(Image credit: Flickr user Jaroslaw Kulik)
Vince McCormick was a big, angry slug of a man just a month shy of retirement. On Super Bowl Sunday, his two sons, Vince Junior and Sonny, came over as usual to watch the game.
As kick-off time approached, the boys were in the kitchen, helping their mother prepare the snacks. Junior heated up nachos in the microwave while Sonny poured the bags of potato chips and pretzels into bowls. Marie McCormick was mixing the ice and ginger ale and rye together in tall glasses.
"Make sure mine is strong enough," came her husband's growl from the living room.
Junior saw the bruise on his mother's arm. "Did he do that to you?" he asked. Marie didn't answer.
"What'll you do when he retires and hangs around all day?" Sonny asked. "It'll only get worse."
Sonny tasted the drinks, nearly choking on the third one. "It's about twice as strong as the others."
"Give it to me." Vince was suddenly standing right behind them, grabbing for his drink. "Making me come in here," he muttered dangerously. Sonny carried in the snack bowls while Junior took in the nachos, just in time for the kick-off. Marie followed with the other drinks.
All four sat around the T.V, munching on the snacks and sipping their drinks. It was near the end of the first quarter when Vince Senior held up his empty glass. "Get me another," he bellowed.
Marie was in the kitchen working on the refill when she heard a gasp, then a moan. She returned to find her husband crumpled in his easy chair, dying.
"A strong, fast-acting poison," the homicide detective said. "Two to five minutes. And yet they all claimed to be eating the same things. They're obviously lying, covering up for each other."
"Not necessarily," a sergeant ventured. "It could've happened just the way they said."
How could Vince have been poisoned? And who could have done it?
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.