Thursday, 29 October 2009

“Vinny. Without a doubt. Definitely Vinny.”

If there’s a pool, then I’m going to use it, however cold it might be. That’s me: British attitude; Hawaiian shorts; dumber than a bag of hammers. What chemical, I wondered as my limbs numbed and stiffened, keeps this water from freezing solid: surely it’s cold enough. Broken, I shivered and dripped back up the terraces for a tea.

Dominic had been murdered in his bedroom with a candlestick between the hours of eight and nine. So it goes. I left my room and started my fool’s journey towards hypothermia at around ten to nine, so I was very much in the frame. Any of the four who made up the couples might have slipped out, I suppose, but they were all vouching for their partners. Vinny, Skinner and Charlene were all alone in their respective bedrooms, so all had the opportunity. Jamie was promoted to Inspector for being too good at the game, so it definitely wasn’t him. That aside, it could have been anybody.

The final CDWM team scooted to the hypermarche, and I lounged on the patio, drying out my clean clothes, reading The Economist and drinking good coffee with Colin. The warm sun on my neck felt a million miles from the prickling cold of the pool.

Beer o’clock came around quickly enough, and the shoppers returned with cheese and baguettes. “My poo smelled like cheese,” said Tom, “and that’s when I thought that I might be eating too much cheese.” Fine dining makes for fine living, I think.

I asked Chaz to join me on the upper balcony, rather than meet Colin and Jane in the cave. Chaz came up with virtually the same alibi as Hannah had yesterday, so I wanted to probe her about the murder. Skinner came out of the kitchen as we were talking.

“DTR, who would you murder if it was you?”
“I would definitely kill Vinny. You?”
“Vinny. Without a doubt. Definitely Vinny.”

The three of us retired into the dining room, and talked about a particular way to play the game of murder as the murderer. Massacre style. The more murders committed, the more chance there is of being rumbled. A one-off, multi-victim killing spree is a high-risk approach. At the same time, it’s high-reward: the dead don’t participate in the investigation, so the more people killed, the fewer to convince of your innocence.

Based on that premise, the smallest possible jury is the best. Sadly though, killing absolutely everybody else is out – obviously the last man standing is the killer – as is killing all but one person – the innocent would know it wasn’t them. In fact, at least three people are needed to have a two-on-one vote. So, playing massacre style, the murderer would kill everybody except themselves and two others. At the investigation stage, you need to convince one of the two others that it wasn’t you, and then side with them in accusing the other person. Simple enough.

Jamie was within earshot, by the study window in the drawing room. Hannah was in the bath. Vinny was reading the paper in the kitchen. Colin and Jane were in the cave, Tom was fishing, and Dom was dead.

Chaz popped into the kitchen to ditch an apple core. She came back and we discussed another approach to being the murderer, the shopkeeper approach. This involves waiting in a room with a weapon, and killing whoever comes into ‘the murder shop’ next. Skinner went to collect a few more beers from the kitchen. We started to explore the shopkeeper approach a little more, thinking about the…


Vinny was dead! So it goes. Skinner had found him strangled to death in the kitchen. The look I exchanged with Skinner was like a telekinetic high five.

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