Whodunit: The Three Stoogles

The following is a Whodunit by Hy ConradThese mysteries are from The Little Giant® Book of Whodunits by Hy Conrad and Matt LaFleur. Can you solve the mystery before you read the solution?

(Image credit: Flickr user Shannon)

When the police arrived at Hubert Stoogle's house, the motif seemed to be water. The sprinkler system was going full force, and the owner of the premises was lying dead in his own bathtub.

The man's three nephews lined up on the sun-drenched front porch, each one eager to tell his story.
"Once a week Uncle Hubert had us over for lunch," Stanley Stoogle said. "I parked in the front drive. Uncle wasn't around, so I assumed he was taking his usual soak. As I went into the library, a summer shower passed over. Five minutes later, the sun was out again. It was a few minutes after that when I heard Uncle shouting. Then all the lights sputtered and went out. I went upstairs and found him. Someone had thrown an electric hair dryer into his tub."

"I got here during the shower," volunteered Dick Stoogle. His hair and clothes were still wet. "I parked behind Stanley. Just running up to the porch I got drenched. I was in a downstairs bathroom drying off when I heard the shout and saw the lights go off. When I got up to Uncle's bathroom, Stanley was standing over the tub. A wet hair dyer was in his hand."

Eugene said he arrived last. "The shower was long over. The driveway was full of cars, so I parked by the rear garden. Once inside, I noticed the place was dark. I wandered around, looking for my brothers. Then Stanley came down and told me the news."

The boys all agreed about what happened next. Eugene ran out to move his car. "The darn sprinklers had gone on and the inside of my convertible was soaked." Meanwhile, Stanley went downstairs to replace the blown fuse, and Dick used his cellular phone to call the police.

Hubert Stoogle's maid had been cooking in the kitchen and couldn't support anyone's alibi. 'All of them could be telling the truth," she told an officer.

"No," the officer answer. "One of them is lying. And I know who.: Whodunit?

Show Answer

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.

Currently, Hy is working on mystery novel series "Abel Adventures" as well as the Monk series of novels, starting with Mr. Monk Helps Himself (published by Penguin, order from Amazon here)

Check out Hy's official website and Facebook page - and stay tuned for more whodunits puzzlers on Neatorama from the master of whodunit mysteries himself!

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Automatic sprinkler systems usually have an electric control system.

It's unlikely that upstairs bathroom circuit would affect the downstairs bathroom or much of the rest of the house including the sprinkler system, though. And I'd expect a GFI to pop. If there was no GFI, I'm not sure a "fuse" would even blow.
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