Are You A Snifty Sleuth? The Results

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The second Snifty Challenge has now closed.

Inspector Kruseau and myself received two Evidence Reports Only

“My Findings For The Attention of Inspector Kruseau” Crushed Caramel [Mel]

My Findings for the Attention of Inspector Kruseau – 3C Style — [Dominique]

The two entrants have had their reports marked and here are the results:

Inspector Kruseau was irritated. He had thought this whole enquiry was at a close but NO! He had received two anonymous reports that seem to blow his own findings out of the water. Of course, he had to admit it, he was in way over his head. He was only a cop in a small English town and so murders on this scale were not really his forte. In fact, he wasn’t sure he was really cut out for this sort of thing at all. Marrows, he was much better at Marrows and usually won the Torquay summer fete for the enormous size of this prize marrows. Anyway, back to the reports.

Firstly, we have this report:

 

“My Findings For The Attention of Inspector Kruseau” Submitted by Crushed Caramel – Mel

Who Are The Victims?

So…as far as I can see, we have had several deaths at this point:

Charles Maxwell-Murdoch

Harvey Dearman

Lady Alicia Van Schlumph

Geraldine Cooper

Joseph Ingrams

 

Where Were They Found?

Charles Maxwell-Murdoch – At the foot of the stairs of the hall.

Harvey Dearman – The dining room

Lady Alicia Van Schlumph – The library

Geraldine Cooper – Her kitchen

Joseph Ingrams – The drawing room

Who Is The Killer?

Well….this is where I really have no idea.  You see, at first I thought Lady Alicia Van Schlumph may have wanted revenge for the death of her sister Abigail.  But since she has ended up as a victim, I have given up on that idea.

Then, it looked to me as if Joseph Ingrams (Jonathan Charles Maxwell-Murdoch) may have wanted to express his anger towards his father and perhaps towards his mother (Geraldine Cooper).  But why would he kill Harvey Dearman or Lady Alicia Van Schlumph?  And of course, Joseph/Jonathan has ended up a victim as well.

Since there are only two remaining people…Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Murdoch and Miss Lola Ginatonica, I have a 50/50 chance of getting this right or wrong – unless it was Constable Parker, who does not seem to have been doing a very good job of protecting the guests!

Because I cannot conceive of a motive that I can explain for Miss Lola Ginatonica, I am going to guess that it was Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Murdoch.

How Did They Do It?

I don’t know!!!

I am guessing there may have been multiple people who had grudges against Charles and could have been trying to injure Mr Charles Maxwell-Murdoch and expressing their hatred either before or after his death.  So I am rather confused.

I think it more likely that that Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Murdoch has been trying to incriminate other people though.  She has been trying to use the possessions of others and cast suspicion on anyone but herself.

What Was Their Motive?

So, let’s think about this…could it be that Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Murdoch who “appears to be a timid woman” had something to do with the “unexplained circumstances” in which the first Mrs Maxwell-Murdoch (Abigail) died?  I was rather intrigued by this passage from Scene Six:

A mans voice shouted out “I know it was you. I knew it from the beginning. You needn’t think I’ll let you get away with this neither.”

Could it be that Harvey Dearman knew that Patricia was a cunning and an ambitious woman only pretending to be timid? And that he was convinced she had also been responsible for Abigail’s death?  Afterall, she was the nurse attending to Abigail.  Now, due to her anger at Charles taking a mistress, has Patricia been plotting to get rid of him and inherit his millions.  Perhaps she is so greedy, she wants to wipe out any who might claim some of his fortune, like his illegitimate son, Joseph/Jonathan and those who know about the son, his mother Geraldine Cooper and Lady Alicia Van Schlumph?

What Are The Murder Weapons?

Since the forensic evidence concluded:

“It’s been confirmed, the old man didn’t die of the poison, there definitely wasn’t enough administered to cause more than a numbing effect. The stabbings didn’t kill him either, they happened after he was already dead. It was the fall down the stairs that killed him, it broke his neck and caused an aneurysm in the brain.”

I am therefore guessing that Patricia delivered the fatal push.  Although I am wondering about that hammer… could the hammer have been administered contributing to the fatal injuries that seem to have all been attributed to the fall?  (Maybe because I received an assault involving a hammer when I was the victim of a crime three years ago and the damage it did to me…I might be a bit overly suspicious of hammers.)

Perhaps the other weapons were used by the owners themselves to express their rage to the deceased, or by Patricia in her attempt to confuse the police and delay the investigation.  I am not sure about that one!  It seems to me that there are a lot of clues leading to other people, but not many pointing to Patricia.  Perhaps she has tried to cast suspicion on others?

As for the other deaths…I am not 100%…let me take another look.  Hmm…it looks as if the following weapons were used:

Harvey Dearman – pistol – don’t know where it came from though

Lady Alicia Van Schlumph – a black silk pashmina (the one that Lola Ginatonica was wearing perhaps, to incrimiate her)

Geraldine Cooper – poison in her cup of tea (I don’t know if this was a deadly dose of the puffer-fish venom)

Joseph Ingrams – I don’t know what weapon was used to kill him, there does not seem much in the passage to describe the manner of his death…

…but I think Patricia may have been trying to incriminate him and perhaps making it look as if he took his own life?

Name the Blogger who was appointed as our prime killer:

I am only guessing that this means another blogger was collaborating with Rory on this detective story…I am only guessing   talesfromthemindofkristian …

OK, so Marks against Criteria:

Who Are The Victims?                                                   

5/5

Spot on

Where Were They Found?                                             

5/5

Spot on again.

But Who Is Guilty?                                                          

3/5

You said, you had no idea, but then you argued pretty well and came out with an answer that is close to the truth.

How Did They Do It?                                                       

3/5

Again, very close and well argued.

What Was Their Motive?                                              

5/5

Yes, Money brings out the best in all of us doesn’t it?

What Are The Murder Weapons?                              

4/5

Pretty almost perfect…                                                                                                                           

25/30

Plus, one point for being the first report received = 26/30

 

Inspector Kruseau picked up the next report:

My Findings for the Attention of Inspector Kruseau  submitted by 3C Style — Dominique

Here is my case for the Inspector Kruseau.

It was a crime of passion, namely a passion for money. At first, I thought that Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Murdoch was a nurse driven with the desire to kill. She is not. Oh, don’t get me wrong “Miss Boring” like some call her is a murderer alright. But if she was the type of care giver that had an urge to kill  she wouldn’t have been able to wait 10 years to satisfy her addiction even if she didn’t need more money. Anyone with an addiction knows that! Let’s recap the facts.

Who are the victims?

As with most crimes, follow the money if you want to find the solution!

The victim is anyone who would possibly have a claim to the fortunes of Mr. Charles Maxwell-Murdoch! Note that the people left alive at the end of the story were people who would have the least possibility of being left in a will or having a claim in court to the Maxwell-Murdoch newspaper empire. Constable Parker has no familial and emotional connection to Charles. Lola, the mistress, also has a very tenuous claim on the fortunes of Charles. The one exception, Patricia, is now the sole claimant on any financial legacy.

Except Harvey Dearman who had to be killed for another reason, the one thing that all of the victims shared is a possible claim on the money of a dead Charles!

Where were they found?

  • Charles Maxwell-Murdoch – He was found at the bottom of the stairs in the Hall.
  • Harvey Dearman – He was found dead in the Dining Room.
  • Lady Alicia Van Schlumph – She was found dead in the Library.
  • Miss Geraldine Cooper – She was found dead in her own Kitchen.
  • Joseph Ingrams – He was found dead in the Drawing Room.

Who is guilty?

Clues, intuition and motive point to both Lola and Patricia as dual culprits! First of all, Patricia would have had the highest motive to get rid of everyone that stood to rival her for the fortunes of the magnate. However, subtle nuances point to a hidden relationship between Patricia and Lola, a relationship that was made all the more tight through the shared motive of gaining a fortune!

The fact that Constable Parker is left alive points to both Patricia and Lola as the murderers. The Constable is the only one who does not have any ties to Mr. Charles Maxwell-Murdoch, so he is not a threat. Initially, surface level descriptions may point to the Constable as the culprit, but he is far too incompetent to have pulled off all of the shrewd murders that took place. He showed absolutely no ability to use his training to do anything substantial, and in many cases showed the exact opposite!

Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Murdoch is the prime killer. She orchestrated the whole thing with Miss Lola Ginatonica, her partner in crime.

Everyone thinks that the two women are enemies. It is just a facade in my opinion. You see, I believe they are lovers! 10 years ago, Patricia as you know if you read the story was the nurse assigned to care for Charles Maxwell-Murdoch’s first wife, Abigail. My hypothesis is that she may had madly fallen in love with her and they were planning to be together as soon as Abigail got better. But Charles killed his first wife because she wanted a divorce and that left Patricia heartbroken. Charles didn’t know his wife cheated on him and never suspected his first wife wanted a divorce so she could be with Patricia. He thought it was because of his infidelity.

Geraldine Cooper knew about Patricia’s love for Abigail but “kept her mouth shut” even after her death. Otherwise, Patricia would have said to the police what she suspected, namely that Geraldine had provided the poison that killed Abigail. Since then Patricia has been seeking revenge. Geraldine was waiting for that to happen. It is no mystery that the cook hated the man for what he did to her father. The only reason she had an illegitimate son with him was to claim some money. But it is Patricia who married Charles soon after Abigail’s death so she could indeed revenge Abigail and get Charles’ money. Patricia patiently waited for the right opportunity and when she met at work a bombshell named Lola she knew she had found love once again… And the perfect partner in crime. They just had to wait for an opportunity to get rid of Charles.

As a nurse, Patricia was able to get Joseph’s medical report and manage to leave his folder in his room at the institution for him to read. His psychoses and disturbed mind did the rest. As for Lola, well let’s just say It didn’t take her long to seduce Charles. That was easy considering she is such a delight and she knew everything Charles liked because of Patricia. The big opportunity came when her husband received an invitation from a business acquaintance to meet at a hotel on the English Riviera. Patricia thought this was odd and of course she asked Lola if she knew anything about it. This is how she found out that apparently Charles had asked his mistress to join him for the weekend at the same place they were going. Patricia knew then something was wrong… Or should I say was PERFECTLY RIGHT! Every thing was working as expected. Joseph (Jonathan Charles Maxwell-Murdoch) was planning a trick on them that was actually giving Patricia the timeliness she had been waiting for for too many years. Soon not only will she be with her new love but Abigail would finally rest in peace. Yes, this whole charade would serve her own objectives. She carefully planned everything with Lola.

How did they do it?

Ce n’était pas de la tarte! (Translation: It was not a piece of cake!)

Mr. Charles Maxwell-Murdoch – He was killed by the puffer-fish poison that Patricia probably put into his drink when they got at the Villa. The autopsy stated that the fall down the stairs actually killed him, but the poison is what made him woozy enough to take the misstep. Patricia may have just needed to push him a little. The blood surrounding him was obviously made by sharp objects such as the scissors and the knife, but the stabbings happened after he died from the fall to simulate rage. Lola stabbed him with the scissors she had taken from Joseph’s room. She was wearing gloves so she didn’t leave any print. She replaced the scissors back in Joseph’s bathroom later. The breadknife, which had Geraldine’s print on was used by Patricia who also was wearing gloves. Patricia had sent the butler, Harvey Dearman, to get her fur stole in the car; she said she had left it there. This of course was a pretext for Lola and her to execute their plan.

Mr. Harvey Dearman – When Harvey says: “I knew it was you”, it implies that he knew the person for a while. That means it was not Joseph nor Lola, both newcomers in his life. That leaves Patricia, Lady Alicia and Geraldine. Since the last two are dead we can easily guess who killed Harvey. How did Patricia do it? He was killed by the pistol – who’s pistol it is we may never know. It may be possible that the pistol belonged to Mr. Charles Maxwell-Murdoch and was taken by Patricia, who by virtue of being his wife would probably know where he kept his weapons. She then climbed through the rose trellis into Joseph’s room who was taking a bath at the time. Before Constable Parker got there Patricia who had carefully taken her shoes off was already with the others. In her climb, a piece of black fabric from Lola’s scarf was conveniently left on the trellis to mislead the inspector.

Lady Alicia Van Schlumph – She was killed with a black silk pashmina which matched the garment worn by Lola. Lola strangled her.

Miss Geraldine Cooper – The same poison that killed Mr. Charles Maxwell-Murdoch killed Miss Geraldine Cooper. But in her case a large quantity of the puffer fish venom was put in her tea cup while Miss Geraldine Cooper brought the toasts to Joseph in the Drawing room. Patricia accomplished this murder silently; she still had her shoes off so that her come and go in the hall would not be detected.

Mr. Joseph Ingrams – The letter that accompanied Joseph’s death seemed to point to a definitive motif that likely points out the dual team of Patricia and Lola as the killers. The handwriting was apparently the same as the invitation, which means that the host of the home was definitely not the author of the invites. We knew that already except that, contrary to Joseph’s intention, all of these people were invited here to be killed! Joseph was likely weakened by the same poison that served to take the life of Miss Geraldine Cooper. The poison probably came from the liver part of the puffer-fish and in this case it is lethal even in a small dose. The venom for which there is no antidote could have been poured in Joseph’s drink (there were two glasses in his room; one with red lipstick on it) or in his aftershave bottle. In both cases the poison would get into his system. Paralyzed and without air, Joseph collapsed on the floor. Imitating Joseph’s handwriting, Lola then wrote the note. She couldn’t resist signing her crime with loopy l’s and p’s. The initials of both her name and her lover, Patricia.

What Was Their Motive?

There was definitely a financial incentive but revenge was also a motive for Patricia. Ever since Abigail’s death Patricia was seeking revenge. Furthermore, Patricia seemed to share with Lola many character traits that may point to a hidden love affair. They are also drawn closer to each other by their shared hatred or disdain for nearly everyone else in the room who could claim Charles’ money. Unfortunately for Harvey, his curiosity probably got him killed.

What Was Their Murder Weapon?

Patricia and Lola used many weapons – they are very resourceful. The puffer-fish venom was used to weaken or kill many of the victims. The other weapons that were used to kill the unfortunate cast of characters mentioned above include the pistol and the pashmina.

What about the hammer? Harvey Dearman brought it with him when he ran into the house. He dropped it when he saw Charles’s body on the floor covered with blood. He was obviously working on something as he also had a corkscrew in his pocket. He had blood on his hand from touching Charles’ body and that’s how it got on the corkscrew. What he was doing with these we may never know. It may be possible that he found something suspicious in the car and was trying to open it. That’s why it took him so long to look for the fur stole, which of course wasn’t there. By the way, Patricia said she had later found her fur stole under her bed. Really? I find this odd because she is a very elegant woman and it is hard to believe she would throw on the floor her precious stuff like she didn’t care for them. In fact, everything about her says she does care about her fancy jewelry and clothing. I hate to say it but the prime killer is a fashionista. Oh dear…

The blogger who was appointed as the killer…

At first, I thought about Britchy of Bitchin’ in the kitchen. Her recent trip South might just have been an Alibi… Sounded fishy to me at the time. Besides, this “enthusiastic cook with a twisted sense of humour” does know how to prepare a meal with a bit of a kick. She talked about it in her clue post. And as we found out poison from the puffer-fish was used as a weapon. But is SHE capable of murder? I mean I know the lady is capable of a lot of things. She did put breast milk once in her hubby’s tea after all. She has attitude that’s for sure. That doesn’t make her a murderer though. Plus, she did write that it was a “Crimini Passionale”. She also used many French words in her clue post. Why? Does she really speak French? I’m guessing Britchy was just giving a clue about who was the real mystery blogger. Que sera sera…

Could it be KK22 of Finding French Charming? Ever since she found her Prince Charmant (Translation: Prince Charming) she learned to speak a little in the language of Molière. Plus, nobody would suspect her, right? Such a kind creature that believes in fairytale, like love. Oh, she does has a Je ne sais quoi that could trick a lot of people. Let’s not forget either that she is an anesthesiologist. She knows the proper dose of medication and poison to use to put people to sleep, paralyze them and even kill them. Her first clue post was also very interesting. The lady that she describes as Miss Boring seems to me to be Mrs Patricia Maxwell-Murdoch herself. Could the bombshell be Miss Lola Ginatonica? I believe so. Are the two women really enemies? Or is it just a facade? I believe they are perfect for each other just like Bonnie and Clyde. Still, they needed help from someone else. Perhaps, a long time colleague who worked at the same hospital would help Patricia. Indeed, KK22 could have decided to help Patricia get revenge on Charles Maxwell-Murdoch. This way Miss Boring (Patricia) and the bombshell (Lola) could be together. Abigail could finally “rest in peace” just like it is written in the note found next to Joseph Ingrams’ body (Jonathan Charles Maxwell-Murdoch). Yep! I think that KK22 of Finding French Charming is the blogger that was assigned to help the killer. I guess we can say she did it for love!

 

OK, so Marks against Criteria:

Who Are The Victims?                                                   

5/5

Yep tha’st right.

Where Were They Found?                                           

5/5

Correct again.

But Who Is Guilty?                                                         

5/5

The Who is correct, the why not quite, but I’ll address that under Motive.

How Did They Do It?                                                       

4/5

So very close. Lola pushed Charles down the stairs and stabbed him to incriminate the others. Patricia shot Dearman and poisoned Charles, Ms Cooper, Jonathan/Joseph and Abigail and Strangles Lady Van Schlumph.

What Was Their Motive?                                              

4/5

Yes, but not the bit about being in Love with Abigail or Lola, but there is a connection with Lola.

What Are The Murder Weapons?                              

5/5

Yep.                                                                                       

28/30

 

Inspector Kruseau was impressed. Both these reports were much more thorough than the one he had written:

Chief Constable

It was the young man what done it. Jonathan Maxwell-Murdoch who was pretending to be Joseph Ingrams. He’s a loony who should never have been released. He’s admitted to it. It is lucky that the two survivors locked themselves in their room or they’d be dead too.

Regards

Kruseau.

 

Yes, he had to admit their reports were a lot closer to the truth than he was. Well it was about time he retired and gave his Marrows his full attention.

Inspector Kruseau picked up his pen and began writing his letter of resignation.

 

There is one final scene to be posted today, however with these two brilliantly deduced evidence reports, l can say very clearly that we have two winner’s albeit Dominique comes first for being the closest, although Mel comes a very close second second.

So my congratulations to both Dominique as our Gold Winner, and to Mel as our Silver Winner – well done. Your work here so beautifully prepared and administered to the Inspector himself, your attention to detail is outstanding, your guesswork remarkable and your ingeniousness extremely astute!

More details to follow shortly.

Kristian, Britchy, Kkatch, Rory & Doodlepip.

 

15 thoughts on “Are You A Snifty Sleuth? The Results

Add yours

  1. Really enjoyed your series – well done to all of you! What an amazing amount of work, you put into The Snifty Sleuth series!!! Loved it.
    I did a year within the legal field – HATED IT!!! Much prefer earning a living by cooking, walking dogs, cleaning, gardening, painting & decorating and chasing sheep around fields!

    May I be very cheeky and ask…I only started down this road because of the prize of a vanilla scented pen on offer…is there a prize for coming second (last)?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The work done by all the collaborators of this project is really impressive. Congratulations for your creativity, coordination, teamwork and the energy invested. Team bloggers at its best! And thank you for your kind words. I’ll keep my day job as a scientific journalist thank you. This challenge was really fun to do. I hope Inspector K will not retire right away… Unless he decides to write his memoirs. I will buy the book as soon as it is published!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trust me, the quiet one in all of this deserves the credit, l had an idea for the challenge, a Mystery Whodunnit, gave him literally a handful of spaghetting clues and he devised it from there, – all l did was post them up as they arrived and built the gusto to it, K well he made the story, and brought it to life – there is the one that deserves the full kudos 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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