I liked this one and thought I’d share. Remember writing prompts are used to write not to edit or re-write
7/13/14- Scribbler’s Ink Daily Prompt:
She/he knew for certain the key to solving the riddle was to learn why the antiques dealer needed to leave town..
Studying the body, Detective Lois Blakely wondered what the antiques dealer had that someone wanted more. Plane tickets clutched in his hands, a suitcase by the door told her he was skipping town. Find the motive, find her killer.
Turning toward her partner Detective Joe Jones she watched him bag the broken metal statue stained with the man’s blood. A smile crossed her lips when she thought, must be the murder weapon. Because she knew normally nothing played that obvious, but in this case she’d bet a whole dollar on the statue being the murder weapon.
Joe continued to walk around the shop looking into cases trying to determine if something had been moved around or if something had been removed. The last case he happened upon on, he saw a big gapping space on the middle shelf which called out to him.
“Whatever was in this case is missing?” He turned to the front of the store where Lois had the store’s clerk wait out of sight of the body. “Do you know what was in this case?”
“It was a seventeen century jeweled necklace. It was a stunning piece. The necklace was under lock and key with a special alarm attached to the piece. If it was moved a milli-inch the alarm would have sounded.”
“What was so special about a necklace?” Joe asked. Lois just shook her head.
“It was a very old piece worth a half a million dollars. The necklace was loaded with emeralds, sapphires and rubies with diamonds surrounding it. It was rumored to be Marie Antoinette’s.”
“So it was a piece of history.”
“Yes, but more. The jewels alone today are worth over a quarter of a million dollars. The piece as a collector’s item can garner at auction much more than the half million, depending on the bidders and the collectors. There was a lot of interest in it. In fact, a very nasty man was here last week telling Irving that the piece was not going to auction. That he would sell it to him and him alone, if he knew what was good for him.”
“How far back do the security tapes go?” Lois asked.
“I think we rotate them each week. There are four weeks in the safe in Irving’s office.” The clerk pointed to the back of the shop.
Lois walked in back and found the safe the clerk spoke about. The problem, it was open and the contents were gone, including all the security tapes. Inspecting the safe, she scratched her head. It didn’t look forced open, someone had the combination. But she’d have to wait on the CSI’s to confirm her suspicions. Walking back out front she approached the clerk.
“Miss Wilson please follow me to the back office, and don’t touch anything.” Lois nodded at Joe to follow them. “It’s Candy isn’t it.” The clerk nodded.
Once in the office she offered Wilson a seat. “Who has the combination to the safe?” Lois stared into her eyes.
“Mr… I mean Irving and his wife.”
“You don’t have the combination?” Joe asked.
“No…no, Irving’s wife insisted that no one but them have it? She was adamant about it. She said it had something to do with keeping the insurance costs down.”
A bell out front rang, Lois looked up at Joe. He left the office to see who had entered the store. He stopped dead in his tracks as he watched the woman escorted to him by an officer. Wrapped in a mink coat, diamonds dripping off her ears, neck and hands he figured he was about to meet the Mrs.
“Detective Jones, this is Mrs. Schwartz. Rena Schwartz” Joe nodded, excused the officer and took Mrs. Schwartz into the office and rejoined Lois and Candy. The women’s reaction to each other was comical. Candy’s eyes dropped to her hands. Mrs. Schwartz stared holes into her, and turned to Lois.
“Where’s my husband? The officer wouldn’t tell me anything.”
“I’m sorry to inform you that your husband was murdered this evening. Do you know where he was going?”
“He had a plane ticket in his hand.”
“A single plane ticket?”
“Yes.” Lois gauged Rena’s reaction to the news.
“He did have a buying trip planned. I didn’t think he was leaving until tomorrow though.”
The woman thought quick on her feet. Lois had to give her that. “You’re not sure?”
“I was staying at my sister’s she’s not well.”
“Hmmm. Mrs. Schwartz, who has access to the safe?”
“Irving and I. Why?” It was then that her eyes tracked over to the safe. “Who opened it?”
“Ah, a question for the ages,” Lois said, scratching her head. “Excuse us for a second ladies.”
Joe and Lois left the room, but didn’t go far. She smiled when she heard the hurried whispers. “I think the ladies did in the old man. Why don’t you get the information on the insurance for both the store and contents. Also look into the amount of his life insurance. I’ll go back in and continue to question them. Then we’ll take them in and question them alone. I think the clerk is the weak link here.”
Joe nodded, pulling his cellphone out as he walked away. Lois gave the women a couple of more minutes to string out their nerves before she re-entered the office. They didn’t disappoint. Sweat poured down the clerk’s neck, her eyes roaming the room, not settling on any particular object. The wife was the cool one, thumbing through her cellphone. Lois found it interesting that she never asked to see her husband. An angle to play, she thought.
“Mrs. Schwartz, do you want to see your husband?”
“Dead?” she swayed grabbed the desk.
“Yes, I’ll need you to identify him. I must warn you, it’s quite messy out there. Someone hit him hard.”
It did Lois’ heart good to see the woman turn green. The clerk whimpered. Lois figured they were in it together. Now all she had to do is figure out who actually killed him and who was an accessory to murder. She made a decision on the stop.
“I’ll need the both of you to come into the station for more questioning.”
“Why we didn’t do anything,” the clerk screamed.
“Standard procedure. Let me read you your rights to keep everything clean here. It’s for your own protection,” Lois said. They both paled.
“I didn’t do anything, it was her.” Candy pointed to Mrs. Schwartz.
Well, that was easy, Lois thought. She’d have figured it would have taken an hour to break the clerk.
Back at the station Lois found out the clerk was boinking poor Irving. Mrs. Schwartz had an ironclad pre-nup. So according to Candy she figured if they killed him she’d get everything.
Lois smirked. It was the standard ‘wronged wife’ killing. It had to be money or sex. In this case, it was both.