Murder in a Palace, Murder Mystery, short story, Story

Shh.. Sleuth is Hunting

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A Page from Anna’s Diary

She asked Tom to help her with a towel and some clothes. Tom looked happy to leave the gruesome crime scene and hurried towards the bedroom. Anna followed him.
“I’m sorry for your loss Mr Smith. She seemed like a lovely lady”, Anna took the advantage of the situation and asked subtly.
“She was, indeed. People often misunderstood her, though. She was gentle at heart, had a very twisted tongue though”, he sounded almost convincing. To Anna, almost wasn’t good enough.
“So what happened?”, she asked
“She had many enemies. Half of the people in this room hated her”, he started, but was interrupted by Roy, “but not you?”.
“Err… Not me. No. I loved her. She was my wife.” he said. She waited for him to say something more. They reached the bedroom. He gave her a towel and opened the closet for her to pick any dress she wanted.
“Not that it would fit, but I am sure you will find something”. He lingered for a moment longer than he should have, which was enough for Anna to figure out he wasn’t mourning his wife’s death.

She rubbed her head vigorously. She walked into the humongous closet. Susanne Smith was not fat woman but not as petite as Anna was. Anna took out a red dress, which was a little lose for her figure. It seemed weird to try on the clothes of someone who died an hour ago. She pulled out a leather red jacket, it fit her perfectly. She exclaimed as she put her hand in the pocket, “aha!” She found something.

She came to the stairs. It is easier to observe from up here, she thought. She observed the people standing. Most of them looked sad, some pretended to be, and the rest were pathetic actors- with a big ‘fake’ written on their faces all over. Her sharp eyes were trying to analyse the guilt and scare in their eyes. Everybody looked scared, nobody looked guilty. She knew she had to hurry, it’s going to take much longer than she anticipated. She realized that soon she would have to let everybody go, but before that she wanted to speak with David Clark.

She always wanted to find the culprit right away, on the spot. Though she maintained it was because the case screams when it’s fresh, and the sound weakens or gets lost in the noise with every passing day. She called out Robert, “Send Mr Clark up”.

“Mr Clark.” She started.
‘Ms Roy”, he bowed. She liked chivalrous men.
“What was the nature of your relationship with Mrs Smith”, she chose her words carefully.
“We were friends”, he answered.
“Of course you were, anything else?” She questioned.
“She was my client”, he replied.
“And?” she coaxed.
“And… as you… must have heard from your assistant that we had a fling”, he finally blurted out.
“A fling you say? Nothing serious?”, she pestered.
“It’s complicated”, he tried to dodge.
“I am all ears”, she demanded more.
“At the beginning, she was just a client. For a good 2 months. We were out for an art exhibition in Milan. We liked each other’s company. She told me her weekend plan at Naples and offered I wish to join her. I did. Then you know… one thing led to another. Ever since, there was no looking back. We couldn’t stay away from each other. There were days when she was unsure, and then there were days when I was unsure. Yes, I liked spending time with her. Is that a crime?” he asked.
“It’s adultery. In many countries it’s a punishable criminal offence”, she retorted.
“Well, not in this country. It can be a ground for a divorce. Nothing more”, he was right.
“Your wife never objected? or her husband?” she asked.
“My wife did. And I explained there wasn’t much to it.”
“So you lied”, she asked rhetorically.
He shrugged his shoulders.

There were a few things he was clearly lying about. She held him as one of the prime suspects. He seemed genuine when he spoke about how they had a ‘fling’. However, calling it just a fling gave Anna more reasons to doubt him.
“So, what is your profession Mr Clark?” she asked.
“I deal in art. I buy paintings and art for my clients”, he explained.
“Did she buy this from you?” she gestured at the painting on the wall.
“She did, last month”, he was looking tired.
“And how much did it cost?” she asked
“Approximately $10,000,” he answered.
“Ok, Mr Clark that is all for now.” She dismissed him, she had still questions to ask him. Yet she allowed him to go as she knew he would clam up, she would need to find a better timing and place to take the conversation forward.

She looked at the time. It was 3 o’clock. She asked the assistant to take everybody’s name, phone number, address, security number. They were forbidden from leaving the town and told that they can be summoned or visited anytime of the day. They sent the body for the post-mortem. The palace was declared as a crime scene, hence was inaccessible. Mr Smith was asked to take up a room in a hotel or stay at a relative’s place.

She reached home, tired. Yet, sleep eluded her completely. She could see what Susanne saw in David. Anna found David courteous, chivalrous, charming, intelligent, and polite. Tom, on the other hand, looked quite relieved that Susanne was no more. He professed his love for his dead wife, yet he didn’t shed tears. She opened her diary and scribbled away.

To be continued…

(c) 2018 PRIYA BAJPAI. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Picture courtesy: pixabay, edited with Canva

This is second chapter of the story Murder in a Palace

Chapter  #1 – Rain starts to Pour…

Read my previous posts for #BlogchatterA2Z

An Archaic worldBlueprintCrush, DazzledEyesFalling Teardrop…Geisha,
Horrific HolocaustI’m IIJigsaw PuzzleKiller , LoveMia of MayaNeil’s Shoe , Oseye- Archaic world IIParallel UniverseThe Quiet RoomChapter 1# Rain starts to Pour…

37 thoughts on “Shh.. Sleuth is Hunting”

  1. And the plot thickens. This is what i love about murder mysteries. The way each suspects personality is slowly revealed like peeling away the layers of an onion. You get to the killer eventually but you find out so much about so many more people too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting… it is fun to know more about the characters and their role in the life of the victim and then to judge them. Want to know more about the ladies in Susannah’s life now, so I can judge some more!! Can’t wait for Monday, Priya!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well developed. Nice interrogation dialogues. Loved this line you wrote “she maintained it was because the case screams when it’s fresh, and the sound weakens or gets lost in the noise with every passing day.”
    Will be back to know what happens next.

    Liked by 1 person

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