But one thing was easier than it might have been, which was solving crimes. Punishment was sometimes difficult to figure out, but when there was a mystery, well, we had a detective. Jan Sleet enjoyed most of what was going on, and participated in as much of it as she could, but solving mysteries was still what she enjoyed most. When there was a mystery to solve, other business had to wait, or be delegated to someone else.
It was during the spring, the First Spring, and there was a generally optimistic feeling in U-town. The first winter had been difficult, it had required many innovations, quite a bit of outside help, and some blind luck to maintain any adequate supply of food, water, medicine and heating oil.
But, as the weather finally started to get warmer again, many people seemed to have the feeling that things would start to get a little easier. Not a lot easier, as Doc always reminded everybody, but at least a little easier.
During the winter, my employer had solved several difficult cases, including the murder of Felix of the Jinx (her solving that, and as quickly as she did, was a big factor in the Jinx deciding to stay and participate), the sabotage of the pirate radio station's broadcasting equipment, and the attempt to implicate Susan Tumolo in the disappearance of her one-time boss, the former mayor, "Uncle" Mike Sheldon.
Those were spectacular cases, widely reported, and I won't rehash them here. But there was another case, in the spring, which attracted no notice at all, and I think it's important to tell here, since it illuminates several important aspects of my employer's technique, and of her personality as well.
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