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Can You Solve This Two-Minute Mini Mystery? ‘Coffee, Cream And Lies’

Grab your magnifying glass and channel your inner Sherlock Holmes to crack the case!

Woman’s World readers are entertained each week with a two-minute mystery story in every issue (and have special Mini Mysteries magazines 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!

Coffee, Cream And Lies by Michelle Giles

Detective Rosalie Parker’s first stop every day was Susie’s Café, where her usual order consisted of a large hazelnut coffee with extra cream and a blueberry muffin. But this morning, the detective entered the café not for pleasure, but business.

Jenny Gibson, the café’s manager, approached her. “Thanks for coming so quickly on such short notice. You know the money we collected for Susie’s gift? It’s all completely gone.”

Three days earlier, Susie, the owner of the café, gave birth to a baby girl named Rose. The staff and customers had chipped in to buy her a new crib and a set of children’s books.

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“When did you notice the money was missing?” Detective Parker asked.

“This morning. I closed up at 5 yesterday. Before I did, I took out the trash and then put the envelope with the cash in the filing cabinet in the back office. When I came in at 7 today, the money wasn’t there.” Jenny grabbed her set of keys, led the detective to the back office, and unlocked the door.

She pointed to a large filing cabinet. “We keep all receipts in here. I put the envelope with the cash in the top drawer. I know I locked the cabinet and the office door before I left.”

Two-Minute Mini Mysteries
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesGetty/Andrii Lysenko

“Who else was here?” Detective Parker asked.

“I closed up alone,” she said. “I’m working extra shifts while Susie is on maternity leave. I’ve earned almost enough for a vacation cruise. Ted, our new barista, came in at 6 this morning. He has a key to the front door and the cabinet. He also works over at the auto repair shop. Says he’s saving up for some blue sports car. Oh, and Mitch Meyer was here too.”

“Mitch Meyer, the writer?”

Jenny nodded. “He lost a lot of money in some stock deal. Now he’s writing a screenplay about it. I saw him inside the bank on my way in. I waved at him and then stopped at the dry cleaners. Ted and Mitch were standing at the back entrance when I arrived. I thought that was unusual.”

The place was crowded with customers seated at the counter and chatting around the small tables. The aroma of coffee and cinnamon buns lingered in the air. Detective Parker walked over to Ted, who was standing behind the counter.

“It really is a shame to hear about Susie’s money being missing,” Ted said. “The customers here always seem very fond of her.”

“Why were you outside in the back this morning?”

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“I took out the trash from last night,” Ted said, looking distracted. “Sorry, detective. There’s a line of customers behind you. Mind if I get back to work?”

Two-Minute Mini Mysteries
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesGetty/Nenad Stojnev

The detective approached Mitch Meyer, who was seated near the large window in front of the café, typing on his laptop. She’d seen him here on many mornings. Knowing he had been there, she decided to go ahead and asked him if he knew anything about the ­missing money.

“I haven’t made millions on my screenplay yet,” he said, “but I didn’t steal anything.”

“You were waiting by the back door this morning?”

“My secret entrance,” he said with a wink. “My best writing time is early morning. Susie usually lets me in through the back before she opens up the café. Ted was out there when I arrived, and he let me in.”

Detective Parker pieced together the events of the morning, and she realized there were two important clues to solving the case.


Jenny stole the cash for Susie’s gift. Jenny told Detective Parker that she placed the envelope in the filing cabinet and then locked the cabinet and the office door the previous night. But Jenny was the only one with the key to the office. Jenny also claimed that she saw the writer, Mitch Meyer, in the bank on her way to work. Jenny arrived at the café at 7 am, but the bank didn’t open until 9. When the detective confronted Jenny, she confessed she stole the cash for her cruise.

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