Neatorama is proud to present a new series of Whodunits from Hy Conrad. The new mysteries are from The Little Giant® Book of Whodunits by Hy Conrad and Matt LaFleur. Can you solve the mystery before you read the solution?
A Mexican border guard was talking to his wife over his cellular phone when he accidentally pulled in a fragment of a static-filled conversation between a man and a woman. "I'll be waiting in Tecate at noon for your regular Monday shipment," said the man. "You don't think the border guards are getting wise?"
"No," the woman laughed. "We can keep this operation going forever." And then, just as suddenly as they'd come, the voices disappeared.
For a full month, customs officials kept track of the traffic at the relatively quiet border crossing. Only three women made a regular habit of crossing into Mexico each Monday morning.
The first woman, impeccably dressed, drove a black Mercedes. The second, a girl barely out of her teens, always crossed on an old red bicycle.
The third drove a small van. "MexiCoast Spa" was on the side in fancy letters. Of the three, she was the only one declaring merchandise, a weekly supply of U.S.-made health foods and vitamins on which she paid a hefty tariff.
On the fifth Monday, they detained all three women. Methodically they searched, tearing every panel from the dark blue Mercedes, even checking inside the tire tubes. They did the same with the bicycle. Searching the van took the most time. Luckily, this week's shipment of health food was smaller than usual. The officers took samples from every box and bottle.
After finally allowing the women into Mexico, the guard who had intercepted the conversation got back on his cellular phone and reported every detail of the fiasco to his wife.
"From what you say, dear, I think I know who it is. When the woman I suspect crosses back into the U.S., ask passport control to detain her. If my theory is correct, it will be obvious what she is smuggling and how she's doing it." She explained her theory, leaving the guard to marvel at the brilliant woman he'd married.
Who's the smuggler? What is she smuggling? And how?
Image generated at says-it.com.
The whodunit above was provided by American mystery fiction author Hy Conrad.
In addition to his work in mystery and crime puzzles, Hy was also one of the original writers for the groundbreaking TV series Monk.