I hope everyone’s doing well today. I tried my hand at writing a sort of murder mystery setting and I hope you all like it!
Prompt: A New York police officer gets wrapped up in a series of murders occurring on the small Caribbean island when the first person that turns up dead as a woman he was seeing.
Houston unfolded his reading glasses and put them on.
“It looks like the murders have a pattern,” he said to himself absentmindedly, running a finger over the first file folder in front of him.
The Sheriff was on his feet instantly. “What is it?”
Houston turned away from the documents spread out on the table. “Every one of the victims graduated from St. Ernesto University.
Sheriff Joaquin Lupetey shook his head. “That’s not much of a lead, Detective. Almost anyone who went to college here in Aruba went to St. Ernesto. Even I did.”
Houston shook his head. “But there’s more. All five of them graduated in the past four years. And all of them majored in theology. That can’t be a coincidence,” he mused.
The Sheriff stood straighter again. “Good, we have a lead,” he said in relief.
Houston turned to Sheriff Lupetey. “I’m going to go to St. Ernesto University now. I’ll need authorization to look over the victims’ schedules and attendance records. Chances are that something in there will lead us to our murderer.”
The Sheriff nodded at Houston. “Thank you, Lex. I know that this isn’t how you expected to spend your vacation.”
Houston shrugged nonchalantly. “Once a detective, always a detective. I can’t resist a case. Especially when it comes to me on a silver platter.”
He left the Sheriff’s office, taking a cab to his hotel. Before hunting down a murderer, he needed coffee and contemplation time.
In all honesty, he hadn’t been expecting to do any detective work while on vacation. Aruba was supposed to be an escape for him- a month of well-earned vacation in a paradise island far, far away from work and any other troubles.
Yet here he was, knee-deep in a juicy murder mystery case, and he couldn’t stop himself from delving even deeper into it. The local police department was sincere and earnest but failed to quite hit the mark with their searches. They were more used to an old lady getting pickpocketed than a murder.
When Houston rode to the University in another cab, he thought about how he’d got tangled in this whole mess.
He’d started seeing a woman named Maria Jean-Louis. She was beautiful and bold and elegant and eloquent all at the same time. She seemed to tower over you with her olive complexion and red ringlets, but she could be sweet or brash if she wanted.
They had really hit it off- she was twenty-six and had a degree in theology and law, which made her very intrigued with the rogue detective whose morality came from law, not God.
They had been dating for two weeks- he took Maria out to the movies, to the mall, to a national park, the beach- when he arrived at her place for another date and found her lying in a pool of her own blood.
That’s when he vowed to find the killer. Houston had never had much of a romantic flair- he was much too busy with work and whatnot. But Maria- she had seemed like she could have been the one.
Well, not anymore.
“Sir, we’ve reached,” came the voice of the cab driver, interrupting Houston’s daydreams.
“Sure,” Houston said, his mind still far away. “You can bill it on Lex Houston.”
Houston stepped out of the car and walked through the college campus, searching for the main office.
“Hello, may I help you?” asked the lady at the front office, her name tag saying ‘Ginger Pozo’.
Houston leaned on the front desk. “Lex Houston, sent by the Police Department. Sheriff Lupetey should have sent authorization for me to see the schedules and records of five graduates.”
Ginger Pozo nodded and typed furiously on the computer in front of her. “Maria Jean-Louis, Aaldert Bajan, Schuyler Voeman, Julian Cotto, and Agnes Facey?” she asked with a heavy accent.
Houston nodded and took a pass from her before being led down the hall to a printing room where his copies of the records waited.
“Thank you,” Houston said, but his mind was already wandering from one paper to the next.
He barely registered Ginger Pozo telling him to take his time, already deep into the intrigue. Houston ran his finger over Maria’s record, seeing her lovely face with the deep-set features again.
“Aha,” he murmured, stopping to arrange five specific papers in front of him. All of the students had one teacher in common. Marcus Edmess, their ‘theology and common religious theories’ teacher.
“That’s our suspect.”
Do you enjoy reading murder mysteries? How did this go for my first attempt at a murder mystery? What motive do you think Marcus Edmess had (just based on your knowledge of mysteries)?