Detective Wayne Clive Duncan entered the dark, gloomy hotel room. He bent over the dead woman and touched her face. The woman’s waxy, purple skin, and blue lips, suggested that she had been dead for about an hour. A Gucci purse lying next to her body had her wallet in it, which identified her as Charlotte Montgomery, a English professor at Columbia University. What was a wealthy professor doing in this dingy hotel?
A suicide note was on a table next to her body. The suicide note spelt the word “suicide” as “suiside”, with an “s” instead of a “c”. How could an English professor at an Ivy League university make such a mistake? Also, she had been dead for about an hour, but her mobile phone showed that a call had been made from it only fifteen minutes ago. Who had placed that call?
The professor had used a nail lying on the floor to cut her finger and write the word “incandescen” in blood. The word intended was probably “incandescence”, which means, “a light produced at high temperatures”. Why did she wait until she was dying to write it on the floor in blood? Why couldn’t she have written it in the note?
Then there was the most obvious and puzzling clue. There was no suitcase in the room. Clothes had been placed on the shelves, and there were accessories like hairbrushes, and nail polish on the dresser. There was no way Professor Charlotte Montgomery could have carried all of these things into the room without a suitcase.
Wayne Duncan decided this was no suicide, it was a well-executed, cold-blooded murder!