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Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in WhoDunIt |

The Convent Mystery

The Convent Mystery

“We have a little mystery at the Inner City Convent,” the Mother Superior said as she poured a second cup of tea. Inspector Griffith was immediately interested.

“It’s the convent offices. We have three civilian employees there to handle the mail and the bills and the bookkeeping. Alice has been with us for years. Very reliable, even though she has a bit of a drinking problem and a husband who ….. Let’s just say he can use our prayers.

“Barbara is new. She worked at an Alaskan convent before coming here. She’s seems wonderful, although we’re still waiting for the sisters there to send us a character reference.

“Our third is Claudia. Ever since the city opened up riverboat gambling . . . Well, I’m not going to point fingers, but there have been some minor irregularities in our petty cash.

“As you know, the office is closed all weekend. On Monday morning I arrive first. I open up, check the mail, water the plants, turn off the alarm. We have this new fangled alarm system. It does all the usual.

And it also automatically records whenever the alarm has been turned off. I never quite saw the sense of that.

But four Mondays ago when I came in, I checked the log. The alarm had been turned off Saturday afternoon. For five minutes. Then it was switched back on. I didn’t think anything of it. Someone probably came back to retrieve some forgotten item.

“The next Monday, I found the same thing. Turned off Saturday afternoon for five minutes. I asked the women—they all have alarm keys. All three denied having visited the office.”

“This has been going on for four Saturdays now. Nothing is ever missing or changed. Even the petty cash is exactly the same as it was Friday evening. It’s baffling—although I don’t suppose there’s any harm done.”

“There could be harm,” Inspector Griffith replied. “I can think of only one possible explanation. And I think we need to deal with this woman right away.”


Question: Whom does the 'Inspector Griffith' suspect and why?

Answer: Since nothing was ever missing, the inspector theorized that the intruder might be trying to remove something that arrived over the weekend. The only thing that regularly arrived over the weekend was the mail. His theory was bolstered by the fact that the Saturday mail was the only delivery personally handled by Mother Superior— each Monday morning. The one woman who might benefit from intercepting the mail was Barbara, who had lied on her application. She had never worked for an Alaskan convent. During the week, Barbara screened the letters, looking for an Alaskan postmark. Then every Saturday, she broke in shortly after the mail delivery and checked again.