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“No, I noticed a lot of things, but I didn’t notice any flask. It could have been there, however, because we were swamped, and I move around here very quickly.”

“So Eddie would have been close to that jacket when he pranked Grant?”

“Yeah, for sure. The jacket sat right by the beer he chugged down. Is this important information for your investigation, Deputy?”

“It could be Maggie, but please keep our conversation to yourself. If it turns out to be an important clue, I’ll make sure everyone knows how you helped.”

“I hear lots of things working in this bar. I could tell you some things about conversations I’ve overheard involving almost everyone in town. That includes both Grant and Eddie.”

Stassin’s ears perked up with this new information. “How do you hear all this stuff?”

“Ok, if I tell you, this is something you can’t share with anyone. Deal?”


“There is an air vent near the back booth that amplifies conversations all the way back to the kitchen.”

“Oh, so that’s how you overhear so much. What about Grant or Eddie?”

Maggie then relayed the conversation weeks ago with Eddie and the man she couldn’t identify. During that conversation, Eddie said that Grant was his biggest roadblock.

“That’s very interesting,” Stassin said. “What about Grant?”

“Grant came into the bar with his wife about two months ago. I don’t know her name, but they were arguing at that back table. From what I heard, it concerned their daughter, who must be in New York trying to make it as a fashion designer. That would be something I’d love to do myself. Anyway, It sounded like Grant felt the daughter cost too much, and he wanted to cut her off. His wife said she needed support until she got a permanent job. It got pretty heated. I probably could have heard most of that conversation without the vent to amplify it. The last thing I heard was his wife storming out, saying, “That will only happen over my dead body, or better yet yours!” Pretty juicy stuff, right?”

“Yeah, for sure. Well, Maggie, this has been a very helpful conversation. Remember to keep it quiet.”

“You can count on me. It’s kinda exciting being your confidential informant. My lips are sealed. Nice meeting you, Deputy.”

As the deputy exited the bar, Maggie wondered who she could tell about this. She’d have to think of somebody who could keep a secret. After all, you can’t expect a gal not to tell at least someone.


Deputy Stassin knew from his training that the first people to talk to in a murder investigation were the people closest to the victim. Therefore he knew he had to interview Sarah Koehler.

“Mrs. Koehler, Deputy Stassin here. I wonder if you have some time to speak to me this morning regarding a few questions I have.”

“Absolutely, deputy. I’m dying to hear if you have any leads or suspects.”

“I’m working on several angles, ma'am, and won’t stop until I solve the case. I’ll let you know for sure when I have something solid.”

“How can I help you?”

“To start, I previously asked if you knew of anyone who might have wanted to harm your husband. Have you thought of anyone like that since we last spoke?”

“No, I haven’t. I know Jeff told you about that guy Starks from the Iron Works, but outside of him, I can’t think of anyone.”

“I know this is a bit personal, but can you tell me about Grant’s estate?”

“Sure, Grant and I have a living trust. His assets will all transfer into that trust once his estate gets settled.”

“And who are the beneficiaries of the trust?”

“I am the sole beneficiary at this time.”

“Is it fair to say that Grant’s estate is substantial? I know he worked in mergers and acquisitions for a large venture capital firm before moving to the area to run Koehler Iron Works.”

“Yes, we are well off. I have no idea what the final estate value will be, but it will be somewhere north of $5 million.”

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