A window for murder
The jacaranda trees were in bloom either side of the bed and breakfast’s beautiful bay window.
“I guess that’s why it’s called the Bay Window B&B,” mused senior constable Scotty, as he followed Detective Sergeant Abby Sweet inside.
“Nice observation, Scotty,” Abby chuckled.
But what lay within was no laughing matter.
Beneath that beautiful window was the body of the innkeeper, Gerald Wicks. He’d been brutally stabbed to death and was lying in a pool of blood.
Abby looked down at the body then peered back out through the windows. The sun was setting behind the jacarandas now, the last tendrils of light bathing the garden in a golden glow.
“Let’s get this wrapped up before nightfall,” she said to Scotty. “What do we know?”
“There were only three other people in the B&B at the time of the murder,” he said, consulting his notebook. “The maid, Molly Meldrew, the cook, Delia Danks, and a woman named Petula Vine, who was Gerald’s niece.”
“Where were all the guests?” Abby frowned.
Just then three women appeared, and Delia answered her question. “Business has been slow,” she said. “We have a couple of bookings next week but nothing at the moment. Both Molly and I are live-ins, though, so we’re always here regardless.”
“And I’m just staying to keep Uncle company,” Petula said. “The four of us had dinner together last night.”
“Then what happened?” Abby urged.
“I went to bed at 11pm after clearing up the dining room,” Molly said. “I didn’t stir until Petula discovered his body this morning. Believe me, I’m innocent in all this.”
“I was up a bit later than that as I needed to clean the kitchen after dinner,” Delia said. “I said goodnight to Gerald on my way up. He was sitting in the lounge reading a book. I’d never have harmed the man. He’s put a roof over my head and given me work for the past decade.”
Abby now turned to Petula.
“I stayed up until about midnight, reading in the lounge also. I went to bed before Uncle,” she said. “I woke at about 5.30am and needed a glass of water so I came downstairs. At first all I could see was the lovely sunrise through the bay window, but then I realised Uncle was lying there, covered in blood…”
She put one hand to her mouth, struggling to speak.
“I screamed and the other two came running,” she went on after a moment. “That’s when we called you.”
Abby gazed out the bay window. The sun was very low in the sky; darkness was falling. Thankfully, she knew who the murderer was.
Who killed Gerald Wicks?