Hey people, as promised, here’s my first giveaway here celebrating my first 50 posts. Below you’ll find a mystery written by a mentor of mine, which I’ve adapted for the blog. The rule is very simple:
Figure out “who did it” but in stating your answer in the comment box, you MUST go through all suspects stating why you didn’t pick them.
The Prize: A ticket to watch the Broadway success, Fela in Lagos.
Other Terms: The challenge is only open to participants who either reside in Lagos or will be in Lagos during the staging period. The ticket will go to the FIRST person who gets and states the answer correctly. Good luck.
Lola Shonibare: The gruff one
Ngozi Ikechukwu: The talkative one
Amina Ibrahim: The sweet one
Ekaete Effiong: The thoughtful one
Naomi Mark: The loud one
Jumoke Afolabi: The dead one.
Four elderly ladies sat at the dining room table in Lola Shonibare’s home. Lola was 90 years old but still lived alone with the assistance of her son who came over twice a week. Lola was clear minded but was failing physically. She could only move around slowly and with the aid of a cane. With difficulty, she joined the others. She always made it a point to make certain her guests were seated before joining them from the kitchen. Now there were five sitting around the old fashioned round cherry wood table. They sat in silence, all of them keenly aware that, at this time last week, there had been six of them. But, not now, for Jumoke Afolabi had died suddenly shortly after their last meeting. 75-year old Amina considered it a blessing that they had almost a week to recover from the shock.
But, not for long, for Lola had another shock for them. After settling in her chair, she looked straight at Naomi and said, bluntly. “One of us murdered Jumoke. I don’t appreciate that it was done in my home, right under our noses. One of us laced her tea with enough arsenic to drop a horse.”
It was no accident that she looked at Naomi as she said this, for Naomi, 80 years old and almost deaf, was the most obnoxious person in the group, the member of their unofficial club Lola had the least patience with.
The ladies sat in stunned silence. It was common practice upon arriving at Lola’s home to go to the kitchen and get your own tea. Lola, very much a person of old school social graces, was ashamed and embarrassed that she was so weak in her hands that she could not pour the tea in the dining room from a pitcher. Lola did not have to remind them of this as she observed the expressions on each of her friends’ faces.
Lola looked at Ekaete. She had distaste for how she dressed when visiting her home. Still trim and svelte at age 69, Ekaete always wore a tight fitting sweat suit, no different than the one she was wearing on this day. Lola thought her many years too old for this but said nothing, for all of them liked Ekaete for her kindness and thoughtfulness. Today, Ekaete had her purse with her, something she had left in her car last week.
Ekaete was the one that asked, “How do you know she was murdered? Has anyone spoken to the police?
Lola said, “There was a pool of pungent liquid on the kitchen counter. The killer must have been in a hurry and spilled it. It’s a good thing I suspected something and had it tested or I may be dead, too. As for the police, yes, they are waiting to arrest the murderer when our meeting is over.”
The high-strung Amina finally broke the silence. In a shaky voice, she said, “I didn’t have tea last week. I never entered the kitchen.” Amina was on the verge of tears. Lola merely nodded her head as she remembered that this was so. She hated it that the quiet, soft-spoken Amina had to endure this.
Lola thought briefly that she was surprised that Ngozi had so far said nothing. Normally she wouldn’t shut up. Before continuing that sour thought, Naomi said, shrilly as was her custom, “I don’t know why you looked at me like you did. I didn’t kill her!” Lola sat quietly for a long moment before answering. There wasn’t much about Naomi to like. Her loose clothes, over sized handbag and sun hat made her look like a down and out bag lady. She was not a well-coordinated person and advanced age had not helped this. She always seemed on the verge of stumbling and her jerky movements only accentuated her slovenly demeanour. Still, Lola and the others liked her in a condescending way. Lola said, “Nobody said you did, so just relax.
Facing Lola, Ngozi finally spoke up. “I poured your tea along with mine.” She added, wryly, “We’re both still alive.” Ngozi was 68 years old and very spry for her age. Lola considered that she observed all of Ngozi’s movements when in the kitchen with her last week. Indeed, watching others was something she was good at. It was her compensation for being old and mostly immobile. Ngozi was another person in the group that was hard to like, for she was brassy and too gossipy even for the standards of the Ladies at Table.
What the ladies did not know was that Lola’s nephew, Sergeant. Daniel Shonibare of the Area F Police Division, waited silently in her bedroom with a uniformed officer, listening carefully for signs of trouble and waiting to arrest the murderer when his Aunt Lola pointed her out. Shonibare knew that, although Aunt Lola’s body may be failing, there was nothing wrong with her keen mind. He knew this would be over in a few minutes.
As if on cue, Lola pointed a shaky finger at the murderer and said, loud as she could, “Come out, Daniel.”