Whodunit: The Crystal Vanishes

The following is a Whodunit by Hy Conrad featuring Sherman Oliver Holmes, a mysterious crime solver and great-great-grandson of Sherlock Holmes. Can you solve the crime?

(Image credit: Flickr user Judy van der Velden)

Luther brought a new pot of coffee into the dining room and began refreshing everyone's cup. "Agatha, is that the crystal ball you were telling us about?"

"Isn't it gorgeous!" The young woman in the flowing robe held it up for all to see, a round piece of cut crystal, not much larger than a baseball. "The salesman guaranteed me that it once belonged to Morgan LeFay.  And this wasn't her everyday crystal either. It was her special one." Agatha passed the ball to Sherman Holmes.

"It's blooming lovely," Sherman said, managing to keep a straight face. He enjoyed his weekly dinners with Luther, Agatha, and Grimelda. The warlock and two witches might seem a little extreme to Sherman's other friends, but they were full of life and always interesting. And they accepted without question Sherman's own idiosyncrasies.

All three examined the ball, then watched as Agatha returned it to the red velvet box. "They say it has a mind of its own. If the crystal doesn't like its current owner, it will find a new one. We get along swimmingly, I'm glad to say."

The evening was almost over. Agatha helped Luther, the host, clear the dining room table, while Grimelda went to the bathroom and Sherman browsed through Luther's library. When he returned to the living room, Grimelda was adjusting her shawl and checking her makeup in the mirror over the mantle. She had always been the most attractive witch in the coven. Sherman had heard from Luther that there was some tension between her and the younger, newer arrival, Agatha.

"Next week at my abode," Sherman reminded her.

Grimelda seemed startled. "Oh, that's right. We're going to help you contact Dr. Watson. We never had much luck contacting your great-great-grandfather, did we?"

"We'll have to keep trying. Luther!" he shouted to the next room. "A scrumptious dinner." Then he saw the velvet box on the sideboard beside the full pot of coffee. "Agatha, don't forget your crystal." Sherman picked up the box and could instantly tell it was too light.

"It's gone," Agatha cried when she discovered the empty box. "Morgan's crystal has left me. I feel so rejected!"

"Oh, that's too bad," Grimelda commiserated. Luther agreed. The three witches seemed quite willing to accept the crystal's disappearance as a natural phenomenon. But Sherman knew better.



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!

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I don't think they're terrible, but it always is kind of easy to pick out the one needless bit of information that's thrown in to determine the culprit. Also why is this Sherman guy always hanging out with thieves? He should just stay holmes instead.
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So little information is supplied in these "mysteries", that any solution would suffice. The crystal could be tucked into any dish of leftovers, put into the sideboard, taken from the room while Agatha & Luther were in the kitchen, hidden in a potted plant.
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