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Can You Solve This Two-Minute Mini Mystery? ‘The Taco Misdeed’

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!

The Taco Misdeed by Tracie Rae Griffith and Robin Kristine Ireland

The scent of peppers, garlic and oregano wafted down the street past brightly colored parade floats. The town’s Cinco de Mayo celebration promised to be a good time for all. Except…

“Oh, that’s scorching!” Detective Gloria Lopez put down the green, white and red paper basket she was holding and made a face. She was the last of the preliminary taste-testers for the highly anticipated taco challenge.

Two-Minute Mini Mysteries
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesGetty/Gulcin Ragiboglu

“Carlos, this filling is super spicy! There’s no way you’re going to win tomorrow with these. Didn’t you taste them?”

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The owner of the first food truck in line frowned. “I couldn’t. My ulcers never go away. But I made them the same way I always do. I wondered why the other tasters didn’t finish theirs. Come on inside.” He motioned for her to enter the truck. “Maybe you can figure out what happened.”

The detective complied. Carlos had been making his recipe the same way for years. Was someone trying to sabotage the contest? All the money raised went toward the town’s community center, but the publicity and bragging rights were highly prized.

Gloria looked around. An empty pot sat on the stove. Several broken-down seasoning boxes sat in the corner. She pointed.

“That one looks different.”

“How?” Carlos questioned.

“Well, the printing is bigger. And why would bags of seasoning need a fragile sticker on them?” She peeled it back. “Five stars. Does that mean anything?”

Two-Minute Mini Mysteries
Two-Minute Mini MysteriesGetty/Westend61

Carlos groaned. “There’s only supposed to be three. My filling wound up nearly twice as hot!”

“Where’d you get that box?”

“My ex-employee, Rena, brought in a box this morning. I’m not sure if it was this one, because I brought some in too. Rena wanted to be on my team, but I said no. She stomped off to join Mario.”

The man nodded to the next food truck. “Either they sabotaged me or DeDe did. We’re the three finalists.”

Gloria headed over to Mario’s truck. She approached Rena.

“I just grabbed a box that was outside and brought it in to be nice,” she huffed, when told why the detective was there. “I thought maybe Carlos could use a hand, but he told me to get lost. Mario was happy to have me.” She smiled.

Gloria turned to Mario. “You’d certainly benefit by winning. And you use the same type of seasoning.” She nodded at some nearby boxes.
He shrugged. “Of course. Delicioso is the best, even though they changed hands a month ago. Fortunately, they only changed the packaging, not the contents. But it’s my secret ingredients that’ll put me on top in the contest.”

Rena tossed back her long hair. “Why don’t you try DeDe? She used to date Carlos. They had a bad breakup.”

The detective departed. DeDe was just exiting her food truck.

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“Oh, hello, Detective Lopez.”

“Hello, DeDe.” Gloria got down to business. “Were you near Carlos’ food truck today? Maybe dropped something off?”

DeDe frowned. “No. Carlos and I don’t speak.”

“Still angry at him?”

DeDe laughed. “No. I just took a six-week vacation and met somebody new. I came back to win this contest, not to mess with Carlos.”

“Do you use Delicioso products too?” Gloria asked.

“Well, of course. They’re the best. But I could use any brand and still win. My ingredients are fresh, not like the other trucks use.”

Gloria headed out to her squad car. She paused to admire the boldly printed banner proclaiming the Cinco de Mayo festivities. Suddenly she knew who tried to sabotage Carlos.


DeDe ruined the tacos. The detective realized that the woman had been on vacation when Delicioso had changed their packaging to the bolder print, so she wasn’t aware of the new change. She had grabbed an old box, covered up the spice indicator with the fragile sticker, and left it for Carlos. If Rena or Mario had done the deed, they would’ve used a new box. When confronted, DeDe confessed and pulled out of the contest. Carlos won the contest.

For more puzzles, games and fun, keep reading…

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