(Image credit: Ecuapromo)
During a storm at sea, millionaire art lover C. Michael Ekshun popped out on the deck of his luxurious yacht. He didn't hear a thing as his killer sneaked up behind him, brandishing a deadly sharp letter opener. Moments after the murder, his body was pushed overboard, disappearing into the swirling foam.
When the skies cleared and the yacht pulled into harbor, police questioned the three surviving passengers: Michael's stylishly dressed wife, Sprinkle Ekshun; his secretary, Morey Fishant; and a shifty-eyed art dealer named Count Yuri Ceets. Each suspect had an alibi.
"I was in the lounge, doing my nails," Sprinkle told them. The widow stuffed her hands into the pockets of her Dior dressing gown. The police immediately noticed a wet patch on her robe front. In the middle of the wet patch was a stubborn red stain that had refused to come out.
"I was in my cabin writing," Count Yuri said as he showed the police a neatly written five-page letter, all in Russian. "To my dear mother, the Countess," he explained. A translation of the letter proved that Yuri had indeed written to his mother—a cleaning lady living in Bensonhurst.
Morey, the secretary, claimed to be opening correspondence in the yacht's office at the time of the murder. The envelopes were all torn open. "I couldn't find the letter opener," he said with an embarrassed shrug. The police noticed a fresh gash on Morey's right wrist. "This happened when I stumbled. I cut myself on one of Mr. Ekshun's glass sculptures."
The police haven't yet investigated motive, but already they see that one of the three alibis doesn't hold water—as opposed to Michael, who is holding several gallons by the time they fish him out of the Atlantic.
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.