Are You Ready To Be A Sleuth? – Try To Solve The Crime

Photo by ornicar69

Photo by ornicar69

There is nothing like an unsolved mystery to get my mind going a million different directions. As a writer of Romantic Suspense, I love crafting stories that challenge the reader to think outside of the box.

What about those real life stories that go unsolved, or have been solved with a surprising twist of events?

On WHO DONE IT Wednesdays you will get a chance to try your hand at being a sleuth. I will give a few paragraph crime summary and the possible suspects to a crime that has been committed. Note that all names will be changed to avoid an easy research project. 

Your job is to guess the culprit, their motivation, or how the crime was committed and give a reason why you think so. On my next post I will announce the correct answer and you can see how you did.

At the end of each month, the best sleuth, or the one with the most correct answers and best reasons if it comes to that will be the winner of a new Romantic Suspense Release from one of my favorite authors.

Are you ready to be a sleuth?

The year is 1997. A house fire starts in a house with young children. A mother tries desperately to get all of her children out of the house, but the 10 day old baby isn’t rescued in time. Investigators have determined that the baby died in the fire.

Six years later there is a neighborhood birthday party. Which of the following is true:

1. A friend of the family thought that a girl bore a resemblance to the missing baby because of the dimple in her cheek and contacted the mother. DNA tests confirm it is the missing baby.

2. The mother discovers a box in the closet with her baby’s stuffed bear and the materials for setting the fire. There is also a newspaper clipping with news of the event.

3. The arsonists is uncovered when pictures of the daughter in front of her house on the day of the fire, show the arsonist in the background with the materials for setting a fire.

4. A memorial is given for the young child who died in the fire and each family gives money into a fund for the family.

So Super Sleuths, what do you think really happened and why?



About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

14 thoughts on “Are You Ready To Be A Sleuth? – Try To Solve The Crime

  1. Okay. I don’t believe it’s #1 because the investigators would have found the baby’s remains…if not, the baby would have been assumed to be kidnapped and the fire set to cover it up.
    #2. I’m not certain if the closet is in the house where the baby died, but either way, I don’t think the mother would overlook something for six years in her own house and if it’s in a neighbor’s house, I don’t think she’d be rummaging around in order to discover it.

    # 3. Why would it take six years for the photos to surface?
    Sooooo I’m going with #4.
    Now, in a novel any of the first three would be great story fodder if it’s set up right. 🙂

  2. I’m with Pat for all the same reasons, but whoo! the stories that could be told with the other answers. What a fun idea, Michelle!

  3. I think it’s option #3. The arsonist was captured by another child on film just before the fire was discovered. Maybe it was the child’s paternal aunt who had lost custody rights just the day before and wanted to prove that the mother was unfit to care for her children.

  4. amorycannon says:

    #1 would make a great story. Especially if the arsonist kidnapped the baby before he/she set the fire. Interesting that this scenario classifies the baby as “missing”. I’d love to know if the investigators found remains initially or if they assumed the fire burned so hot it consumed the body because the baby would have been too small to escape on its own. A DNA match on burned remains is difficult if not impossible.

  5. I’m going with #1. I think if the fire was bad enough, the authorities might wrongly assume there was nothing left of the baby. Also, I think it goes best with the part about the neighborhood birthday party and it’s how I would want the story to end. Finally, to me #1 is the most like a novel, and since truth is stranger than fiction…

  6. Angie Arndt says:

    In order for the arson investigators to say that the baby died in the fire, they’d have to find some biological remains, right? So that lets out #1 unless there was another baby killed in the fire.

    I think I’m going with #2. There could be a perfectly good reason for the mother to snoop in the closet: that’s where the coats were and when she reached for hers, it fell on the floor, on top of a box containing all the materials. When she grabbed the coat, she grabbed the top of the box, too, and as she pulled away the coat, she saw her daughter’s teddy bear.

    Love this feature, Michelle! Too cool!

  7. […] thought that a girl bore a resemblance to the mother as a girl due to a dimple in her cheek. DNA tests confirm it is the missing […]

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