A Young Detective

The papers would not make any mention of it and outside of a small group of acquaintances, no one else would ever know about it. But on November 25, 1949 a murder was committed at Tudor Mansion in Hampshire. Doctor Lawrence Black, an eminent anthropologist and widely considered a “man of letters,” was found bludgeoned in his kitchen. A cursory inspection of the estate quickly turned up two bottles of very expensive champagne in the sink, empty of their contents. A blood-stained shillelagh was soon found in the dining room across from the kitchen. Black had used the shillelagh to help himself down the steep stairs ever since his supposed “accident.”

Suspicion immediately fell upon Blanche, his cook, because she was the only one with a key to the kitchen which was regularly locked at 11:00 p.m. each night. It was assumed that Black had gotten up in the middle of the night, hungry for a snack. That he had made his way downstairs with his stick and surprised Blanche dipping into his private reserves. It was likely that Black dismissed her from his home, whereupon the inebriated Blanche, overwhelmed at the prospect of losing yet another job, took matters into her own hands and turned upon her employer. This theory was universally accepted, that is until a 12 year old boy put forth his own observations.

The boy didn’t think that Blanche White had anything to do with the murder at all. Sure, she may have been stealing a nip or two from Black’s wine vault, but he knew that she wasn’t in on the murder. She was sleeping off her binge in the study when the murder occurred.

“It was Reverend Jonathan Green,” the boy said.

“… in the Conservatory.”

And, opening the envelope, “… with the candlestick.”

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