Yard Sale Treasure
Charles broke into a sweat when he saw the hat. Wide straw brim and distinctive Halloween motifs around the crown. A pumpkin, black cat, ghost and a witch.
‘Don’t you like it?’ Juliet looked crestfallen. ‘I bought it at a yard sale. I thought it would be perfect for our first Halloween together.’
‘I love it!’ Charles hugged her. Then frowned.
He pondered all afternoon. Surely it couldn’t be the same hat. Sally told him it was an exclusive design and the store took a photo for their Facebook page, but sales assistants probably tell all their customers the same. It was just a coincidence his gorgeous new girlfriend found a hat just like his ex-wife’s.
He resolved to put it out of his mind but it was impossible as Halloween approached and stores filled with reminders. Pumpkins, black cats, ghosts and witches. They haunted his days and sleepless nights.
Then Juliet told him she’d be going shopping in the city with her sister the following day. ‘I don’t want to spend a day without you, darling, but I haven’t seen Jenny for ages. You don’t mind, do you?’
‘Of course not!’
As soon as Juliet’s car disappeared down the street, Charles raced to his garden shed. He needed to be sure. Selecting a long-handled spade he dug furiously in the pumpkin patch. Three feet. Four feet…six. He’d buried Sally deep along with her clothes and credit card he’d used to buy a one-way ticket out of town, corroborating his story that she’d left him. And that hat. That awful, creepy hat.
He sweated profusely as the sun rose higher in the sky. His back ached but finally the spade clunked on the metal trunk. He cleared the soil from its lid, began to lift the latch, when…
He looked up. The sun glinting on the police badge blinded him for a moment but he recognised the voice.
‘Charles Richardson, I’m arresting you on suspicion of the murder of Sally Richardson. You do not have to…’
Another case solved by undercover detective Juliet Collins.