(Image credit: Flickr user David Shankbone)
The schedule at Klein Miller Accounting ran like clockwork. For example, on Friday mornings, Arthur Klein always took the train from their Connecticut offices into Manhattan. He would return at 1 P.M. and go immediately into the partners' meeting. Except for this Friday. On this Friday, he was mugged and robbed seconds after arriving in Manhattan.
The New York police held out little hope. "It was just bad luck," a sergeant commiserated. "There's no way a mugger could know you were carrying those bearer bonds."
"I normally don't carry anything," Klein moaned. "But one of our clients needed to transport the bonds to his New York bank. I agreed to take them—as a favor. This will ruin us."
The next train to Connecticut was at 1:10 and Klein was on it. Immediately on arriving, he met with Phil Miller, the other senior partner. "I didn't tell the police this," Arthur confided. "But someone here must have been in on the theft. The mugger was following me. He knew I had the bonds."
The third partner, Melinda Crowley, waved at Klein from her office. "About time you showed up. I have things to discuss at the meeting— including my resignation," she added with a grin. "I'm getting married and moving to New York." Klein and Miller had heard endless tales about Melinda's rich and devoted boyfriend. Apparently, the stories were true.
The fourth partner was "Vern Underwood, just a month away from mandatory retirement. When informed of the theft during the meeting, Vern was livid. "This is a plot. The three of you faked the robbery. You're trying to lower the firm's value, just when I'm being forced to cash in. I'll sue."
Arthur Klein gazed down the long meeting table, at the carafes of water and the carefully coded folders of old and new business. And suddenly he knew.
What did Klein know? Whodunit?
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.