Justice Steps Softly
Sheriff Amanda Brady walked past her deputy Sam Drummond who was sitting on the veranda of the Victorian house with three other people. She crossed the front hallway and stopped in the living room, squatting beside Doc Howard to ask the expected question. "Time and cause?"
"Quite recent—within the last hour, probably. Cause of death is obvious." He motioned towards the discoloured brick lying beside the victim.
Sheriff Brady made a cursory examination of the scene, kneeling briefly beside Sarah Armitage who lay with her head in a pool of blood. As she stood, a Persian cat wound around her ankles, meowing, and she stooped to pet it.
Back on the veranda, her deputy made the introductions, "This is Monica Stevens, niece of the deceased, Jared Pointer, nephew and Fred Armitage, a cousin. Apparently they all have a motive. They're all in her will and from what I hear, the estate will be considerable."
Brady stared for a moment at the threesome. They were a sorry looking lot. Jared was sniffling into a tissue, "Catching a cold," he replied to her glance. Fred looked like he was recovering from a bad hangover and Monica had her fingers pressed to the bridge of her nose in the gesture common to headache sufferers.
Brady started with the niece. "When did you last see your aunt?"
"Last month," she said, "Well, until this morning. I'm the one who found her. Then they" she pointed at the two men, "came up just as I was calling the police. It was quite a coincidence." she added.
Fred Armitage jumped up. "I always come by on Monday mornings, to see if she needs anything. Which is more than I can say for you two." Apparently there was no love lost amongst the survivors. Then, looking at Sheriff Brady, he added. "Last time I saw her was last Monday, same time."
"How about you?" Amanda nodded at Jared.
"I haven't seen her for a couple of weeks." Fred gave a snort at this.
"Did any of you touch the body?"
"I didn't need to," said Monica," I could tell she was dead."
"I never even went into the house," said Fred.
"Ditto," said Jared. "I just drove up and saw Monica's car in the drive. She was on the veranda talking on her cell when I got here. She's the one with the opportunity. Fred saw me drive up." Fred grunted a reluctant acknowledgment.
Just then the Doc opened the door and the Persian cat came out at his heels. "Here Bubbles," called Monica, but Bubbles totally ignored her, choosing instead to jump up on Jared's knee. He immediately shoved her off and reached for his tissue to stop a sneeze.
"Well, boss, what do you think?' said Sam, as he followed Amanda to the street to talk to the Doc.
"Well" she said. "At least one of them is lying, so there's a starting point."
Who was lying?
Scroll below and see if your solution matches up: