Okay, the first one of these I took on wasn’t an impossible crime, and the second wasn’t any good. So, a new collection, shorter stories — hence two this week — how did we get on?
What Are They About?
‘The Three Widows’ concerns the apparently impossible poisoning of a step-matriarch who stands in the way of her two step-daughters accessing their dead father’s fortune (“Penelope, to whom money was nothing, and Lyra, to whom money was everything, consequently each required large amounts of it.”). The thankfully neat problem is summed up by Ellery with a delightful adroitness:
“You’ve bought your own food. You’ve done your own cooking in this room and you’ve eaten here alone. … Further, you tell me you’ve purchased new dishes, have kept them here, and you and you alone have been handling them. … How then was the poison administered?”