Langley Murders #2

So here we are, last day of mystery weekend. We’ve had a wonderful time staying at Harbor House in Freeland here on Whidbey. Yesterday morning, an eagle swooped by right outside the window, and I got this incredible shot of a heron taking a stroll on the beach. The house itself is wonderful, comfortably furnished, and well appointed. We’ve been doing this for a decade now, and I think this is our favorite house so far!

Alas, it’s almost time to pack up from our lovely temporary home and head back into Langley for another day of questioning suspects and gathering clues. At this point, this twisted mystery (Loretta Martin weaves a wonderfully convoluted tale) is leading down multiple paths. Murders are usually dependent on means, motive, and opportunity. The trick that we’ve learned over the years of attending the Langley Mystery Weekend is to follow the motive. The evidence points to multiple suspects, and it’s not until the reveal that you get the information to make the true conclusion. So this year, I’ve decided to try a different tack.
To get into the mind of a mystery writer, even one so accomplished as Loretta Martin, one must think like a mystery writer. So, I have pulled out my notes from my “Plot Your Mystery” workshop from the Book Passage Mystery writer’s conference.  If this was a mystery I was writing, I’d chart my suspects in a spiral starting with those who had most motive, means, and opportunity closest to my victim (the unfortunate Stone Fissure in this case). Closest on the spiral to the center, where the victim is, are those with the most motive, plus the means and opportunity. As I go further out on the spiral, I list the suspects by reduction in the three primary factors. Now,  I think I’ve got it narrowed down  to two suspects;  Natalie Drezed or Shari Fissure, but it’s going to take a day of questioning shady characters, apparently in the rain. We’ll see how wet and cold we get before we give up, name a suspect and flee the February San Juan Islands weather…

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