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Quarantine Mystery, XVIII

April 12, 2020

I have seen Carla Minton’s car drive by several times in the last two days. It’s easy to identify her car because it has one of those magnetic signs on the door that says, “Carla Minton Realty.” Maybe Sukey is right. She thinks Carla—she calls her ‘that bitch’—stole some papers from Victor’s file cabinet. I’m wondering if she’s back for more papers and, if so, how she’s getting into the house. My best guess would be that she has her head set on selling Victor’s house. Does she know that Victor’s will gives the job to another company? She wouldn’t have received a copy of the will, because she’s not mentioned in it. Would she go to this much trouble to get the listing of only one house? I think it’s more likely she’s after something else. She lived in the house for five years. Maybe she left something important?

There she goes again. Driving by slowly.

In an upstairs window of Angus Mink’s house, I see Angus with a pair of binoculars. Sneaky little man. I need to talk to him. Carrying my little wooden seat, I wander outside to my sadly neglected rock garden in the front yard, and pretend to be pulling weeds. I can’t see Angus at his window now. There he is. I wave. He pretends not to see me. I stand and wave again, smiling so he knows I’m not angry. I wait.

He comes out and stops at the sidewalk on his side of the street. He is wearing a lumberjack shirt and bedroom slippers. I remember the social distancing and realize he isn’t going to come any closer. I can’t shout what I want to say from this distance, so I step halfway across the street, then a little closer. I consider shooting the breeze for a bit, but Angus would find that suspicious. I decide not to beat around the bush. “Have you noticed Carla Minton’s car driving by here a lot recently?”

“She’s not the only one,” he says. “Carla Minton used to be married to Victor, you know.”

“I know, but why is she driving by so much?” And why doesn’t she ring the bell or something?”

“She has driven by four times since last Thursday,” Angus is talking so softly I can barely hear him. “I’ve written down the times. Susan Anderson has been here and entered the house three times since last week. Megan Anderson has been there twice. The police have been there twice and driven by six times.”

I’m speechless. Angus Mink is like the Jimmy Stewart character in Rear Window. Creepy, but it immediately dawns on me: If murder has been committed in that house, and I’m sure it has, Angus will be a perfect witness.

I hear a horn. I’m getting honked at. I turn and see Sergeant Romano behind the wheel of the car that could have hit me. He sticks his head out of his window. “I’m coming to see you,” he says.

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