Whodunit: The Dirty Cop

The following is a Whodunit by Hy ConradThese 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?


For six months, a dirty cop had been leaking information to the mob, and Officer Bill Brady of Internal Affairs was going to catch him tonight. According to Brady's sources, Carmine Catrone, a mob boss, was scheduled to meet the dirty cop in Hannibal's, an out-of-the-way tavern.

Brady arrived at Hannibal's wearing a wig and false mustache. A familiar face was already on the premises—Marjorie Pepper, a desk sergeant from the Fourth Precinct. Brady watched as Marjorie ordered a drink, then lifted her left arm and checked her watch. Was she waiting for someone?

Seconds later, another familiar face entered, this time from the direction of the rest rooms. It was Adam Paprika of the Special Vice unit. As Adam used his right hand to zip up his trousers, Brady noticed the diamond pinkie ring. It reminded him of Carmine Catrone's pinkie ring.

Then came a third familiar face. Rookie patrolman Charlie Salt walked in and ambled over to an empty table. Charlie opened his briefcase and began writing down notes. When the young officer lifted his left hand to call over the waitress, Brady saw the glint of a gold fountain pen. Very expensive.

Brady had never counted on more than one officer showing up. What if they recognized each other? What if they recognized him?

As the bar grew crowded, Brady kept an eye on his subjects. All three were smoking. And all three occasionally got up to use the phone or buy cigarettes or use the rest rooms.

At the end of an hour, the suspects had all left, each one alone. Carmine Catrone had never shown up.
A frustrated Brady wandered past the pay phone. That's when he saw the matchbook in the wastebasket. On a hunch, Brady retrieved it, opening the flap. Four matches had been torn from the left side, and on the top flap was scrawled a phone number—Carmine Catrone's phone number.

Brady reasoned it out. One of his suspects had phoned Catrone, warning him not to come. And Brady knew just who it was.

Who was it? And how did Brady know?

Show Answer


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.

Currently, Hy is working on mystery novel series "Abel Adventures" as well as the Monk series of novels, starting with Mr. Monk Helps Himself (published by Penguin, order from Amazon here)

Check out Hy's official website and Facebook page - and stay tuned for more whodunits puzzlers on Neatorama from the master of whodunit mysteries himself!

Love games and puzzles? Visit NeatoPuzzles for more!

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I'm right handed and have always worn my watch on that hand. And regardless of handedness, the fly on a pair of men's pants is always on the right hand side so it's going to be easier for anyone to zip it right handed.

More likely, the whole thing was a set-up and four separate tips were left with different members of the force to get them all out of the way for the evening and create doubt within the system.
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Before electronic watches were common, mechanical watches were wound with a stem at the 3:00 position. They were always on the left wrist so you could reach the stem.
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Handedness stereotypes are not "proof". Like the majority of left-handed people, I wear a watch on my left arm and zip up my pants with my right hand. We live in a right-handed world and thus have to adapt.
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