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Can You Solve This Two-Minute Mini Mystery? ‘Minor Disagreement’

Woman’s World readers are entertained each week with a two-minute mystery story in every issue (and have a special Mini Mysteries magazine devoted to cracking even more cases!) — from whodunits to who-stole-its to who’s up to no good — and we’re sharing those stories here each week to bring more laugh-out-loud fun to our readers.

Read on for the newest installment!

Minor Disagreement by Gary Delafield

For once, Detectives Becca Anderson and Logan Hooper agreed. “The killer was left-handed.” They said it in unison, giving each other an astonished look.

Agreement between them, at least early on, was not typical. Becca worried that it might even be counterproductive. But this time they drew the same conclusion.

Norman Priester had been facing his killer, and the fatal blow had come from an iron pipe striking the right-hand side of his head. One blow, according to the coroner, had been all it had taken. Priester had a thin skull that had given way immediately.

“Could a woman have inflicted the blow?” Logan asked.

The question was pertinent as Priester was married to a much younger woman with dollar signs for eyes and, so far as anyone knew, no real gift for patience.

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The coroner considered. “An athletic woman, yes.”

“The wife?” asked Logan.

“The niece?” asked Becca.

Becca smiled. They were back to disagreeing — that felt much more comfortable.

Male and female agents working together
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesGetty

“Didn’t he have a business partner?” the coroner asked.

He did. Mitch Sanders.

The one who found the body and called the police. The two operated a plumbing supply shop. They sold mostly to contractors, but handy homeowners had learned the shop was a great place to get whatever part you needed. Priester was back in the warehouse part of the building when killed, in an area with an abundance of pipes at hand. One was found on the floor near the body. They started with Mitch Sanders.

“Look, I won’t kid you,” Sanders said. “We didn’t get along. I don’t think anyone got along with Priester.”

“You can account for your time today?”

“I was playing handball when he was killed. I wasn’t even scheduled to come in today. We were working on a buyout. I stopped in to talk about price. But buying someone out and killing them are totally different things. Talk to that greedy wife of his. Or his niece. Both think they’re in line for a big chunk of change.”

“We’ll do just that,” Becca said. She held out her pad to him. “Give us their numbers,” she said.

Sanders held the pad in his left hand while he jotted the two numbers with his right. “That niece was even in here yesterday, snooping around. She hated Priester and hated his wife.”

Mrs. Priester met them at the door, dressed in a casual spring outfit. “I’m expected at the funeral home,” she said. “Poor Norman.” She pulled a tissue from her jacket pocket and dabbed at an eye, careful not to smudge her mascara. Logan lifted an eyebrow.

“I’ve been home alone all day. Don’t try to prove otherwise.”

“We won’t hold you up. We need his niece’s address,” Becca said as she handed a pad to the widow.

“Angela?” Mrs. Priester grinned. “Happy to.” She held the door open with her left elbow while jotting out a quick address. Angela was in her kitchen, with coffee.

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“We’re here to talk about your uncle.”

“He’s dead, right? That’s what counts.”

“We’re a little concerned with how he got that way,” Logan told her.

“Don’t look at me. I can account for every minute of my day.”

“Wonderful,” Becca said, handing her the pad. “You can just write a list here of where you were then.”

Sipping from the coffee cup in her left hand, Angela provided several names, checking her phone for the numbers. Becca had to admit, the woman did have nice handwriting.

Woman writing in a notebook with right hand while holding coffee cup in left hand
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesGetty

“So they’re all right-handed,” Logan said later when they were outside. “That would have been too easy. That leaves what — an angry customer?”

“I knew we were being too agreeable,” Becca said. “We made a wrong assumption.”


Instead of deciding the killer had to be someone who was left-handed, the right answer was that the killer simply used his left hand to inflict the fatal blow. As a handball player, Mitch Sanders was adept at using either hand. After yet one more argument over the buyout, a frustrated Mitch had grabbed a pipe with his left hand. Saying he was playing handball at the time of the death tipped Becca off…How did he know when the death actually occurred if he wasn’t involved?

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