the hospital murder case (part nineteen)

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She lit a cigarette. "I'm going to throw out a few possibilities," she said, looking around. "This is just to show how I'm thinking about this, so it will save time if we skip the protestations of innocence.

"One possibility is that Rafe did it. He could have murdered Felix, for some unknown reason, then drugged his own coffee and passed out, giving himself the appearance of innocence. Or Neil could have done it. It would have been a bold and daring move to strangle Felix in the moment before Marshall entered the room." She shook her head. "That's probably not possible, and in any case Felix had been dead for at least a half hour. So, I'd say Neil is eliminated."

"But what about Dorothy? She had the perfect opportunity to drug the coffee. Of course, she could have used the connecting door to get to Felix and then Rafe wouldn't have seen her. But that would have made it too obvious. And, as I described–"

"If I may anticipate," Neil said, stepping forward, "How do people who work here get into the supply cabinets?" He looked grim.

"Keys," Mona said. She lit a cigarette as she spoke. "We all know where they are."

"So," he continued to Jan, "your premise is that it must have been one of us, one of the Jinx, since we don't work in the hospital and wouldn't know how to get into the cabinets. So, either Rafe or Dorothy did it, for some unknown reason, despite the fact that Rafe and Felix were good friends, and Felix is the father of Dorothy's unborn child." Dorothy stood up, steadying herself on Rafe's arm. "We're leaving, and I don't think you can stop us."

"Piffle," Jan Sleet said. "You said you wanted to know the answer. Stay and hear it, or not, that's up to you. Nobody will try to stop you. But don't try to sway me with talk of long friendships and unborn children. Neither is an obstacle to murder, as I'm sure you know. But I should mention that none of you is under suspicion of committing this crime, and you have drawn an entirely incorrect conclusion from the broken cabinet."

"Explain," Neil said curtly. Dorothy remained standing, leaning on Rafe's arm.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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