(Image credit: Tony Webster)
It was a cloudy Sunday, with the skies threatening rain all morning and showers anticipated in the afternoon. So Detective Wilson didn't really mind when he was called in to work.
A tourist had gotten himself lost in an industrial section of town. At the very end of a dead-end alley, the poor visitor came across the body of Vinny the Fish, a stoolie who'd been supplying Detective Wilson with information on several ongoing mob investigations.
"Both kneecaps busted," the on-scene officer said as he pointed to the corpse crumpled up against the blank wall. "Chest cavity was crushed in, too. We'll know more when the medical examiner arrives."
Wilson didn't wait for the M.E. Instead, he looked up the addresses of three of Vinny's associates and drove off to see them. Someone had found out about Vinny's cooperation. Wilson felt he owed it to the stoolie to find his killer.
Gummy Moran was on the street in front of his modest brick row house, washing his car. Gummy shrugged off the news of Vinny's death and kept chewing his ever-present wad of gum. "He probably got mugged. Don't waste your time on this loser. Go back to catching mobsters." And he laughed.
Wilson found his second suspect at the clubhouse the mob had built for the neighborhood baseball diamond. Ricky Fricker was in the equipment room, checking bats for cracks and oiling gloves. "It's volunteer work," he said smugly. "You should try it. Look, I'm sorry about poor Vinny, but I barely knew the guy."
Sean Monahan was a little harder to find, but Wilson eventually tracked him to the Oak Shillelagh, an Irish restaurant. "My sources tell me old Vinny bought the farm," he said as soon as Wilson walked in. Wilson knew all about Monahan's sources, some of whom were probably inside Wilson's department. "Why are you wasting time on Vinny's death. Was he stooling for you?"
"Don't worry about my time. I know how to concentrate my energies. There's only one suspect I'm really interested in."
Whom does Wilson suspect? And why?
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.