A Musical Murder Mystery By The Numbers – from 7th Grade

Author’s Note: I have few memories left of my childhood, but I think this was an assignment in my 7th Grade reading comprehension class. Printed 1/3 on a dot matrix, and 2/3 by hand, grammar was left by the wayside. George Roberts is a real person, and I played trombone with him a few times at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Unfortunately, I don’t think I ever gave him a copy of this, and I can’t even figure out if he’s still alive (born in 1928, Des Moines, Iowa). I’ll probably do a revised version and record a voiceover with soundtrack music at some point, but please give him a copy of this ASAP if you can.

9. See if you can create a mystery story using these suspects and clues. Put the clues together to make a solution for the mystery.

I’m Roe, Jonathan Roe, S.D. (Seniors’ Detective). I’ve been hired to take up the case of George Roberts, a famous bass trombone player. He is presently living in Fallbrook. He claimed somebody (or some people) were trying to kill him. He suspected that his sister, his daughter, and his nephew were trying to kill him. He suspected his sister because she was never able to play a musical instrument. To play a musical instrument with a good sound herself; enough to make money like him. He suspected his daughter because she was always complaining that he made more money than rap singers, in general. He said that she’s been writing letters to rap singers promising generous donations in a short while. So he thought that she might have meant [his] money. He suspected his nephew because he quaffs poisons for his full time job.

I went to search the nephew’s room first because he had the most substantial evidence. And guess what I found! I found a bottle of poison with the name “George” on it that was clear red. Just for an experiment, I put a swig of it in a small vial and took it to my lab for testing. I gave part of the vial to a lab rat that was about as old as George and it killed him instantly. I recorded that down in my notebook and went on to the next substantial clue. The next person I checked on was his daughter.

I searched the daughter’s room and I found a broken plate with the same clear red liquid on its break line that I found in the nephew’s lab. To test that it was the same poison, I injected the poison into another rat’s bloodstream, and what do you know; it died too! I recorded that down in my notebook and right after that, I got a call from George excitedly saying,

“My hollowed-out book that had the keys to my safe in it has just been stolen!”

I told him to stay calm and to lock himself in his room, and he agreed. So, the next clue to check out was his sister’s room.

I checked out the sister’s room and I found a lone book under the bed covers. Its title was “The Secret Garden”. And it fit, because the safe was supposed to be secret. I took the book, and went to George’s room. I slid the book through a secret hole behind a picture and he let me in.

He said that somebody tried to throw a broken plate at him through the secret hole, but it missed its mark. For protection, I nailed a board over his side of the secret hole tightly. I then asked him if he had any secret passageways to get to the safe. He almost instantly remembered that there was a small passageway behind a rug hanging on the wall. He uncovered the portal, tapped out “Charge!” on it, and it slid up into nowhere silently.

I slid into it first, and then I helped George get in. Then I turned around, saw a bright dot of light, and signaled George to it. He nodded, and we continued towards it, reaching it in minutes. George signaled me to peer through the hole and I saw three people in the safe; 1 old, 2 young, assumedely the daughter, sister, and nephew. He motioned me to put my ear to the door, and I heard all three of them talking about their murder plans.

The nephew was saying that some of his poison was missing, the sister was saying that the secret book was missing, but luckily she made copies of the keys. The daughter was saying that a minute amount of poison was missing from the broken plate piece that she didn’t use yet. Then the daughter and sister decided to raid George’s room and try to stab him with the other broken plate piece. So then the daughter and sister crept out of the safe and tiptoed toward George’s room. Then they kicked down the door and rushed inside to grab and kill him. But, George was not to be found, because he was in the super-secret passageway with me.

When the sister and daughter gave up, they stormed back to the safe and complained to the nephew. The nephew devised a plan in which he would take George out for dinner and give him the poison in a wine bottle to drink, and that would kill him. The nephew said to wait a while in the safe, and then when he came back to his room, then he would invite him out to dinner.

So, George and I scrambled back to the room door to devise a plan of our own. We decided that we would slam the door, and do footsteps over to some lounging chairs to make it look like we just got here. Then, when the nephew came and showed the wine bottle to us, I would ask for it. Not to drink it, just to drop a de-poison pill in it behind the nephew’s back. Then, when the nephew wants it back, then we’d give it to him freely. So, we carried our plan out and by no time were we in the car on the way to “Tiffanies”.

There, we were treated to a superb feast, so it took a long time to finish eating. When it came time to drink the “wine”, George slugged it down! I could see a small grin starting to come over the nephew’s face, but by the time George finished, that grin was a grimace. George acted like he was refreshed and the wine was the best he’d ever drunk in his whole life.

Then, the nephew started laughing hysterically. After a few seconds, the young man pulled a gun out of his pocket and both of us ducked. He was laughing so hysterically, though, that all his shots hit the ceiling. Then one of the bullets ricocheted down & hit George’s nephew right between the eyes! He tipped forward slowly, then plopped right onto the wine glass headfirst. The crunch of glass made a sound like a grace note.

Everyone was stunned and stared silently until George picked up his trombone. He played his funeral set. Then he played When The Saints Go Marching In. The nephew wasn’t a saint, but George felt for him anyway. He asked everyone to pray for him. Everybody had a moment of silence for him. Then I called the police and the coroner’s office. They were right across the street though, so there wasn’t a long wait.

They officially deemed him dead after a few interviews. George wept awhile and called the sister and daughter. Then they arrived, wept and confessed. The police booked them on charges of attempted murder, and we all lived on happily ever after.


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