This is a short, suspense and mystery story featuring Victoria Wayland and her assistant Tessa Gray on how they solve one of their most intriguing crimes…

29 November, 1898

A young detective named Victoria Wayland was looking out her window. There had not been one mystery that she couldn’t solve. She was thinking of her previous case when Tessa Gray came hurrying to Victoria’s desk. Tessa, who was Victoria’s assistant in solving crime looked extremely distressed.

‘Ma’am, Lord P-Penhallow, has been poisoned! ’ Tessa exclaimed.

‘Explain the case to me Tessa. And… he isn’t dead, is he?’ Victoria asked barely holding her composure, for Lord Penhallow was a very wealthy man who owned a number of estates; Who would want to poison a kind man such as him?

‘No Ma’am, but there was a masquerade last night at Noah Adam’s manor where Lord Penhallow was supposed to be staying with his wife, his sister and his son, to discuss business matters with Mr. Adams. He was found sprawled on the balcony of the manor on the first floor right after the masquerade had ended. There were no signs of wounds but his doctor reported that there was slow acting poison in Lord Penhallow and he presumably dropped sick when the poison started taking effect. The suspects are Lady Penhallow, his wife, young Mr. Willaim Penhallow, his son, Mrs. Lightwood, his sister and Mr. Adams, himself.’ Tessa replied at once and then she added, ‘He is currently bed-ridden.’

‘Well, we don’t have a minute to spare Tessa. Pack your bag, we will be visiting the Adam’s Manor for a nice, little chat with our suspects.’, Victoria said solemnly.

30 November, 1898

The drawing room of the Adams manor was quiet when Victoria and Tessa reached it. The suspects looked fearful and timid at the sight of the detectives. Victoria introduced Tessa and herself, and said, ‘ We are here to investigate the case of Lord Penhallow’s untimely sickness caused by poison for which you four have been chosen as suspects.’

Victoria glanced at the suspects’ faces and said, ‘Each one of you will be interrogated by me privately and then regarding the results the true poisoner will be unmasked. First, I would like to start with Mr. Adam.’

The interrogation with Mr. Adam had gone quite uneasily as he kept fidgeting and spluttering in between sentences. Tessa had to calm him down by saying that they had wanted to talk with him first because of the business matters Lord Penhallow had wanted to speak with him. The latter had calmed down a bit and then explained that Mr. Adam actually wanted to buy one of Lord Penhallow’s estates in the countryside to use as a summer getaway. Then it was Lady Penhallow’s turn, she explained to them all about her husband’s health with deep concern and cried a few times. She admitted that, in fact she didn’t want her husband’s estates as her own as it would only torment her with grief in the remembrance of his unfortunate state. Next, was Mrs. Lightwood’s chance, she explained that she was a lady of high class who had come from Paris to London to visit her brother after a long time. She was also a widow and lived under her brother’s support. She expressed her regret on how her brother had fallen ill when she wanted to have a reunion with him. Last, was Mr. Penhallow, his nervous and white appearance made Tessa skeptical about him, she noticed he was avoiding eye contact too, but Victoria didn’t show her suspicion and make him tense, she remained her calm and serene self. Finally after all the suspects had been finished being interrogated, Victoria and Tessa were analysing the results, Tessa expressed her suspicions which Victoria carefully regarded. After the results were surveyed Victoria finally came to a conclusion and called the other suspects to the drawing room. The room was silent as everyone was nervously waiting for the truth.

‘I know who the convict behind the lies are.’ Victoria said with an unreadable expression. ‘A person of ‘high class’ but with no properties, someone who was bitter for not having an equal share of the estates of Lord Penhallow.’ Victoria said, half-whispering, she then turned and faced the suspects who had all gone extremely pale and said with faint amusement, ‘The real convict is …. Mrs. Lightwood.’

Mrs. Lightwood looked guilty, now that she had been exposed. The other three ex-suspects looked at Mrs. Lightwood incredulously.

‘Do you deny of my accusation, Mrs. Lightwood.’ Victoria asked questioningly.

‘No.’, said Mrs. Lightwood

‘Now, it is done, the case is solved.’ Victoria said to the others who were too busy gawking at Mrs. Lightwood.

‘Come along, Tessa. The police will be here soon. We shall leave now’ Victoria said and with that she turned and walked out the door feeling satisfied on finishing yet another mystery.

The End