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Can You Solve This Two-Minute Mini Mystery? ‘Spring Cleaning’

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 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!

Spring Cleaning by Gary Delafield

Mrs. Helen Compton was not pleased.

“I warned them,” the elderly woman told Lieutenant Rusnak. “Mark my words, all those people, there’ll be trouble.”

“Yes, Ma’am.” “All those people” had been public spirited members of the community, joining in a fundraising event to provide new swings and slides for the town park.

They called it the Spring Dustoff. Time to clean out your homes. Prepare for spring. Only instead of a yard sale, they bring the stuff to the Dustoff. The Woman’s Club had offered their building, and LeChic restaurant had offered to match whatever funds were raised.

The event had been a success. A dollar here, a dollar there, it added up to a tidy pile.

People at a yard sale
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesGary John Norman/Getty

A pile which, now, someone had stolen.

“I don’t see how I can possibly help.” Mrs. Compton glanced at the few items still on the tables in the ballroom of the club and sniffed. “I’ve enough junk of my own without buying more.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Rusnak said again, “but as president of the club, we wanted to report to you that a crime had occurred in your building.”

“Mark my words,” she said, glaring at the three remaining volunteer workers. “One of those girls did it.”

“They work at LeChic,” Rusnak told her. “They’ve been here all day on their day off.”

“Then those LeChic people should count their silverware.”

“Right.” Rusnak moved on to interview the women.

Tired, Lisa Shipley was a tall, angular woman who worked as a hostess at LeChic. “My kid’s waiting at home. Will this take long?”

“What can you tell me?”

“Nothing. We set the tables this morning. People brought their stuff in and sold it. They gave us the money and we took it back to Kiera.”

Rachel Holman, a pleasant blond woman, agreed. “I collected from those tables over there. It looked like a fortune, but it was all small bills.”
Kiera Long looked nervous. “I was in the office. They brought me the money. Over $20,000 in small bills. An amazing pile on the desk. I stepped out to the restroom. Only a minute. It was gone when I got back.”

Stack of dollar bills
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesGetty/Steven Puetzer

“Did you see anyone?”

“People were gone by then, only…”


“Someone dashed down the hall and out the back door. I called out, but they were gone that quick.”

“Any description?”

“All I really saw was the coat. It looked like Sarah Coburn’s. Green and black plaid.”

“Who is Sarah Coburn?”

“She used to work at LeChic. She lost her job about two weeks ago. Said it didn’t matter, she was starting her own restaurant.”

Lisa Shipley snorted. “Pipe dream. Anyone who works in a restaurant says they’re going to start their own, but restaurants require money.”
“Did anyone actually see Sarah Coburn?”

No one had. “But with so many people in and out…” Rachel shrugged.

Rusnak considered. “Let’s take a look at this door.”

Mrs. Compton sniffed. “Well I never.”

Like a parade, they marched down a hallway, passing the office, to a door at the back. It had heavy brass fixtures and for safety, a spring lock to turn.

“Whoever it was,” Kiera was careful to say, “just shot through here and was gone.”

Rusnak frowned. “Could someone have come in this way?”

“Most certainly not.” Mrs. Compton pushed by them to open the door and pointed out the lock. “Same as inside, only out here you have a key instead of the knob to hold the spring lock while you turn the knob.”


“That Coburn person doesn’t have a key,” she snapped with a sense of triumph. “She’s not on the committee, never has been.”
After a moment, Rusnak smiled. “See? You were a help after all. You identified the culprit.”


Sarah Coburn actually hadn’t been anywhere near the money or the Woman’s Club. Seeing the pile of cash, Kiera’s own big dreams of opening up her own restaurant had overcome her. Her story of someone dashing out the door tripped her up, and poked holes in her story. The door she said the culprit left through would have taken two hands to operate and $20,000 in small bills made way too big a bundle to slip in a pocket to free up the extra hand.

For more puzzles, games and fun, keep reading…

This Seemingly Simple Riddle Has Everyone on the Internet Scratching Their Heads

6 Jigsaw Puzzles to Challenge Even the Most Avid Puzzle Fan

9 Surprisingly Tricky Word Problems That Will Recharge Your Brain

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