an hour later. Jane shrieked. Her husband lay on the lawn, a knife protruding from his chest.
A quick examination indicated to Hobbs that the killing had occurred about an hour before. He studied the scene.
A half cooked steak lay above flameless coals banked in a stone barbecue pit. Upon an iron shelf were a tray of condiments and a long-handled knife and fork.
"Who are you?" demanded Hobbs as a young man burst through the woods. "Peter Long. My house is about a hundred yards back there. I heard a scream, what happened?"
"Where were you about an hour ago?" asked Hobbs.
"At the boat yard. I just got into my driveway when I heard a scream," replied Long. "Hey, what's this?"
Long pointed to a metallic object partly buried under the coals. With a quick stride, he reached the barbecue pit, thrust in his hand, and pulled out a charred earring.
"Why, it's mine," gasped Jane. Suddenly her expression hardened. "Peter Long, you hated George. What are you trying to do?"
"You hated him more than anyone else," snapped back Long.
"You hated him enough to kill," Hobbs said to ----- Which one?
#6 The Case of the Happy Infant
"Pat Lee doesn't look much like a murderer," said Sheriff Lloyd as a young man came out of the farmhouse carrying a naked baby boy.
Lloyd stopped the patrol car behind Lee's red sedan. He drew his pistol, whispered to inspector Green to wait, and yelled: "Raise your hands, Pat!"
Lee stopped, amazed. He sat his infant son carefully on the hood of his car and lifted his hands. "What's this all about, Sheriff?"
"Murder. We have a witness who says you entered Charlie Park's bar last night after closing. An hour later Mrs. Park found Charlie knifed to death with a hunting knife."
"That's a lie. Why I was ----"
"Look out!" cried Green, as the baby scrambled up the red hood. Cooing happily, he attempted to stand. Green just in time saved him from toppling to the ground.
"That witness is wrong, Sheriff," Lee resumed calmly. "I've been in this car since seven o'clock last night driving down from New Jersey. I just arrived five minutes ago."
The sheriff looked at his watch. "Then that means you drove the seven hundred miles between New Jersey and here in a little over eleven hours," he said dubiously.
"Can you prove I didn't?" snapped Lee.
"Nothing could be easier," declared Green.
What was wrong with Lee's alibi?