Solve-it-your­self mys­tery

Woman's World - - Contents -

The sleet was like nee­dles against my face as I crossed the street to Sea­gram’s Sweet Shoppe. I re­mem­ber com­ing here as a kid, sam­pling all the de­li­cious good­ies they of­fered, but I never imag­ined that I’d be here as a de­tec­tive in­ves­ti­gat­ing a crime. I en­tered the back door and squeezed past bags of sugar that lined the hall­way to the owner’s of­fice.

“Good morn­ing, Mr. Sea­gram. I’m De­tec­tive Sanders. You re­ported a theft that hap­pened some­time last night. Is that right?”

The el­derly gen­tle­man nod­ded. “Yes, it’s hor­ri­ble. Yes­ter­day’s cash de­posit was ready for the bank. I al­ways leave it ready, on my desk, with my of­fice door locked. I worked late last night. When I came back this morn­ing, my door was pried open and the cash was gone!”

“Do you have a night crew here?” I asked as he of­fered me a taffy stick.

“Yes, but a very small one… only three peo­ple: my choco­latier, my sugar artist and the ware­house man­ager. But they’ve been with me for years. I can’t imag­ine any of them steal­ing.”

“We can’t rule any­one out,” I cau­tioned. “Are they here now?”

“Yes, as soon as I dis­cov­ered the theft, I called ev­ery­one back to the shop.” He scur­ried out and within sec­onds, the sugar artist en­tered.

I be­gan to speak but my words were cut off within sec­onds. “First off,” she in­ter­rupted, “I didn’t steal any­thing. And sec­ond, I’m an artist. My love is cre­at­ing. I have no in­ter­est in that old man’s cash.”

“Okay… well, did you hear or see any­thing out of the or­di­nary last night?” I asked, pa­tiently

“Only if you call blast­ing rock and roll mu­sic all night from the pro­duc­tion room out of the or­di­nary. Maybe you should speak to John-paul, our an­noy­ingly ‘stuck in the rock era’ choco­late guy.”

“Will you please send him in,” I said, jot­ting down notes.

“Sure thing,” she said and sashayed out of the room.

A pony­tailed man soon ap­peared, com­plete with a ban­danna on his brow and a torn shirt sport­ing a con­cert date of nearly two decades ago.

“Sir, I was told you were blast­ing mu­sic last night while you worked…” I be­gan.

“Yeah, I al­ways do. Is that a crime now? Did I wake the neigh­bors?” He chuck­led un­der his breath, but soon stopped af­ter notic­ing there was no trace of a smile on my face.

“No, but play­ing loud mu­sic would drown out some­one at­tempt­ing to smash through a door, wouldn’t it?” I asked.

“Lis­ten, I was in the pro­duc­tion room all night. I play mu­sic ev­ery night. It’s noth­ing new. Now that some money’s gone, the mu­sic is a prob­lem? You’ll need bet­ter ev­i­dence then that. Ar­rest me if you want. Oth­er­wise leave me alone.”

With that, he slammed through the dou­ble-doors. What a bunch of sour peo­ple in such a sweet place, I thought. But the in­ves­ti­ga­tion had to con­tinue and only the ware­house man­ager re­mained.

“Sir, would you mind re­trac­ing your steps here last night?” I re­quested.

“Of course not. Fol­low me into the freezer for a mo­ment and you can see what hap­pened.”

As we walked in to the freezer, my foot squelched in liq­uid choco­late. He sighed. “It was around mid­night when I be­gan to stock the freezer from an ear­lier de­liv­ery,” the man­ager said.

“I was just about done, when I tried to place this bucket of molten choco­late on an up­per shelf. The lid popped off and it all fell right on my head, cov­er­ing me and—as you can see—the floor.

“I couldn’t work like that, and since I had noth­ing else pend­ing, I left early and went home. I was sur­prised when I got the call to come back this morn­ing.”

“Thank you. I have no more ques­tions,” I said, dis­miss­ing him and go­ing to find the owner once again.

“Good news, sir,” I smiled. “I know who took your money!” — Michael D ’angona

Q: Who stole the candy shop cash?

The win­ter olympics

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