book cover of Top It Off With Death

Top It Off With Death

A Novella by

A killing in a locked room is always a puzzle - except to this Sheriff's impractical brother-in-law. (note very short)


The sprawling barnlike Stayn homestead lifted its ugly slate-roof towers above the grove of maple trees that roofed the steep slope of Gleason Hill. A long extension ladder set into the front lawn's light greenness reached above the second story to the base of a dragon topped tower sprouting from the roof covering the attic.

"There's no question about it not being suicide?" demanded the fat little man with the tomato-red face and the blur of snowy hair.

"Course not, Fred," snorted Sheriff Mort, his lanky body twisting out of the seat of the black pickup truck. He pushed the plaster cast of his left foot to the ground and fumbled for his crutches. "Leonard Stayn phoned, said they found him in the library."

"Odd he'd have Rell Forbes fixing the roof," said Fred Rogers, "if he was planning to die. You know how tight George always was with his money."

Sheriff Mott's snort of disgust at his brother-in-law's words brought a wry smile to Fred's lips. Leo Mort considered him to be an impractical, easy-going clown whose ideas were bound to be valueless.

"George Stayn was a good citizen," the sheriff said reprovingly, resting his weight on his crutches, "and he was careful with his money."

This was meant to be a dig at Fred. Most of Fred's profits from electrical wiring and the fixtures he sold went for books and fishing equipment. Fred coughed, choking back a chuckle.

"Come right in," invited a voice from the porch steps. "He's upstairs as we found him, Sheriff."

Fred studied the man and woman above them as Sheriff Mort worked his painful way upward. Five cement steps he must climb to the porch level, his fractured ankle swinging.

Leonard Stayn was tall and light-haired, the memory of shrapnel in his uneven walk. Ida Davis was tiny and dark, her rounded arms and plump face deeply tanned.

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Kindle Editions

September 2011 : USA Kindle edition

Title: Top It Off With Death
Author(s): Basil Wells
Publisher: eStar Books
Availability: Amazon