A Detective Gaston Mystery

A Murder Mystery Snippet

Maybe this will become a short story, maybe a novel—even a book in a series. For now, this is all there is–it all started with a writing prompt, from which I took only the two character names. 

“She had a thyroid problem. Do you suppose that killed her, detective?”

“Not unless it caused her to fall on a knife, Mr. Conistone,” Detective Gaston said.

“Ah, I didn’t see the stab wound.”

“Of course you didn’t; it’s in her chest and you didn’t turn her over like I just did–did you, Conistone?”

“Oh no, I know better than to touch a body. I watch those crime shows all the time, sir.”

“Well then, you might have noticed the blood on the mattress–and wondered where it came from, eh?”

“What? Oh, damn! Now I’ll have to replace the mattress again. I just put that one in this unit two, or maybe three years ago.”

“Your concern for the woman is really something, Conistone. How long has she been a tenant?” Gaston asked.

The aging apartment manager shook his dank gray hair and looked down at the faded carpet. “Well, it’s been ten years now, I guess, since Mrs. Weaver moved in. Yes, right after that big snow in ’08–must have been February. She kept to herself mostly, so we weren’t really close or anything. Still it’s a bit of a shock. Nothing like this has ever happened here at Finger Lake.”

“So you don’t know of any friends or family then? Or people who might want to do her harm?”

“No, she was so quiet–never any complaints about loud noises, arguments or that sort of thing from other tenants. I’ll have to check our files to see who she might have listed for any emergency contact. We started doing that after an elderly man passed away some years ago and we didn’t know who to call.”

“I suppose he did die of natural causes?”

“Oh yes, no stabbing–did need to buy a new mattress, of course, him dying and all.”

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