Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mr. Bovey’s Unexpected Will - L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace

Story: Mr. Bovey’s Unexpected Will
Authors: L. T. Meade & Robert Eustace
Source: The Mammoth Book of Great Detective Stories
Theme for the Month: Locked Room or Impossible Crime Stories
This story has two interesting strands – the very peculiar terms of Mr. Bovey’s will and the strange disappearance of the gold sovereigns from a guarded store.
Mr. Bovey, a miser, was in the habit of hoarding his wealth in his safe deposit box with gold sovereigns. A clause in the will states that there are three claimants to this property, and that the one whose net body weight is nearest to the weight of these sovereigns is to become the legatee. The safe containing the property is not to be opened till the three claimants are present; the competition is to take place, and the winner is at once to remove his fortune.
To witness this competition along with the three claimants are Miss Florence Cusack, her Doctor and her Sister who is the fiancé of one of the claimants. Cusack suspects that if her sister’s fiancé wins the competition, his cousin Graham might do something evil.  The winner and the servant (who is also one of the claimants who ends up on the losing side) drive away with the gold to deposit them in a bank and on the way, they are intercepted by thugs. The truck is later intercepted at the famous Higgin’s shop due to the deductive skills of Miss Cusack. The police know that the gold was taken into the shop and since then the shop has been under constant observation from all sides. Yet when the police raid the shop, they fail to find the big bulk of gold (weighting 180 pounds). The gold seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth and again the clever lady sheds light on how the gold could have been whisked away right under their noses without them getting any inclination of it!

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