Sleuth - Featured Mysteries

Scripted Mystery

Murder in a Sentimental Mood

by Rosamund Clifford
Difficulty: Really hard
City: New York


In a smoke filled room you listen to a swinging trio back a beautiful jazz singer as she sings the blues the way the blues are meant to be sung - like someone did her wrong. Some say art is at its best when it imitates life, but you, well you're not so sure when hours later you're looking down into a dead girl's eyes and know you're never going to hear her voice again.


In a Harlem cabaret
Six long-headed jazzers play.
A dancing girl whose eyes are bold
Lifts high a dress of silken gold.

Big Lucy's cabaret wasn't in Harlem, there were only three musicians on stage and the girl wasn't dancing, but the atmosphere was the same. I caught myself tapping my foot to the slow rhythm. The girl's rich, velvety voice remained lingering in the air even after the song ended.

In a sentimental mood
I'm within a world so heavenly
For I never dreamt that you'd be
Loving sentimental me...

The audience sat spellbound for a few seconds, letting the magic of Duke Ellington's latest hit sink in, and then they broke into applause. The singer bowed several times, gave an airy wave of her ha...