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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Mysteries By Members  / Solve-it-Yourself and Puzzle Mysteries  /

New Mystery: The Three Friends Potluck by Henry Lopez
 
Postcog - 08:48am Jun 9, 2005 PST

Part 1 of 2

The Three Friends Potluck by PostCog

The guests volunteered Ma to the task of hosting.The young man didn’t mind the task, but he kept in mind that the idea wasn’t his to begin with.

“Come on over!” Theodore said, “It’ll be great for you to practice your rusty people skills. And besides, I know you‘re really good with names and faces.”

Ma stood up once again to grab some chips and punch from the table. All of the dishes that the guests brought were decked out to impress. And impressed Ma was! From the appetizers to the finger foods to the main dishes, he had tried out each item.

“Is that your second helping of spaghetti?” Theodore asked.

“You betcha!” Ma answered happily.

Everyone chuckled. The gathering was a warm one and everyone seemed to get along. Several guests sat on the chairs and sofa. They told jokes and stories and reminisced on the old days.

“Could you be a dear, Ma, and get me some chips?” Cindy asked.

“No problem!”

From the sitting area of the living room, Ma passed the front door and walked to the food table. He wasn’t in a rush and mingled with other guests around the roast beef.

“I can’t forget the high school days,” Theodore said with a tear in his eye, “But the party wouldn’t be complete without THOSE three.”

“THOSE three?” Ma thought, “That’s right. Randy, Dmitri, and Wallace.”

Ma even knew their faces. Or at least their faces from their last year of high school. They were on the guest list.

“They’re always so unpredictable,” Cindy said, “Who knows when they’ll show up if at all!”

“Oh, they’ll show. From as far as I can remember, they could never resist putting on a show.”

“Was that just a warning for me?” Ma wondered.

“Thank you,” Cindy said as Ma handed her a plate, “Hey, someone’s knocking on the door.”

All of the guests were now settled in on the sofas and chairs enjoying their meal. Ma opened the door. The face was chubbier, but not the expression or eyes.

“If I’m correct. This fellow is Dmitri.” The new guest asserted a firm handshake.

“Good to be here,” Dmitri boomed, “Theodore, you haven’t aged a day! Get up here you!”

Theodore knew something was up, but he got up anyway and approached Dmitri’s extended hand.

“Too slow, my friend!” He quickly moved his hand to the back of his head.

Even Ma was amused.

“So you are the impartial host! Do not sit down just yet or you, Theodore. My comrades will arrive shortly.”

Cindy stood up and walked over to the party table clutching her open purse.

“It’s the least I can do,” she said to Ma, “You can’t host and serve at the same time.”

And then another knock.

“Ah, this must be the famous Randy!” Ma began as he shook his hand.

“Please, no fancy intros,” the newcomer said brushing his hair back, “And yet, you must admit, I am to die for. In the state I’m in, I’d kill for me.”

The room grew quiet. The friend smiled sadly.

“Geez, no one’s changed. That’s called a joke!”

“I missed you, man! You‘re still the drama club protégé we know and love.” Dmitri said. What started as a formal handshake with the right hand became a firm hug with the other.

“You’re still as strong as ever! And you Theodore…”

What Theodore thought would be a handshake became a gentle shove to the face.

“You still have much to learn.”

More laughter.

“I guess it’s your turn to get served,” Ma thought chuckling to himself.

Randy walked over to the food table and began piling a plate.

“Oh, another knock. And finally Wallace!”

“You’ve got quite a grip there partner,” the final friend said to Ma, “It’s you!”

Wallace took Dmitri by the hand and gave him the same greeting as Randy.

“These guys are really close.” Ma smiled.

“We can’t forget Theodore! We used to pick on you so much, but maybe we can put that behind us.” Wallace approached Theodore’s outstretched hand and simply laughed. More chuckles.

“Would you like some food?” Cindy asked, “You must try the nachos.”

“How can I resist?” Wallace walked over.

“I’m not hungry,” Dmitri said.

In one smooth motion, Dmitri removed his jacket, spun around, and tossed his jacket on to the coat rack in the corner next to the sofa. Applause followed from the impressed crowd as he strutted and sat among th


Postcog - 08:58am Jun 9, 2005 PST(#1 of 4)

Part 2 of 2

“So who is the host?” Dmitri asked.

“Oh, that’s Ma,” Theodore answered, “He’s a-”

And then tragedy struck. A loud thud echoed throughout the room.

“Randy!” Wallace yelled, “He’s not moving.”

Ma ran up to the food table and knelt beside Randy. No pulse. Next to his hand was a plate full of nachos, spaghetti, salad, and carrot sticks. Ma smelled sweet cyanide poison.

“No good. He’s been poisoned,” Ma said, “Someone call the police!”

Theodore ran into the kitchen.

Ma’s mind was racing. And then he realized something.

“Wallace!”

Ma sniffed at Wallace’s plate. Roast beef, nachos, chips, lasagna, and the same evil smell. Impulsively grabbing Wallace’s hands by the wrists, Ma sniffed the right hand, shook his head, sniffed the other, and like a bloodhound, gave an excited yelp .

“Just like Randy, there’s poison on this hand as well!”

“Really?” Wallace moved his hand toward his nose. “It’s like bad perfume.”

He then raced to the bathroom to wash off the insidious liquid.

“Everyone stay where you are! And remember everything you’ve seen ladies and gentlemen. The police will need your testimonies.”

“Cindy.” Attention was now focused on her. “You were here serving food. Did you notice anything suspicious?”

“No. As far as I can tell, the two were talking and getting food,” she responded.

“She poisoned them!” Theodore yelled, “You’ve always liked Randy, and he always turned you down.”

“No, you’re wrong! I’d never kill anyone.”

“Could I check your purse?” Ma asked. Cindy nodded.

Using a handkerchief, Ma pulled out a small bottle. He opened and sniffed. He shook his head.

“This is cyanide.”

“Dmitri, take her away!” Theodore commanded as the crowd grew louder and uglier.

Dmitri walked over and escorted Cindy to the bedroom.

“Sorry about this,” Dmitri muttered, “I think it’s best you wait over here till things calm down.”

Wallace now returned and was surprised at the demeanor of the crowd. What was initial shock was growing into fury.

“What happened?”

“Cindy had a bottle of cyanide in her purse.” Ma explained, “Is there any reason-”

“No!” Wallace interrupted, “Randy and I have always been good friends with Cindy.”

“Did you notice anything fishy?”

“I didn’t see anything suspicious. Wait. Cindy insisted on serving us our food.”

“Did she let you pick and choose what was on the table?”

“Oh yeah, she did. She didn’t seem like she was up to something.”

Theodore relayed the collective thoughts of the crowd to Ma.

“They saw the food table the whole time,” he said, “She must have pulled quite a trick in front of all of us because nobody saw her pull out that bottle.”

“I sniffed each and every food item on that table,” Ma thought, “Aside from Wallace’s and Randy’s plates, I didn’t smell any cyanide. The police will search the table and most likely get the same conclusion.

“Sigh. Look how ugly everyone is becoming. Accusing each other. Well, I guess I’ll solve this one like usual, but geez! What a sad reunion this is!”

Who killed Randy? And please, provide evidence and reasoning.


Postcog - 08:57am Jun 15, 2005 PST(#2 of 4)

Ok detectives. I guess, just post your theories/solutions here. Or you can email them to me. I'd prefer the former that way you can help each other out.


Postcog - 08:56pm Aug 30, 2005 PST(#3 of 4)

Ok. I've got two theories from participants along with my comments.

(1) Dmitri is the murderer because he shook hands with the two other friends.

The problem with this: Ma also shook hands with Dmitri. He wasn't poisoned and if he was, he certainly would have rinsed it off. Furthermore, Randy shoved his allegedly poisoned hand into Theodore's face. Theodore didn't die or even get sick. Looks like Dmitri gets off on this one.

(2) It must have been Dmitri, who put cyanide powder in the sauce on the lasagna, then slid the bottle into Cary's purse to avoid detection.

The problem with this: Dmitri never approached the dining table and has an alibi for Randy's time of death: he was sitting among the guests who were sitting across and far away from the potluck table. Why is everyone picking on Dmitri?


Coma Tose - 11:28pm Aug 27, 2006 PST(#4 of 4)

Dmitri did it. He poisoned the back of his coat with cyanide and later dropped the bottle into Cindy's purse. That way when he hugged Randy with his right, Randy's left hand would land on the back and get the cyanide. Wallace was poisoned in the same manner since he hugged him as well. The evidence is obviously the cyanide covered coat that Dmitri threw onto the coat rack. Ma didn't hug, that's why he wasn't poisoned. Neither did Theodore get it because he was touched on his face by the hand Randy shakes with, his right.

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Mysteries By Members  / Solve-it-Yourself and Puzzle Mysteries  / New Mystery: The Three Friends Potluck by Henry Lopez

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