Preparations were all in place for the Peace Treaty Summit. Nary a twig was out of place in the secluded, wooded retreat. The service staff had been cleared by security. And the entire compound was off-limits to motor vehicles until the dignitaries started arriving in their limousines.
Security Chief Derrick Gerber was making a final tour on his bicycle. What if an assassin had somehow managed to get in? Gerber's suspicious mind focused on one of the newly hired staff. He decided to run another check.
An hour later, Gerber's body was discovered in a ravine. Gil Abel, the security chief's assistant, was immediately notified.
Abel cycled up the main road, noting with irritation a shaggy black piece of bloody road kill along the shoulder, being toyed with by a kitchen cat. Twenty yards later, he was at the ravine. Gerber had put up quite a struggle before succumbing to a flurry of stab wounds. "I've had my own suspicions," Abel mumbled to himself. "I suppose it's time to check them out."
Pearl Weimar, head chef, had been hired by special request of the French delegate. "I've been here in the kitchen all morning," she told Abel as she sharpened knives on a whetstone. "You'll probably find out: At the last conference I worked, there was an assassination. Unsolved." Abel knew this. That's why she was on his list.
Abel located Edgar Vichy, director of protocol, in his room. Edgar seated the security chief out of view of the two empty wig stands on the dresser. "He doesn't want me to know," Abel thought with amusement as he gazed at the dark, obvious toupee mounted on the fussy little man's head.
Edgar claimed to have been taking a walk. "I was on the far side of the compound. I didn't hear or see a thing."
The third suspect was Avril Alsace, the groundskeeper. "I was by the south fence, raking pine needles by the conference center. I saw Gerber cycling by. He waved and circled the building, but he didn't stop."
Whodunit? And what piece of evidence implicates the killer?
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.