The Case of Nosy Neighbors
Sarah had just returned home from Delightful Dining. She had a great Chinese dinner at Chef Ping and ordered her favorite dish Moo Shu Beef. After parking her Nissan in front of her townhouse, she walked to the end of the drive to get her mail. Suddenly, there was a loud crash coming from her neighbor’s house. Sarah pulled out her phone ready to dial 911 should the need arise and went to investigate.
She walked around to the back and looked through the patio door and saw a body lying on the floor. After calling 911, she tried the door. It opened easily and she rushed toward the body. It was her neighbor John. When she put her hand on his neck to check for a pulse, she felt a sticky substance. Blood! John was dead!
Sunday morning, Sarah was telling Joanne about the previous night. The police had been there most of the night. “I gave them my statement, but there wasn’t much I could tell them. ”
Joanne asked “Did you know him well?’
“No not really. He travelled a lot. When he got back this last time he seemed on edge.”
“What makes you think that?” Joanne prodded.
“He was over for a drink and kept looking out the windows. After he left I found this figurine on my shelf. I tried to return it to him and he said it wasn’t his, but I know it was.” Sarah took a small gnome off of her shelf and handed it to Joanne.
Joanne examined the little porcelain statue. It was a little man wearing a red hat and was about 3 inches tall. She shook it and heard a small rattle.
Sarah picked up the drive. “Let’s take a look at this maybe there is a clue to the murderer on it.”
She plugged the flash drive into her laptop. The drive contained spreadsheets and videos. Clicking on one that said “Surveillance March 2018” a dark and grainy video began to play.
Sarah said “Oh my! That is my other neighbor, Peter!”
“What’s he doing?” asked Joanne.
“He is breaking into John’s house!”
Joanne said “Let’s see if we can find more video that night.”
“Here’s one” said Sarah.
The video showed Peter inside John’s house. He rifled through the desk and drawers. Then he put a small item on the bookcase behind John’s desk.
“He is installing a camera!”
“What else is on the drive?” Joanne asked.
“Here’s a file called ‘European Agents 2015’” Sarah told her.
When she opened the file a list of names appeared. Next to each name there were lists of European cities and dates.
“I have an idea” Joanne said “Give me your laptop”
Sarah handed over the computer. Joanne started searching the names and dates. “Look here! – some of these dates and cities correlate to international incidents. An explosion of the Russian embassy, an Olympic athlete defecting and an assassination attempt on a Bosnian diplomat. I think John was a spy!”
Sarah grabbed the laptop “Let me try something!” Sarah began her own computer search. “I have searched six of these people on the list and half of them are dead under suspicious circumstances.”
“I bet these are the files Peter was looking for when he was searching John’s house.” Joanne said.
“Do you think Peter killed John?” Sarah asked.
“If he didn’t, he probably knows who did. We need to call the police!”
A few weeks later Delightful Dining was gathered at Brio, Sarah and Joanne were sharing their story. “..And the police arrested Peter on suspicion of murder. Peter’s breaking and entering actually backfired on him because his own cameras recorded him killing John.” Sarah said.
“Why did Peter want to kill John” ask Pearl one of the newest Delightful Diners.
“It turns out Peter was a Russian spy and he was killing CIA agents and former CIA agents. John was an agent. He was looking for the Russian spy but did not know it was Peter until it was too late!”
“I am glad they got him!” said Joanne.
“Me too” said Sarah.
Pearl said “Thanks to you two amateur detectives! A toast to the heroes of the day!”