When the police officer arrived after a slow drive through lashing rain and a dash across the drive of the large country house, he discovered the small household gathered in the kitchen. Detective Baffleby folded his wet umbrella and placed it by the range to dry.
Mrs Lytton, the housekeeper, was battling hiccupping sobs in between small sips of a large brandy placed in front of her as she explained what she had discovered.
“I came into the room to bring him his coffee and saw him slumped at his desk. I knew something was dreadfully wrong and I screamed for help before running over to see if there was anything I could do for him. Of course, there wasn’t,” she sobbed once more. “I closed the patio doors against the rain and straightened the curtains before I called you.
“To think I must have been in the kitchen when his Lordship was being murdered and I heard nothing at all!”
“I heard Mrs Lytton scream,” Lord Penworthy’s manservant, Fred Furlong, took up the story. “I rushed into the study and saw him sprawled across the desk. I spotted his Lordship’s favourite paperweight lying on the floor, covered in blood and a terrible gash on the back of his head. It was obvious to me that his killer had struck him as he was reading the morning paper.
“I haven’t touched the paperweight but I bet it will have the killer’s fingerprints all over it.
“I had been polishing the silver in the dining room before I heard Mrs Lytton’s scream.”
Detective Baffleby thanked them for their statements and turned as the door to the kitchen opened and an out of breath young man walked in.
“Hello, what’s all this?” the young man breezed in, a towel round his neck and a puzzled expression crossing his face.
“Sir, I’m afraid something dreadful has occurred. His Lordship has been found dead in his study,” Mrs Lytton broke the news.
The young man who Detective Baffleby now understood must be Lord Penworthy’s only son sank into a chair, “Dead? But how? He was perfectly fine over breakfast this morning.”
Detective Baffleby answered the new Lord Penworthy’s questions and folded himself into a chair opposite. He took in the slight paunch and breathlessness of a novice runner, his damp hair, the pristine white running shoes and the designer label running gear, all of which looked to have cost a small fortune.
The new Lord Penworthy saw Detective Baffleby’s gaze and smiled, “I’ve just taken up jogging as you can see. It takes me quite some time to jog around the grounds of the house but that’s where I’ve been this morning.”
Detective Baffleby thanked the three witnesses for their help and rose to his feet. The time had come to arrest one of them for murder. But who is the murderer?
Do you know the answer to this murder mystery riddle?
[toggle title_open=”Answer” title_closed=”Answer” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]Detective Baffleby knew that the new Lord Penworthy was lying when he claimed he had been out jogging when the murder was committed. The young man’s new trainers were pristine with not a mark on them but if he had been out jogging in the rain they should have been mud splattered.
When he was confronted with his lie Lord Penworthy admitted he had killed his father in a rage when he refused to give him any more money to fund his lavish lifestyle. The young Lord had then donned his running gear and left the house to pretend he had been out jogging when the murder occurred. But not wanting to get wet he had loitered in the porch near the kitchen door before entering to pretend he had been out jogging.
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