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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

Shirley H. and the Connected Crimes

February 2, 2023
Cameron Fowler

Sorrow Solved

Cameron Fowler

Click here to read part one of this story. 

As Shirley made her way back to the main room, she shot Hercules a text. “Please send a pic of that ribbon you found in the trash; I have a hunch that I’ll need it.” She entered the room, still with Psyche, Ambrosia, Dionysus, Hermes, Atlas, and the police chief, who must have joined when she went to the lobby. Upon her arrival, all eyes turned to her, awaiting the truth. 

“Before we start, I would like some confirmation,” Shirley began as she pulled out her phone, opening the picture Hercules had sent and turning it towards the others. “Do you recognize this ribbon at all?”  

Psyche nodded. “We dancers wear them; they complete our flapper attire.”  

Shirley pocketed her phone before speaking. 

“I was called here to investigate the death of the dancer Aphrodite, who passed away last night. Upon initial inspection, everyone believed that she took some rope and kicked her own bucket in the changing room. The owner of the bar believed it was one of you.” She pointed towards the five present workers as she reiterated what they knew. “After me and my colleagues’ investigation, we can confirm that your boss was correct; one of you killed her.” The workers murmured and exchanged glances with varying degrees of worry.  

“Pardon me, Miss Shirley,” Hermes, the blackjack dealer politely spoke up, silencing his coworkers. “I know some detectives in fiction build up the dramatic reveal of who the killer is, but could you please just tell us who murdered our ‘Dite?”  

Shirley gave a nod. “Of course.” Shirley then pointed her finger towards the five employees and said, “The killer is none other… than you!” All eyes turned to whom her finger was pointed at: Psyche. Psyche gasped along with the others. 

“Me!? This is absurd! Why would you say such lies?” 

“Well then, let’s break it down. Aphrodite had a mark along her neck, which would make sense considering how she was found, but the mark didn’t cradle her neck, but rather looked like something was pulled sharply against it to cut off airflow. In fact, it seems to be awfully close in width to that of a ribbon, like the one we found in the trash can in the changing room. Since there were only two dancers that night, Aphrodite and yourself, Psyche, the ribbon must belong to you.” 

“But ‘ow did she pull eet off?” Ambrosia spoke up in an accent Shirley was unfamiliar with, but guessed it was French. 

“Of course, a murder like this could not be thought of on the go, it must have been planned for a while, with that evening seeming perfect to get away with it.” Shirley started to pace back and forth as she began to explain.  

“After the show, you,” Shirley pointed a finger at Psyche, “had the golden opportunity to strike. In a room alone with her and no cameras, you took off your ribbon and took her life. Obviously, the blame would immediately fall to you, so you needed to frame it as if she took her own life. You discarded your ribbon in the trash and then went to the storage where Atlas was. You acquired rope from there and returned to the changing room. If he pressed you, you just had to give some excuse. Dionysus told me he was particularly, er, gullible.” Atlas gave a slow nod at what Shirley was saying. 

Still addressing Psyche, Shirley continued. “You wrapped the rope around Aphrodite and attached it to the ceiling but needed to seal the deal. You turned on the AC to mess up the autopsy, rendering it unable to give a time of death. You then had to make an alibi for yourself. While Dionysus was occupied at the bar, you snatched the key you needed that he usually guards. You then went to the changing room and locked the door and snuck the key back where it was; this matches up with what Dionysus told me about telling off someone who came to talk with him twice. He mentioned that only you and the other dancers talk with him, which helps clear up suspects like Hermes, who was running blackjack for most of the evening.” Hermes nodded while Dionysus looked angry. 

“Finally,” Shirley spoke, more passion in her voice, “You just had to wait a while before heading back and creating the story of you knocking on her door and becoming concerned when she didn’t answer it. You faked your worry about her not answering and the shock upon finding her, because you were the one who did it. And your motive? You had the stage for the longest time, until Aphrodite joined and took the spotlight. With her out of the way, you could reclaim your fame.” 

The bar was silent as Shirley finished. It took everyone a moment for all of them to fully comprehend what Psyche did. Soon her four colleagues turned towards her. 

“You stole my keys?” 

“You lied to me!” 

“’Ow could you?” 

“Such betrayal disgusts me.” 

Psyche was fuming. She looked like she was ready to lash out. “How could you,” she mumbled, “How could you spit such LIES! Such FILTH! Why you’re nothing but–” Psyche shouted before she was interrupted by the police chief. 

“But a genius who seems to have solved another case. It makes sense to me, and judging by your ex-coworkers’ outbursts, Shirley wasn’t lying when she mentioned Mr. Dionysus’s information. If she was, I’m certain they’d be mad at her and not you. Miss Psyche, you are going to face justice for the murder of Miss Aphrodite.” Psyche tried to move, only to have her arms restrained by Hermes and Ambrosia, who held them to be cuffed. As she was being led out, Psyche made eye contact with Shirley. 

“This isn’t over! You will pay, you will!” Psyche seethed as she was led out. With all that done with, Shirley bid the group goodbye, but not without thank-yous coming from the workers, and a promise of her next visit being on the house. 

As she left, she received a message from Hercules: “Nice job Shirley! You were awesome, like always.” 

“Couldn’t have done it without you or Par; make sure to tell him that as well,” Shirley texted back. 

“Oh BTW, I found something that might make a good piece of memorabilia for this case. You want it?” 

“Sure, bring it with you back to my place. Invite Parvath and Aimi, I think it’s time we celebrate a successful case.” With that she pocketed her phone. Tonight was going to be fun. 

Speakeasy Sorrow – Case Closed 



  1. Moonshiner Speakeasy bar in Paris, France. Picture is from @Moonshiner_cocktail_bar. 
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