Locked Door Mystery

Many of you know I have a complicated relationship with mystery writing. If I figure out the murderer too soon then I’m impatient with the other characters for not getting to it earlier.  If the author doesn’t give me all the clues so I can’t figure it out on my own, then I’m irritated beyond belief.  So it was interesting to me that I got hooked on a British series called Death in Paradise on Netflix a couple of weeks ago.

I realized after watching a few nights worth of episodes that the writers of the show rely very heavily on the locked-door mystery – in which the murder happens in a room or building locked from the inside. Locked-room mysteries almost always fall into the category of “author not giving you all the clues” so they are not my favorite.  But this week I have my own locked-room mystery.

On Tuesday night, I went into my studio with a box, which I put on my desk. Left after 5 seconds and shut the door behind me. Thursday morning, YA texted me “what happened in your studio?”  She then texted that it looked like one of my shelves had fallen down.  When I asked her to send me a photo, I got the above.  Yikes.

When I got home and saw the destruction in person it was clear that a lot more than a shelf falling down had happened in that room. Clearly one shelf, with the attached ribbon rod had come down and everything on it, but quite a bit of the items on the stable shelf had come down as well:  assorted mountains of paper, the box of orange ribbons, a large bin VERY full of individual beads, envelopes, paints, you name it.

But the mystery is how this happened. Normally when Nimue gets locked into a room, you remember letting her out because you’ve been looking for her. She doesn’t usually meow or make a noise to alert you, you just have to search.  She hasn’t been missing this week; neither YA nor I recall opening doors to look for her.  If we had been home, the noise of the shelf coming down would have been noticeable. It certainly seems like her kind of mess… maybe she jumped up on the one shelf and as it went down, she scrabbled onto the other shelf in a panic, knocking things down willy-nilly.  I thought maybe a squirrel loose in the room, but how would the squirrel have gotten in and then out?  Someone breaking into my house to mess up my studio doesn’t seem likely.  YA sleepwalking?  There’s no place for anyone to stand while making a mess like this and the mess is all things that fell, nothing else.  And since the studio is right across from my bedroom, I’m pretty sure that would have woken the dogs and me.

Like those mysteries in which the authors don’t give you all the clues, this one may be a mystery until the end of time!

What projects do YOU have scheduled this weekend?

67 thoughts on “Locked Door Mystery”

  1. Your mistake, vs, is assuming the collapse was triggered by some agent, feline or human. This same accident happened when our daughter was about 6. Earlier in the day she had put up a bookshelf and loaded it with books. Think of a board about ten feet long carrying hardback books tightly stacked together. What might that weigh? 60 pounds? More?

    My erstwife and I heard a terrible crash in the night from her bedroom. The shelf and the books had fallen, missing the child sleeping underneath. The shelf and books only missed her by about two inches. Astonishingly, she was still sound asleep. I still shudder to think of what that bookshelf might have done had it hit her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes Steve, I believe you are probably correct. I actually went into the studio last night to get a couple of things and in surveying the damage, it’s clear that both shelves came down. I’m not sure but I think the little shelf came down first probably hit the big shelf. It makes me happy in a way because it was really unbelievable to me that the cat could have done that much damage even if she HAD been in there. But having looked at the damage to the wall and the shelves it is clear that what I thought would be just a four-hour clean up job is now going to be a much bigger project.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In case I wasn’t clear enough, our theory about our daughter’s near-escape was that the shelf had been badly overloaded. With no further pressure, the brackets just let go in the night. The brackets might have been inexpertly assembled. We didn’t think to check her work. But accidents like this, which seem so strange, do happen without an immediate precipitating factor.

        We learned our daughter was a sound sleeper. The collapse of the bookshelf was both loud and severe enough to shake the whole house!


  2. With no football this weekend I accepted a coffee meeting for Sunday at 1 to discuss my new enterprise involving helping companies sell their products on amazon. Geeky end of the equation. A guy who I met at another geeky meetup wants to know more. I assume to figure out if he can be involved but maybe he is just an excitable knowledge collector. I like this guy.

    I am doing a little reorganizing out at my warehouse and I have a guy who is great. We are relocating a major stash of hats to a new location and his required moving what is in their new destination. It is shoes and I brought home about 75 pairs of shoes to photograph and list on eBay.
    I ale have a vow to fix so I am turning on the heater in the garage as I type and will be certain to address my wife enthusiasiam for my new tool box helping organize the tools on my two garage shelves out there in that heated garage.
    I’m booked.
    You mystery… check the first shelves connection to the wall. Every now and again a big picture falls off the wall just because the nail in the wall gives up the ghost. It always kills me because the frame never quite goes back together correctly. I look at that picture forevermore knowingness the bottom left corner isn’t right. My friend who helped me learn about moving walls and spraying ceilings and doing all my home handyman stuff told me once when you have someone’s else do the job it’s just done, when you do it you know all the details and remember how you had to do something differently than what you hadn’t originally planned and it didn’t quite come out as expected . You don’t ever say anything you just reference it every damn time you look at it… so try to get it right. It’s your legacy on the planet. He’s right.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m actually going to ask my next door neighbor Don to take a look at the shelves and the walls after I get the mess cleaned up. He is a serious handyman, in fact calling him a handyman is probably an insult. I did a good enough job on the shelves that they stayed up for 25 years but I never want to have to clean up a mess like this again.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. What’s with all the caps and periods in this writing? Where is our tim? What have you done with him and who are you really?

      Meanwhile, do you suppose Amazon would want to sell therapy services? (Just kidding)

      Liked by 5 people

  3. I have some exciting weekend projects planned. I hope to make some high-protein whole grain muffins to stock the freezer. And if my energy level is still high after that, I will clean my desk, which isn’t as messy as the header photo above, but is pretty bad.

    Or I may do neither of those.

    Next week is even more exciting – I hope to renew my drivers license (which, since I’m going to get a REAL ID license requires that I bring a birth certificate, social security card, and two things that prove I live where I say I live) and go to the credit union. Woo-hoo!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. My tabs are from Oregon, and I’m not sure when they expire. But I don’t live with dread about being hauled over for driving with expired tabs. For one thing, I drive about ten miles a month. I’ve been in Michigan 20 months and have yet to see a cop car. I do see cops on the news broadcasts from Detroit. Everyone here is sensitive on the topic of Detroit. The official position is that Detroit is experiencing a renaissance. I couldn’t say. The crime I see on the Detroit newscasts is heartbreaking.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Are you thinking maybe Oregon issues plates that last more than 20 months

          The only time you get caught is when there is an issue and to start off that conversation with the fact that your out of state should have been changed plates expired plates are not taken care of for whatever story you are able to pull out of your butt at the moment is not the way I like to start hose conversations. If you move to another location the only explaination is that you haven’t driven for 2 or 3 years. Have a drunk hit you and you’ll be the one they question, put it in the ditch, back into a parked car… oh well , good luck when you decide to get around to it


        1. Too true. A friend at work is leaving for Florida today for a work trip for a week. We were out last night and she was whining about how she couldn’t afford the time for this trip, and it wasn’t that useful of a trip and how irritated she was

          Liked by 1 person

        2. WordPress must not have liked the end of my comment there. Which was that my friend is getting no sympathy from me right now.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. If you want a quickie old Shakopee rd and James ave in Bloomington has a less than 5 minute process guaranteed especially if you have your renewal paperwork in your hand
        2 minutes I’ll bet

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have January stickers so I’ve learned a few tricks over the years. The biggest one is just exhaling a little bit onto the old tab before you stick the new one on. Works great. Just came in from that task!

          Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, you certainly a few nice and chilly days for affixing those tabs. Mine used be renewable in February, but when I bought my current car, they were switched to October. Much better deal.


    1. Confession: I lied – my weekend projects are not exciting. I’m sitting here staring at my desk and I just can’t get myself to care enough to clean up the mess.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    My weekend project is recovering from the chest cold that descended upon me Thursday afternoon like a ton o’ bricks. I cancelled my afternoon appointments, then spent most of that afternoon and Friday in bed. I also made chicken soup, so I could throw every healing thing at this mess.

    Meanwhile, I had one of the weirdest experience ever Sunday through Tuesday. We went to Quartzsite, AZ, home of the great RV convention to see some dear friends. I mentioned it earlier this week here on the trail. It was like going to the remote planet Tontween (or what that is or how it is spelled) in Star Wars. In fact that part of those movies may have been filmed there. Then when you go into “town” to the flea markets and gem shows, it is like going to the Star Wars bars with all the weird critters. We saw a lady selling crystals who was our age, wearing enough eye makeup to make any misguided 15 year old girl proud. In green. Lord.

    Here is a video: https://youtu.be/FcG3ua5oY2g

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think you’re all missing a couple of possibilities – either Nimue has learned to flatten herself (like in the cartoons, remember?) to slide in and out under that door, OR she has learned to beam herself, Star Trek fashion, anywhere she likes, and you could be in a world of hurt, VS.

    No projects this weekend, unless you count the crock-pot beef stew I got up early this morning to put together, as a couple of friends are coming for a late lunch (after Wait Wait… and The Moth). Tomorrow we’re out for three events, including UU, a game day and supper, and choir practice.

    I guess the project will be staying warm. It’s a little chilly out here in the solarium (formerly a front porch) with 7 windows, hardly any wall. Gonna go and find a couple more layers…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I will continue experimenting with cake yeast this weekend. I will try it with my French bread recipe. I sent a query to King Arthur Flour bakers hotline to ask their opinion of cake yeast, and they replied I was lucky to find it and enjoy baking with it.

    The high protein flour we ordered arrived yesterday, so Husband will try his luck with hard rolls.

    Hypothermia update: Another reason Husband got so goofy on Thursday night in the cold was that he hadn’t used his cpap machine for three days and was oxygen deprived.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I found I had 6 ripe Bartlett pears and was forced to make 2 pear kuchens today, too. I will bring one to church tomorrow for the choir to have after rehearsal.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. My father was an avid fisherman and had hundreds of lures. He had them neatly strung up across the basement ceiling on two long strands of heavyweight fish line. Well, one night the lines detached from the wall where they were anchored and all the lures fell on the floor. It took a long time for dad to untangle them from one another and get them put back up, this time anchored more securely.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I hate those noises that wake you in the middle of the night… And the mystery is backtracking to try and figure out what was that noise, where did it come from or what *might* make that noise were it to fall over.
    Daughter (we’ve learned) has allergies that cause post-nasal drip which leads to coughs. It’s under control now, but you’d almost be asleep and she’d cough and cough and then you lay there waiting for the next cough. Hate that.

    My mystery today is that the well pump isn’t working.
    I’m missing half the electricity. 🙂
    Kelly woke me about 6AM to say we didn’t have water. A little snooping revealed a brown out but a good “thump” and resetting the breakers and it worked.
    But later, it’s out again.
    Called the neighborhood electrician, he got up to the pole in his boom truck and you could see one of the lines was badly corroded. He replaced that and we’re good again. Knock on ice.
    Next summer we’re supposed to get the entire electrical pole replaced and all those wires need to be cleaned up so he’ll just do it then.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. OT – For anyone interested in photography and photo manipulation, there is a fantastic exhibit currently at the ASI of Erik Johnassen’s photos. It will be there through April 28th. It is really something to see. Here’s a link to Johansson’s website: http://www.erikjo.com/

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I would think this exhibit would be of special interest to you, ljb, but I understand that your energy level may not make it possible to go see. It’s there till April 28th, so hopefully at some time in the interim you’ll have a day where that’s possible.


  10. I had a fall-off-the-wall incident recently too. I have a dulcimer, which I do not know how to play. I have it because my sister, as a teenager, ordered a build-your-own-dulcimer kit, and built her dulcimer, which she never learned to play, and gave to me when she was moving and wanted to pare down her possessions. When I bought my house, I hung the dulcimer above a door in the dining room. A couple of weeks ago, I was in the kitchen, and spotted a pantry moth on a cabinet. I haven’t seen a pantry moth for months, but they have a way of sneaking back when you think you’ve gotten rid of them. So I swatted the moth on the cabinet, which was affixed to the other side of the wall on which the dulcimer was hung, and the dulcimer abruptly fell. It had been hung upon that wall for a little over thirty years.

    I now have a dulcimer that needs to be rebuilt.

    A number of other things have been going wrong lately. My internet service provider suddenly went out of business, and I had to get new service, which meant I had to buy and set up a new modem. Got that done on Monday. Then my cell phone stopped charging, and as it breathed its last, gave me a “check battery” error message. So I ordered a new battery, and just got that fixed yesterday. Then last night my CO detector began to chirp every thirty seconds, in the middle of the night (of course) and the screen read “END”, which means the CO detector is saying “I have passed away and you need to buy a new CO detector now”. And I discovered there is a problem of some sort on my landline. I don’t have dial tone. I need to go test the line on the network interface box on the outside of the house, but it’s so cold I don’t really want to do that right now.

    For the past couple of days, there has been an unfamiliar odor in the dining room area, which had me worried. It reminded me of the odor you get when you bleed radiators. I began to worry that there was a leak somewhere. As I mentioned yesterday, I have a fear of heating emergencies. This evening I finally realized that the odor is coming from the new modem. Nothing to do with the radiators at all. So that was a big whew. Every morning when I get up and the heating system is working, and every time I come home from work or wherever and the heating system is working, I give thanks.

    So today I volunteered at a fix-it clinic, and tackled some other people’s projects.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

        This is a cold weather story really meant for the post of Friday. I was really sick on Friday and I slept a lot of the day away trying to shed this chest cold. So you all get the story today. I am coughing a lot, but I have much more interest in writing the story.

        In the late 70’s my former husband and I moved to N. MN from Iowa so he could run a remote church camp near Grand Rapids. It lay 16 miles north of Grand Rapids in heavily wooded forest that abutted the Chippewa National Forest. It was very cold and snowy in the winter.

        The camp had a large lodge and five or six cabins, all prone to frozen pipes; all heated with propane (LP Gas) kept in large tanks behind each building. At times in the winter the temperature would approach -40 degrees, which happens to be the temperature at which propane solidifies, then no longer supplies the furnaces with fuel. The previous camp manager was famous for lighting open fires of wood or charcoal underneath the propane tanks to warm the propane and keep the heat on.

        When the wasband assumed the manager position he was sternly commanded by his boss to never use that open fire method to keep the propane liquified. We were stunned to hear about the method, or to think the boss would even tell us not do it. At the time, we were such naive 20-somethings that we never would have even thought of doing such a thing. It was obvious that it was a terrible explosion danger.

        Several times while we lived there it approached the -40, but never made it all the way there—I think the coldest was -38 which was cold enough for me. Therefore, wasband was not faced with the problem of keeping the heat running without blowing up the camp.

        Liked by 4 people

  11. We had rain showers today. Now the wind has hit, with gusts up to 40 mph. NOAA says that we won’t have much drifting becasuse tbe melting and refreezing will form a crust on the snow. It will be worse in Fargo. It always is.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Husband calls the hard rolls a success. They are crusty yet soft and light . We will tweak a few thinga like size and shape. We used very high protein (high gluten) flour-14% protein.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Take some pictures, please, I’d lie to see what they look like. They sound like Danish rundstykker which are breakfast rolls, and wonderful.


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