The Mystery

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 17; the seventeenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Read Part 1 of this mystery HERE.

“Messy business, so early in the morning…Crime never sleeps in this city!! So Troy, what’s the update? Do we know who the victim is?” Detective Nicholas Carr enquired of the inspector who had first reported to the crime scene. The telephone booth on 13th Main was now cordoned off by yellow tapes warning the residents not to cross it.

“The shot was at point blank range. Ballistics will confirm, but I think the bullets were hollow point. That makes it even more devastating. Face is just a mangled mess. The driver’s license which we found on his person identifies him as Jett Jarvis from across the street. Neighbors say they saw him last night, drunk heavily. Clothes and wallet match as well…so we can close the case soon I feel, Detective.”

Carr stepped under the tape, careful not to step on any blood. He saw the mutilated face and with no other way of identification looming there; he called for the body to be taken away. There was no point of staying there. He’d seen enough. He stepped back under the tape and called for Inspector Troy and together, both went to the apartment that was identified as Jett’s residence. A shocked landlady greeted them without any gusto as they entered.

After the preliminary routines were done, “Mrs. Williams, what can you tell us about Mr. Jarvis? What was he like? Did he have a raging temper?” Troy began the questioning.

“I’ve no idea. He spent most of the day away and would return late at night. A scrounger he was, that I’ll tell you. Never paid the rent on time; dressed like he had not a penny to his name; never spoke to any other tenant. A strange lad he was. I recollect he said he worked at the docks.”

“We didn’t find a key on him. Have you a spare one? We’d like to go through his apartment.”

Mrs. Williams fetched the key and handed it to Carr. “It’s the first door to the right. He preferred the ground floor. I firmly believe it was because he wanted to enter and leave as he wished. I’d not have noticed him last night, if he hadn’t tripped and fallen on his way in.”

“He fell? Must have been the booze” Carr thought aloud.

“But I’m sure it was him. It has happened before too and he’s the only one living down here.”

Messy was the right word for Jett’s apartment. Clothes were strewn across the floor and on the single sofa, a half eaten dried up pizza was lying in the box, next to it was a bottle of cheap whisky and magazines usually considered as trash was all over the room… looking for clues would be difficult. Carr knew he had a challenging job cut out for him. There was no food in the pantry. A fine white powder lay on the coffee table. Troy extracted a brown paper bag and dusted the powder into it. He sniffed the dust left over.

“Good heavens sir, as if it wasn’t gruesome already, now this seems to be cocaine.”

“I’ve seen stranger ones, Troy. Get this to the lab, get the forensic experts confirmation”, Carr said, handing over the bag to a waiting police officer, as Mrs. Williams entered the apartment.

“Sirs, you could’ve searched without making a mess of things. Jett may have been slipshod, but he always tried to be neat”, she complained, making Carr and Troy look at each other in astonishment. “There’s been a struggle here. Troy, don’t miss an inch. Nothing should be missed. This could be the primary crime scene.”

“Detective Carr, there are drops of red near the door. It might have been when he was escaping the assailant”, Troy’s voice muttered as Carr busied elsewhere. He went to the door, and saw indeed there were red drops. He opened his lab kit and did a test. The result was positive. It was blood. The question remained, “Whose?”

“We’ll do the DNA analysis when we’re back at the lab”, he said and turned when a small glint in the wall mirror caught his eye. He bent down and reached under the neatly upholstered settee. A ring emerged in his hand. It was small and certainly wouldn’t fit Jett’s finger. There was no stone there; could it be a woman’s? He thought to himself as he dropped it into another paper bag. Few hairs were there on the carpet below the coffee table. That too went into another bag. Every glass pane, every chair in the room, the door knobs and even the switch board was dusted for fingerprints. They were determined not to leave out anything.

Carr looked out the window and saw the phone booth which they had cordoned off with a tape. He looked up and saw a closed circuit surveillance camera on the light pole. It was mainly for traffic rule violators, but it could give them an important breakthrough that they desperately needed. “Officer, I want those surveillance tapes at my desk in an hour. Get to it”, he said to the officer waiting at the door. Troy tapped him on the shoulder. “You’ve got to see this.”

There was blood on the toilet floor. Clearly an attempt was made here, before the final blow happened in the street below. Few drops had fallen into the sink, but the mirror there showed damning circumstantial evidence. It was written all over in blood red letters, “Got you! #@$*?#! son-of-a-bitch!”

“Damn it Troy, this case is getting fascinating with intriguing possibilities!”

Carr was sitting in his office at the Police headquarters. There was no clear clue. The fingerprints reports came back and pointed towards many people. Even after questioning all them, it still drew a blank and nowhere to go. Oddly each one of them had rock solid alibis. The strands of hair turned out to be of a feline kind, and he couldn’t arrest all the cats on 13th Main. The white powder was confirmed to be cocaine, but they had no one to pin it on. The fingerprints of the victim didn’t come up on AFIS or anywhere else, but they had the ID to go by. The doctor’s autopsy report wasn’t much helpful either. Death by gunshot it pronounced which even an amateur schoolboy detective would tell, if he could keep his breakfast down. And the time of the murder was determined as somewhere between eleven and midnight. Carr was beginning to lose hope, when the video from the surveillance team came in, after much delay. “Roll the tape, Troy!”

The time showed 8pm. There wasn’t much traffic on the road, just the odd car driving by. “No chance of a witness, I think. There is time, but not much hope, Detective”, Troy spoke a bit too soon. Just then, someone walked by… his face clearly visible in the streetlight, dressed in a tweed jacket and muffler. The frame was frozen, and the face captured. A search was made, and they made their first strike. The film rolled, and at 11:31, the same person was seen running away. He had a hood now, but there was no mistaking that jacket and muffler.

“Joe McNamara, this is the police. Open the door”, Detective Carr’s voice echoed in the hallway of Newton Avenue Apartments, two streets away on 11th Main. There was movement inside the apartment, and footsteps receding into the background. Joe was on the move. He didn’t want anything to do with the cops. He ran down the fire escape and into an alleyway as Carr followed, having broken the door open. He turned on to 12th Main only to find Troy waiting, alert, aimed pistol and ready to fire. He turned back and Carr had blocked his way, a pistol cocked as well. As Troy read him his rights, Joe didn’t utter a word till Carr said, “Joe McNamara, you’re under arrest for the murder of Jett Jarvis.” Then he shouted, “What bullshit! He tried to kill me last night. I didn’t kill anyone. He was alive and well when I saw him last. Don’t pull this one on me. I demand to see my lawyer!”

“We’ve the evidence, Joe. We got this from your pad! Recognize it?” Carr asked. Joe looked at his hand and saw a Browning there. His Browning… the one that on examination was determined as the weapon which mutilated the victim, Jett Jarvis. It was all the Jury needed a murder weapon to convict Joe alias “Reno” McNamara for the murder; the fact that Jett owed Reno money, Reno’s fingerprints matched what was found on the gun and in Jett’s apartment too and Reno was caught on camera just added to prove him as guilty.

Carr and Troy retired, pleased with themselves to have solved the case quite quickly, sharing a donut and some hot coffee.

Miles away, in a motel room in a far away town, someone was watching the top headlines on a news channel at prime time that evening. His hand lazily stroked the head of a cat, which was eating fish sticks from his pocket. A crooked smile spread on his face as the news broke and showed Reno being led into custody just outside the imposing court building. Jett crooned to the cat, “Well, dreams do have to come true, don’t they, Boots?” and his maniacal laugh echoed in the room.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Images taken from HERE, HERE and HERE respectively.

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

52 thoughts on “The Mystery”

  1. hey, long time since I came here, just popped by…and glad. needed a nice mystery story to read, and got it 🙂 read Rumya’s first part too, but came in flow here so giving a joint applause for a wonderful team effort. if this is a contest, I hope you two get top honors! 😀

  2. Fantastic storyline Leo.
    A seemingly harmless drunkard who appeared to be a victim all through out turns out to be the murderer. Though Id almost guessed it you kept me reading till the end. Such meticulous description of teh investigation shows you have got great imagination there!!! good job!! And ATB to you and Rumz for BAT 17

    • meticulous description also shows I’m an avid CSI fan Vibz 😉 lol. yeah, he “appeared” to be the victim, didnt he? 😀 glad u liked that the story held its gripping plot through both parts. It turned out well, and non interference on our parts made it possible I think. Thanks, and all the best to you too for BAT.

  3. You have done a very commendable job in the second part of this story. The investigation and unraveling of the mystery has been done well and ends on a funny note too as the mystery continues beyond that maniacal laugh. 😉

    Carr and Troy may have retired, pleased with themselves to have solved the case, for donuts and hot coffee, but an important link still remains a mystery. Wonder if anyone has noticed that mystery… 😀

    Would love to see the next parts coming up!! It would make an enjoyable read… 🙂

    • yeah. I don’t think anyone has as yet, Nanka.. maybe just one person 😉 glad u liked the job, and that it didnt end even after the part. Carr and Troy have some unfinished business 😉

  4. Part Two of ‘The Mystery’ took a sinister turn and there is more to it than what meets the eye, isn’t it? 😉 Looks like it has kept the readers truly interested… 🙂 and a couple of them wanting more perhaps… 😉
    And so ‘The Mystery’ continues….?? 😀

  5. Outstanding narration and fabulous storyline…. it was ncie to see u and Rumya team up and bring out this master piece…all the best to the two of u… looks like another BAT title for u guys is on the cards 🙂


    • we were a team in BPL too, Tavish, and we have that teaming up spirit, so the idea hit the mark easily I think. glad u liked it, and I don’t know about the title part. will see on next Sunday I guess 😉

  6. Outstanding storyline and at a wonderful ending. Awesome narration. Kept me glued till the very end. Kudos to you. 🙂
    ooh and all the best for BAT 😀

  7. God he faked his death…why don’t you plan to write a book leo…it would surely become a bestseller…god you kept me hooked through out…all the best BAT

  8. Okay. I veto this team thing Leo 🙂

    I liked the end… a little filmy though.

    Owing to the end you guys gave to the story, some stuff from Rumya’s story becomes irrelevant, I feel. But, the fact that I managed to read the whole of it means it kept me busy 🙂

    • Veto the team thing? Whatever for, Kshitij? You don’t like new concepts and ideas coming out?

      Filmy end? Movies aren’t born from thin air you know, they are stories at first, then only they become visuals.. and frankly, we have written a story, not based on any film. Glad u liked the end.

      What stuff becomes irrelevant? I’d like to know that. I know she’s written her part really well, and mine doesnt take anything away from hers. I’ve not interfered in her part and neither has she in mine, so its just two individual mysteries coming together to form a creative and brilliant big mystery.

      Good that it kept you busy, but I’d rather it had kept u entertained. Regards ur comment at Rumya’s, its not a cohesive brilliance if the individual brilliance doesn’t happen. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Okay! Look mister, you are taking this ‘Veto’ thing quite seriously. I did not mean it that way. Please, your individualism has not been compromised by me in any way. I was just saying something in the tune of ‘man… I dont like this two-guys-writing-on-same-lines kind of stuff’.

      Everybody likes new concepts Leo.

      ‘Filmy’ has pissed you off as well, it seems. lol. Dude, I think you are taking all this way too seriously. You guys misconstrued my comment…

      Now that you say that both the posts are separate, I think nothing becomes irrelevant. I think it is my fault – I, somehow, after reading ‘part 1’ and ‘part 2’, started thinking they were two halves of the same post. Very stupid of me to think that way.

      Should have held both the posts individually… it seems.

      Thanks for responding!

      • Umm, it is two parts, yes.. but written individually, and nothing has been left in the air as such, Kshitij.. 🙂 its like a complex mystery, written simply in two parts.. one with the dreamy, quite descriptive events of the crime, the second with the investigation on how it was solved(or not!). Both have mystery in them, and interlinking them too.. So each part can be read like a single part too.. the concept makes it a lot more mysterious as well 😉

        Thanks for re-responding to the response 😀

  9. Brilliant end to Rumya’s part of the story. Loved the idea of Jett faking his own death. And the ambiguity of Jett’s witnessing the murder of the woman or maybe killing her himself was an interesting idea. However, what became of her? Didn’t the cops investigate her murder further? Would love to see a part 3!
    All the best for the BAT.

  10. Readers really need stories like this one, if mind-blogging, the mystery, the mind is at work and in the end, it was not yet done…an unfinished business…it did not satiate the queries in mind…hence the need for the sequel or next part.

    You and Rumz did a wonderful job….’perfect partners in solving a crime’…not perfect partners in crime huh… 😛

    Thumbs up Leo! 😀

  11. Well narrated. Though the woman part from Rumya’s was left hanging. Nice to see you and Rumya trying a different concept. Really appreciate your attention to details and the way you have gone about describing the investigation. However I felt though individually both were good, somehow yours and Rumya’s parts did not gel. Rumya’s had a kind of surreal dreamy feel to it whereas yours was like a detective thriller – kind of like mixing up Mulholland Drive and C.I.D serial.

    • umm, the woman from Rumya’s part was just a part of Jett’s dream, TF 🙂 and of course, there was a different feel. there is a dreamy surreal feel coz hers is the crime part, and mine being the investigation gives the thriller feel to it 😀 glad u liked the concept, TF.. and thanks for dropping by with ur words, I’d hoped to see u participating since the theme was right up ur alley….

  12. OMG!!! I had no clue that the ending would fascinate me like it did! Whistles and hoots! Faking death to escape debt? Wow! Death rescued Jett and how! But tell me something, it is difficult to convict someone of murder unless they find the body of the victim…isn’t it?They can be ‘alleged’ though.. Or am I missing something? In that case Jett though is alive and kicking will be in for a big trouble for ‘faking’ death(provided he is caught) 🙂 Wait a minute, you have Part 3 on mind I suppose? 😉 Whatever it is, I loved it..

    In Rumya’s case it is the Milieu and here it the narration that gets the due credit 🙂
    Kudos to you both for the camaraderie! It worked and how! ATB with BAT! Cheers! 🙂

    • umm, there was a body that was “misconstrued” as being the body of Jett, Raksha. coz no prints were on file, they decided on basis of other “flimsy” evidence it was Jett. you are right, there is indeed a part 3 on mind 😀 glad u loved it. and that u liked our camaraderie as well.. ATB with BAT to u too…

  13. Very well narrated… Initially when I saw the first part, which was quite long, I thought I will not finish it. I not only finished both parts, but enjoyed them thoroughly. Keep up the good work.

  14. Interesting insight!!
    The connecting dream and reality made me think on the notes of “If only”.
    I would definitely look forward to a sequel to this.
    Reading the crime detection was fun, however.

    All the very best !!

    You may like to visit my post here .

  15. Sorry , I aint gt any word to say , because to me , awesome also would shortfall for that …Its more than wonderful .. Honestly , being in a hurry, I read your story and trust me it was mind blowing .. Though I could easily predict what was coming next, I loved the way the words and plot had been woven .. Amazing it was ..

    And now , today when I dropped in to post my comment, I noticed that there was a first part of the story ! ( I know sounds really stupid ! ) And when i put them together , the bestest is the pair I have read ! I liked the idea and way you both have written the story independently ! Jus lovedddddd it .. It really is more than AWESOME .. Vinu , the narration was really superb and now I realize that had i read the story in order , I wouldn’t have been able to guess it so easily ! 🙂 applause

    PS : Oopss ..forgot to congratulate on being a veteran BAT-ic 😀

  16. Your concept I mean two guys co-ordinating and writing 2 connected mysteries is awesome.. As I already said to Rumya, murder mysteries are the most common and it is the treatment and description that makes them unique.. And you succeeded in doing that.. Gud luck

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