Hullo, it’s Daisy again! For this companion, Hazel has suggested I write another guide - a particularly special one. In the next few pages, I shall explain to you how you can become a detective almost as good as me.
Picture the scene: a body has been discovered; an item has been stolen; a suspicious letter has been found. It is up to you to solve the case. But where should you begin?
First, establish the facts:
In every mystery, the detective must discover the answers to five questions: who, what, where, when and how. Once they are solved, the case simply falls into place!
Let me give you an example. On Tuesday of last week, an entire cream bun went missing from my plate during tea. As soon as its loss was discovered my brain began to work. I was the victim, but also the detective. What else did I know, and what did I need to find out?
Who? (who did it?)
Unknown. This is what I wanted to discover! It must have been a member of our boarding house, as I did not see anyone unknown enter the room during the meal.
What? (what happened?)
This was easier. The unknown culprit had stolen my bun, presumably because they wanted to eat it themselves.
Where? (where was the scene of the crime?)
The House Dining Room, on the fourth-formers’ table. This narrowed down the suspect list considerably. The culprit could only have been someone with a reason to be at the table at the time of the theft – so either a fourth former, or the prefect on duty at the table.
When? (When did the crime take place, and what else was happening?)
Last Tuesday afternoon, just after a rather punishing Games lesson. It was a beastly crime, because I was particularly hungry. I also recalled that, a minute before the bun went missing, the conversation had become very heated. The other fourth-form dorm had lost our hockey game, and Sophie Croke-Finchley had been loudly upset about it. We had all turned to look at her – and when I turned back, my bun was gone.
How? (How could the thief have carried out the crime?)
My answer to when helped me work out how. Sophie had distracted me, and knowing the rivalry between our dorms, I suspected that she had done so on purpose. But who might she have been working with? The twins, Rose and Jose Pritchett, usually work together, so it was unlikely to be them. But there is one more member of the dorm who is friends with Sophie, who dislikes me, and who might have tried to get one over on me (forgetting, of course, that no one tricks the Honourable Daisy Wells for long) . . .
As you will see, there was only one possible culprit: Clementine Delacroix, Sophie’s dorm mate and our dorm’s sworn enemy. I forced her to stand up and turn out her pockets – and the bun was revealed, wrapped in Clementine’s handkerchief. Clementine gave it back to me at once, and that evening I had my revenge – I crept into the other dorm while Clementine and her associates were at toothbrushes and gave Clementine an apple pie bed. This is an excellent prank, and I advise you all to learn it. You never know when it may come in useful.