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?