Whodunnit solution – Swimming pool

“Who am I arresting?” Scotty frowned.

“Who do you think?” Abby rolled her eyes. “Richard, of course.”

“But how do you know it was him?” Scotty asked.

“It’s simple, Scotty,” Abby began. “He has the motive, and he lied about where he was this morning.”

“But they all have motive,” Scotty said. “They were all applying for the same job.”

“Sure. But not all of them lied about where they were.”

Scotty looked confused. “I still don’t get it.”

Abby said. “Just before we left the staff room I saw that wet splodgy marks had appeared on the carpet from across the room. Richard is the only person who crossed that room in the whole time we were in there. He must have been in the pool and because her lied, my thinking is he was there killing Brett and getting his shoes splashed with water.”

A look of realisation finally dawned on Scotty’s face.

“So can you go and cuff him for me please?” Abby asked. “I’m going to the leisure centre on the other side of town for a dip.”

Whodunnit solution – Santa’s grotto

“Really boss,” Damo said, scratching his head.

“Oh for sure,” Abby said. “There’s a reason the vic’s voice sounds strange and scratchy on the old tape recorder.” She paused for dramatic effect. “It’s because it’s not him at all. It’s our killer trying to make it sound like he’s all choked up so we don’t realise it’s not Reggie.”

“I see,” Damo said slowly, though clearly he didn’t.

“So, our killer – Mike by the way – has stood outside the grotto, knowing Reggie was in there, whispered the words on the tape then nipped in and shot the man.”

“But how can you be sure?” Damo asked, pushing some dangling tinsel out of the way.

“Because Mike told us when he discovered the body just after the gunshot was heard, all he did was press play on the tape recorder and there was the message.”

Abby crossed her arms as if to say case closed. Damo looked at her with a blank expression, so she continued.

“But if Reggie had just shot himself, who rewound the tape to the beginning?”

Light dawned in Damo’s eyes. “Oh, I see boss. Mike is lying about finding the body. He rewound the tape because he made the recording and killed him.”

“Spot on, Damo. I think this is one elf that won’t be gracing Santa’s grotto next year.”


Winners – Take 5 Issue 46

Where’s Polly Puzzler? ($50 x 1): U. Turnbull, SA

Join the dots & win!($250 x 1): J. Miller, NZ

Cash ($200 x 1): J. Stephens, Vic

Garage Door Opener (x 6): M. Ball, Qld;  V. Halliday, Vic ; C. Harkom, Vic ; V. Leckie, SA ; J. Nolan, NSW; J. Perrett, NSW

Cookbook (x 34): E. Alexander, Vic; K. Anderson, Qld; V. Arbery, SA; G. Blok, Vic; E. Board, Vic
; B. Bright, Vic; J. Browning, Qld; J. Burke, Qld; A. Burke, Vic; E. Cathro, Qld; V. Cutri, WA; S. De Florian, Qld; O. Dellios, Vic; J. Duggin, SA; C. Eaton, NSW; A. Ensby, NSW; E. Farnsworth, NSW; T. Godwin, NSW; C. A. Hanna, SA; L. Hurford, Qld; M. Jenkins, Qld; E. Jones, WA; D. Krause, Vic; M. Larfield, NSW; J. Lasscock, NSW; T. Lewis, Vic; I. Lord, Vic; J. Martin, SA; L. McCowan, Qld; A & J Merkel, SA; M. Miliauskas, WA; H. D. Monisse, WA; S. A. Moore, Qld; L. Morris, NSW; L. Murray, SA; L. Oliver, NSW; J. Petch, Vic; W. L. Rose, Vic; K. Shah, Vic; M. Smart, SA; S. Solway, NSW; B. Stephens, Qld; J. Strickland, Vic; M. Walker, Vic; L. Wilde, Vic; J. Wood, SA

Thermal Cooker &$150 Supermarket Voucher(x 1): D. Wilkie, NSW

7-Piece Cookware Set (x 1)t: J. Carr, Qld

Men’s Watch (x 1): D. Wiley, NSW

Hairdryer (x 1): D. Mills, NZ

Stick Vacuum (x 1): J. Amourin, Qld

Sudoku Pub Quiz ($50 x 4): R. Mary, Qld; M. Brown, NZ; E. Niesler, Qld; G. Speed, SA

Silver Jewellery (x 25): K. Armstrong, Qld; K. Baker, NSW; M. Boxhall, Vic; M. Brown, WA
; B. Bruccoleri, NSW; L. Budiharto, NSW; N. Erskine, SA; J. Grantham, SA; P. Harris, Qld; G. Henry, Qld; K. Holdstock, SA; M. Johnson, SA; J. Kane, NSW; V. Lyne, Qld; P. Mariona, Vic; L. Maroney, Vic; C. McLaren, WA; D. O’ Carroll, Qld; S. Peatey, Qld; C. Phelps, Vic; L. Sarkozi, NSW; G. Simmonds, Qld; A. Thompson, NSW; W. Watson, Vic; P. Woodford, NSW

World Clock (x 5): G. Adamski, Qld; C. Brett, Tas; N. Noakes, NSW; G. Patzwald, Qld; V. Ulherr, NSW

Photo Frame (x 25): J. Ashurst, NSW; P. Bankwell, NSW; S. Bywater, SA; J. Carroll, NSW; J. Critchley, SA; S. M. Dawson, NSW; R. Eastwood, NSW; J. Faucett, NSW; G. Hume, Vic; H. Kathleen, NSW; R. Ledger, NSW; J. Loft, Vic; B. Lynch, Vic; V. McNamara, WA; M. Morris, SA; G. Noble, Vic; N. Pond, Vic; R. Proud, NSW; N. Ridge, NSW; M. Roche, Vic; M. Steele, Vic; S. Sullivan, NSW; K. Tonetti, NSW; H. Westlake, Qld; L. Wilson, NSW

4-Piece Saucepan Set (x 2): B. Munro, WA; I. Yeates, Qld

Gym Equipment (x 1): J. Holberton, WA

DVD Pack (x 3): V. Griffiths, NSW; R. Nelson, NZ; S. Sweeney, NSW

Cash ($50 x 2): C. Knight, Vic; M. Wells, NSW

Luxury Towel Set (x 1): M. Birzer, NZ

Smart Phone (x 1): D. Hardidge, Qld

Kitchen Pack (x 11): C. Belz, Qld; K. Benson, Qld; A. Dowling, Qld; A. Govan, NSW; S. Grima, Vic; D. Haagsma, Vic; L. Hutchinson, Qld; J. Pratten, Vic; J. Stevenson, Qld; K. Walpole, Vic; E. Ward, NSW

Beach Pack (x 20): S. Blanch, NSW; L. Brown, Qld; J. Burrows, Qld; S. Burt, SA; C. Dean, WA; B. Deveney, WA; J. Dill, Qld; L. Ellis, Qld; D. Green, NSW; C. Green, NSW; S. Harding, Vic; A. Hurrell, WA; N. Loader, SA; L. Oakford, Vic; J. Olsen, Qld; C. Skinner, Qld; M. Smith, NSW; T. Tyers, Vic; V. Waller, NSW; L. Walter, Qld

Cash ($2,000 x 1): C. Thompson, Vic

Cash ($50 x 3): L. Bartley, Qld; M. Chawner, NSW; R. Thorley, NSW

Cash ($50 x 3): E. Cuntis, SA; R. Pickette, NSW; C. Traynor, WA

Cash ($50 x 3): K. Caddy, NSW; H. Emmerson, Vic; B. Rhino, NZ

Cash ($50 x 3): D. Behm, Qld; N. Dennis, Qld; D. Stock, SA

Cash ($50 x 3): M. Taberner, Vic; J. Tinsley, WA; J. Worthington, NSW

Slushie Maker (x2): E. J. Butler, Qld; T. Hooper, SA

Ladies’ Scarf (x 26): G. Bemrose, WA; L. Bolton, Qld; B. Butterworth, NSW; S. Capps, NSW; A. De Souza, Vic; T. Doregon, NSW; J. Ferreira, Vic; Z. Goldstein, NSW; P. Hall, Qld; L. Hay, Qld; K. Henderson, NSW; V. King, Vic; G. Kunde, Qld; J. Lewitzka, WA; G. Mason, NSW; H. Moore, Qld; M. Parker, Qld; S. Rawlinson, NSW; K. Reid, Tas; C. Sumner, WA; S. Tabbakh, WA; J. Thompson, WA; E. Thomson, NSW; V. Ward, Qld; E. Woods, Vic; S. Wyllie, NSW

Cash (S100 x 1): M. Robson, NZ

Cash ($50 x 1): R. Van Develen, SA

Cash ($100 x 1): D. Barr, NZ

Table Lamp (x 1): M. Steinke, Qld

Handbag ( x 10): L. Bailey, NSW; R. Bennett, SA; L. Blenkhorn, Tas; K. Dewer, NSW; J. Eggenhuizen, NSW; M. Forscutt, NZ; M. Harrap, WA; P. Herberich, Qld; C. Kurdi, NSW; H. Winter, Qld

Cologne (x 25): B. Bartlett, Vic; D. Burke, NSW; D. Davey, NSW; S. Dehne, Qld; S. Doyle, Qld; K. Dunlop, Vic; M. Farren, Vic; M. Gill, WA; J. Hatch, NSW; M. Jensen, Qld; W. Lewis, SA; L. Martion, WA; C. Mitchell, NSW; L. Mondello, Vic; B. Munchenberg, SA; V. O’neil, NSW; S. Perry, Vic; L. Reeve, NSW; J. Roberts, SA; E. Robertson, Qld; T. Robinso, NSW; D. Searle, Qld
; S. Veljanovska, NSW; R. Woolnough, NSW; C. Young, NSW

Baseball Set (x 1): B. Coulls, NSW

Game (x 1): C. Quinn, Qld

Lawn Game (x 1): S. Fern, Vic

Scooter (x 1 ): V. Sawatzki, Qld

DVD Pack (x 4): E. Burgess, NSW; P. Constable, NSW; E. Rose, WA; E. Yeoman, Vic

Robot (x 1): C. Windsor, Vic

Utensil Set (x 35): J. Andrews, Qld; A. Bailey, NSW; S. J. Bellingham, Qld; E. Clark, Qld; D. Cleaver, WA; M. Craig, Qld; C. D’abrera, NSW; K. Davey, Vic; G. Davies, WA; R. Devine, NSW; S. Dunbar, Qld; L. Elliott, Tas; M. Flynn, WA; J. Forsyth, WA; I. Friedrich, NSW; N. Fuller, NSW; D. Galea, NSW; R. Hatton, NSW; H. Hernahdez, Vic; S. Jensen, Qld; B. May, Vic; J. McFerren, Qld; J. McGregor, Vic; A. McGuinness, NSW; A. McKenzie, SA; H. Milne, Qld; A. Mitchell, NSW; J. M. Patterson, Qld; V. Phillips, NSW; M. Richmond, Qld; D. Rowe, SA; J. Stock, SA; S. Trippett, Qld; D. Whalley, Qld; S. Wilson, Vic

Whodunnit Fiction $250 Cash: G. Gaetani, Vic

Whodunnit solution – Xmas party

Hal’s eyes scanned the room.

Maryanne stormed out of the kitchen and walked up to Hal.

“What are you doing with my phone?” she demanded.

Hal didn’t reply. He heard the quiet beep of the phone beneath the chatter of the room.

The man in the reindeer jumper pulled his phone out of his pocket and stared in confusion.

“Your wife talked to a lot of people tonight,” Hal said. “The man in the dark suit, Bryan, who’s going through a divorce, he has a lipstick stain on his neck. But the lipstick is bright pink, not crimson like your wife’s lips. So unless he’s cheating on your wife, he can’t be the lover.”

Roger set his untouched glass of whiskey on the fireplace.

“Baby, don’t listen to him,” Maryanne started.

“I also heard a lot of talk about your wife and some chap named Phil. But we know from the messages Maryanne sent that she didn’t want her lover to show up tonight. And Maryanne told Phil that she was glad he came, even though he didn’t want to.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” she said angrily.

“That only leaves the man in the reindeer jumper, Charles, I believe his name is,” Hal continued. “Maryanne apologised every time she grazed someone in the crowd but when she bumped into him she stared at him in shock then hurried off. Any normal person would’ve just said sorry and moved along.”

Hal took a swig of the whiskey Roger had set down and sighed in satisfaction.

“Now, you two can deal with this on your own. Merry Christmas,” he said and walked out the door.



Whodunnit solution – Newspaper

The four of them looked at Hal incredulously.

“What would you know about murder?” Dorothy asked. “I know Sydney’s crime beat like the back of my hand, and our paths have never crossed before!”

“Indeed they haven’t,” Hal confirmed. “No doubt because you spend your days in coffee shops, not courts. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.”

Dorothy’s face was crinkled with crimson embarrassment.

“What’d I say before?” Chris asked with a know-it-all grin.

Now it was Hal’s turn to smile.

“I can refresh your memory very easily, Chris,” he began.

“You told me all about how you were speaking to a man who was bitten by a snake in New Zealand. Very interesting, considering it’s one of the few countries in the world that has no snakes. Not like Brazil, eh Sandra?”

“You better believe it,” Sandra smiled, suddenly filled with confidence.

“I think the only snake here is you, Chris,” Hal continued. “What’s worse, you expected me not to notice that steaming mug of coffee in your hands right when I entered. It would had to have been made right at the time Merve was in the kitchenette.”

Josie gasped. “Why did you do it, Chris?”

“Because he was feeding the paper’s stories to the opposition,” Hal answered. “He wanted Merve gone when he started to pay attention to what Chris was doing.”

“He poisoned my stories!” Chris cried. “My best work, torn to shreds and reduced to only a paragraph. He deserved to die.”

“Good God!” she said, shaking her head.

At that moment, Detective Rhodes entered. As usual, when all the hard work was done, thought Hal. Handcuffing Chris and escorting him from the building, the four considered what had been an eventful morning.

“Well, I suppose we’d better get back to work,” Sandra suggested. “Thanks to Hal, we’ve just found tomorrow’s front page story.”

Whodunnit solution – Spa

“How did you stumble upon that conclusion, boss?”

“Stumble upon, Scotty?” Abby said, rankling at the word. “I didn’t stumble upon anything.”

“No, ‘course not, boss, I didn’t mean…”

“I deduce, Scotty,” she said. “That’s what I do. And this time, I deduced it was Veronique.”

“How’s that?”

“It could have been any of them, really. They all stood to lose if Camilla sold the business and gave all her money to charity.”

They were standing in the front entrance and Abby bent to look at a display of lotions as she spoke.

“She’d had some kind of conversion on a trip to an elephant sanctuary in South Africa last year apparently.

“It could have been any of them found that letter and got so incensed that it drove them to murder.”

“How did you figure it was Veronique though?” Scotty asked.

Abby twisted the lid off a small, pink bottle of hand lotion and sniffed. “Oh that’s lovely. I must get some when I get back to town…”

“Boss? How did you know it was Veronique?” Scotty repeated himself.

“Hmm? Oh yes. She’d been hitting the ice-cream pretty hard that morning. She was on to her second tub when I was talking to her. She’d only just taken one spoonful out of it, but there was a dried dribble of chocolate ice-cream on her top.

“Now, when Savannah showed me the mail she’d picked up, there was a little brown ring staining the paper. That ring was chocolate ice-cream – exact same size as the bottom of Veronique’s tub. So Veronique has spotted the letter from the charity and opened it – they were all suspicious something was going on with Camilla because she’d been acting flaky as Tiffany had said.

“While Veronique was reading the letter, she’s put down that first small tub of ice-cream she was eating at the time, creating the little stain on the other letter sitting on the counter.

“She’s then torn the letter the shreds, gone into Camilla’s office and shot her boss with the gun, making it look like suicide, before shoving the torn up letter in the vase.”

“Wow, that’s pretty cold,” Scotty said.

“Yeah, ice cold I think you’d say,” Abby said, clearly pleased with her pun. “Shall we go get her for further questioning, Scotty?”

“Lead the way, boss.”


Whodunnit solution – Hotel

“Good job on the arrest,” Hal said to his friend, police officer Slater, walking into her office.

She was signing off on the paperwork from the eventful morning.

“No, good job on working it out,” she replied. “You always seem to be in just the right place at the right time.”

Hal shrugged and took a sip of his coffee. There was nothing he loved more than following up the end of a case with a large espresso.

“The second I saw those old bruises on his knuckles I knew something was going on behind closed doors.”

“But how did you know that she did it?” Slater asked. “My first guess would’ve been Chester. Sure, it was his father, but he had been abusing his mum.”

“That’s what I thought, too,” Hal agreed.

He slurped down the last dregs of his coffee and threw the empty container in the police station bin.

“But it wasn’t the son, it was Mrs Carter’s sister. Catherine told me she had just returned from the grocery store but when I leant in her car the heater had only just started to warm up. If she had been driving the car would’ve been warm already. That’s how I knew she was lying; she murdered Mr Carter and had just started the engine on her getaway car.”

“I don’t know how you do it, Hal,” she sighed.

Whodunnit solution – The garden

Scotty steered Abby to one side, away from the others. “Who are you arresting?” he hissed.

“Jennifer, of course,” she said.

“How do you know it was her?” Scotty frowned.

Abby looked down at her own hands, chipped red nail polish, a cat scratch on one finger.

“Maria was hit repeatedly on the right side of her head. So it stands to reason that the killer standing in front of her was left handed,” she explained.

“Right…” Scotty said, still not catching on.

“Jennifer was throwing and catching that ball over and over with her left hand – no effort, no problem. That’s when I noticed her engagement ring,” Abby said. “And when she reached for her mug of tea, she was the only one who used her left hand.”

“So the other two….” Scotty began.

“Are both right handed – it’s an instinctive movement. If you have a choice, you only reach for something with your dominant hand,” Abby finished. “Jennifer killed Maria. And I’d wager she did it because she thought with her out of the way, there was a high chance she’d be the one to inherit when Evelyn dies. Weddings these days don’t come cheap…”


Whodunnit solution – Croquet

Detective Rhodes raised an eyebrow. “Who died and made you Poirot?” he asked.

Hal fought to suppress a grin.

“I think if you check with your mates at police HQ you’ll find I’ve assisted them on countless occasions. I’ve even got the name of Chief Superintendent Robson in my mobile. Would you like me to give him a call?”

Detective Rhodes was stunned. His silence didn’t stop Tonya, who was obviously flustered.

“Shouldn’t we leave police work to the police?” she asked indignantly. “It’s bad enough that I’m going to be splashed all over the newspapers. I hope they don’t portray me as a runaway bride – I desperately wanted to marry Percival.”

Hal nodded in agreement. “I know you did, but someone didn’t share the same enthusiasm. Did they Susan?”

Hal turned to the housekeeper and saw her blanched face.

“What did I do?” she hissed. “You’ve just got it in for me!”

Rubbing his hands together, Hal waited a few seconds before he continued.

“I find it hard to believe that you could have seen Percival from the bathroom window while you were taking a shower,” he began.

“In fact, I don’t think you could have seen anything at all considering the thickness of your glasses and the fact you wouldn’t have been wearing them in the shower. And, anyway, if you really were taking a shower, after 10 minutes the hot water would have fogged up the window until it became opaque.”

Now, even Darleen was paying attention.

“I couldn’t bear the thought of losing my job!” Susan wailed. “Not after 25 years. But that’s what he was planning to do. He wanted Darleen to work for her keep. I was furious!”

Hal thought back to the first words he’d heard Susan speak: “My dear, dear boss.” She’d struck him as insincere straightaway.

Detective Rhodes wasted little time in handcuffing her.

“Thanks for making this one easy for me, Spears,” he said, giving Hal a hearty slap on the back.

“Don’t mention it, detective,” Hal said as the burly man marched his suspect out the door.

As Tonya escorted him outside, she turned to Hal, a single tear running down her cheek.

“Percival is gone and I have these two stupid tickets. I don’t suppose you fancy the opera, Hal?” she asked.

“It would be my privilege,” Hal said, with a small bow more courtly than his dishevelled appearance would suggest he could muster.

Whodunnit solution – Fashion

“Hang on, boss,” Scotty said, waylaying Abby before she could climb the stairs. “Mind letting me know who we’re talking to?”

“Hugh, of course.”

“Of course,” Scotty said. “Why of course.”

“Thing is, Bethany said that when they found the body, there was that pink feather from one of the boas stuck in the blood. But Hugh said he hadn’t given Clarice her boa yet.”

Abby started back up the stairs, taking them two at a time – no small feat for someone with short little legs.

“Now this old factory has just been refurbished, they were only about to start filming the show today, so no other sewing activity had gone on, so how did that pink feather get upstairs?

“No-one visited her – she wasn’t very popular as you’ve heard. Hugh has fibbed about not taking the feather boa to Clarice before the others. My feeling is that in fact he’s taken it up to Clarice’s dressing room before briniging the other boas to the contestants. They’ve got into an argument and he’s killed her. She probably threatened to set her father on him for something – wasn’t above it from the sounds of her.

“He’s killed her in a fit of rage, grabbed the feather boa he’d taken up there and tried to cover his tracks by bringing his assistant with him to ‘discover’ the body,” Making out he hadn’t been there before,” Abby said.

She stopped at the top of the stairs, a little puffed. “We’ll lean on him, Scotty. I don’t think this egg will take long to crack.

“Which is just as well. I’m feeling sartorially very inelegant right now. I need to get to the shops before they close.”