This is my first Mystery I've written. I'm not gonna lie, I have plenty of room for improvement and I still need to learn how describe things better. Still, I hope you enjoy it.

Originally this was supposed to be a series of one-shots. But I recently got a job so I've not been able to just sit and write and I really just wanted to get a chapter out so I wouldn't lose motivation. This is an in-between project while I'm working on Gods of Eve (I haven't dropped it). It has a plot, I assure you.


The Dark Eyed Queen and Her Two Knights Lay To Rest The Crime of "The Black-Out Inn"

Today had been a pleasant day for the most part. Amelia and her brother, Edward, were off to New York. A storm was going to come in so they had decided to stop at an inn for the night.

That was when all the trouble started.

There were a total of eight other people there. A Novelist, a Doctor, an Innkeeper, a Lawyer, a Housemaid, a Butler, an Unknown man, and a Cartoonist.

Amelia had gone off to bed, only to be awakened a few hours later with a piercing scream. She got out of bed, dressed in nothing else other than her nightgown, and ran to the source of the screams. When she arrived Edward was already there along with the Maid and Innkeeper. All of the faces looked horrified at the sight and the Maid was visibly shaking. By the looks of it, she was the one who discovered the body.

"Edward," started the young-looking brunette, "what happened here?" she was as calm and cool as could be for having seen such a horrifying sight. The Unknown man had been stabbed multiple times and his throat had been slit. Blood was covering the ground, soaking into the carpet. Amelia could only stare blankly at the scene.

"The power went out," said the woman's brother, Edward, who was also remaining as calm as possible, "and then when it came back on here was a scream. You showed up after that."

Amelia continued to blankly stare at the corpse and said she wanted the inn keeper to wake everyone and have them meet in the lobby.

When everyone arrived Amelia announced that it would only be a matter of time until the detectives showed up. The faces of the people in the room looked relieved at this, hoping that this nightmare would soon be over.

"Good," said a woman presumably in her early thirties, "I can't wait to get out of here."

This woman was a romance novelist. Not surprising seeing as how she obviously had a taste for the dramatic based on how she dressed; wearing a blood-red dress and was covered in various gaudy jewelry and how her hair was partially dyed, having blonde hair and red streaks running through it.

"This better not take too long, I have a highly important meeting to attend tomorrow morning!" you could see the man practically scoffing at how he was forced to stay the night at the inn due to the storm. The man was wearing a blue pin-striped suit. He looked polished-off, like he had come from an upper-class family. His hair was short and black, cleanly cut. Obviously a lawyer.

"Master, I will assure you that I will make sure you get to your meeting on time." This statement was directed to the lawyer. This man was said lawyer's butler. The looked to be around the same age, possibly forty. This man had much more maturity though. Dressed in a black tailcoat and black pants, looking clean and also polished-off, he probably was sold-off by his birth parents and was trained to become a butler.

"Forget leaving," said another man, "I'm actually quite interested in this! I wonder which one of us did it, huh?" to which the others responded with eye-rolling and throwing him dirty looks. This man was the cartoonist. Not a famous one or anything, from what he had said when he first arrived he only had a few comic strips running in a local newspaper. He was younger than most of the others, probably in his mid to older twenties and defiantly would remind anyone of a curious child.

"I never said anything about leaving."

A room full of eyes was suddenly all on the youngest woman there.

"I only said the detectives would be arriving soon," she paused, "you will all have to stay here until the investigation is over."

Shouts of disapproval, and one of glee, rang through the room. The maid and inn keeper were completely silent, still shocked from the earlier scene.

There was also another who remained silent. This man, the doctor, interested Amelia. He didn't talk much which was odd for a doctor this day in age. They typically tended to boast about their positions and would go on and on about their accomplishments. This man, however, seemed quite shy and submissive.

As is on queue, there was a sudden knock on the door, barely audible over the shouts of the now-suspects. When the door was opened, there he was, International Detective Officer… Arthur Stillwater. Amelia and Edward's cousin.

"You two!" he shouted immediately after seeing Amelia and Edward. And before anyone could even blink Edward had actually pounced on Arthur. He used to do that all the time when they were children. Old habits die hard. The hilarity came from the fact Edward was much larger than the other male, who was rather scrawny and more effeminate-looking.

After a series of threats that involved being licensed to shoot and kill whenever he felt like it, Edward detached himself from Arthur and the three went over everything that happened in another room while Arthur's team was watching the suspects.

"Well then, Amelia, do your thing." Said Arthur, looking mildly annoyed while staring down at her.

Amelia looked up at him and cocked a brow.

"No, I don't think I will," she said turning around to leave the room, "after all, I'm on vacation."

Arthur looked at her in disbelief as she left the room. Edward stared at the doorway looking dumbfounded. Never before has Amelia turned down a case before.

But then…

"If you don't help me solve this case, then I'll hold you as a suspect." Arthur said is plainly and calmly, indicating just how serious he really was.

Amelia heard this and backtracked to the room she was previously in.

"You know…" she said, looking directly at her cousin, "the body needs and autopsy and I have just the man to perform it."

Point one goes to Arthur.

"W-what?"

This was the shy and submissive man before. The doctor.

"I said you'll be performing the autopsy on the corpse." Arthur stated in a demanding tone. "You're a doctor, right? You should be able to do that much without screwing it up!" He was getting irritated now. Meanwhile the doctor was lowering his head, showing how uncomfortable he was.

"Arthur."

"What is it, Amelia, can't you see I'm trying to get him to do this?"

"Stop raising your voice. It's not going to get you anywhere."

"Why did you even suggest a guy like this? You're usually a much better judge of people!"

"Exactly. I'm a good judge of people. Good enough to know he's not actually a doctor…" she smirked, "at least, not a typical doctor."

The doctor's eyes shot open in surprise as he stared at Amelia, knowing his secret was going to be exposed.

"Isn't that right… Mortician?"

"What? A mortician!" Arthur backed away from him upon hearing this.

"Yes, that's correct." He hung his head low in shame, "I'm a mortician. I take care of the dead."

Morticians are highly frowned upon in society. It's considered a perverted practice with those who believe a body should not be desecrated. Morticians are different from Coroners, although their jobs are basically the same. Both examine the dead but Coroners do it for investigations while with Morticians they make a business of dealing with the dead.

"That's why you didn't go around acting like actual doctors," Amelia looked at him dead-on, "because you've never worked on a living being before."

"That's correct, Miss Renee Abigail Stillwater."

"Oh," Amelia looked at him somewhat surprised, "You know my name, Mr. Mortician?" How she loathed that name.

"Of course, you look just like your mother."

Amelia shot him a dirty look, like she was glaring holes into him. Arthur stood their silently, sensing the tension that just filled the room.

She scoffed at him, "Very well, Mr. Mortician, I'll make this perfectly clear for you," she stopped to clear her throat, "If you don't cooperate, you'll be charged with not complying with an active investigation. Get your kit that you obviously were hiding earlier and get to work."

Amelia turned around and walked out, leaving the other men in the room. Edward was waiting for her when she left.

"Hit a sore spot, did he?" He laughed, "You don't usually let someone get you that riled up, sister."

"Shut up, brother," she glared at him and said it with venom in her voice, "don't toy with me like you toy with others."

With that she walked off.

After the mortician finished with the body, the results were as she thought. Multiple stab wounds plus a slit throat which wasn't noticed earlier because of the blood. The murder weapon was a kitchen knife.

Amelia asked the inn keeper to retrieve all knives (under the watch of another person) and bring them into the meeting room. None of them had any visible blood. However, it was standard this day in age to keep ten sets of knives with ten knives in each. So there should be at least a hundred knives here. She counted three times; there was only ninety-nine. Someone had stolen one. The question was who.

"I'll be asking you all some questions now."

The first was the cartoonist. He claimed to be up until late talking with the novelist and the maid in this meeting room, opposite to the other where the body was discovered. The power had gone out but the three remained in the room, just talking. After the power came back on the maid announced she was leaving. She left to finish cleaning and that's when she saw the body.

When asked, the maid and the novelist confirmed. The maid the told her that the room should have been locked and that she had checked it an hour before the power cut off in order to clean it. She realized she didn't have the key then went back to the other end to find another key. That was when she got caught up in conversation with the other two, who she said were already talking when she arrived. When the power later returned, she was going to resume cleaning but when she arrived to the other room, the door was unlocked.

So the death had to occur sometime between when the maid left the door to get a key and when the power came back on. Supposedly the power-outage lasted about twenty minutes and the others had been talking from anywhere between thirty to forty minutes. At most, that left about an hour long window.

Three had an alibi but so far, four didn't. The lawyer, his butler, the mortician, and the inn keeper had no alibi, the mortician and the inn keeper claiming to be alone in their rooms while the lawyer claimed to be with his butler the entire time. The butler confirmed, however, a butler's conversation can't be trusted in this situation. After all, a butler would do anything to protect his master.

The mortician more than likely didn't do it, there's no reason because he would draw attention to himself, which is something people in his profession like to avoid.

Amelia was a little stuck. Normally there were eye-witnesses to the crimes she was involved with. But with the power out, no one had really seen anything.

Except the inn keeper did mention seeing the unknown man lingering about in the hall by the room he was found in. She also mentioned that was the area where the lawyer and his butler were staying in.

"Miss Inn keeper," Amelia started, "when the victim registered to stay the night here, how many nights did he register for and what name did he give you?"

She brought Amelia the register book and flipping through it she found he registered for three nights, indicating he didn't stop here because of the storm so he must have had business in this area. The name he gave… John Doe…

How appropriate given the situation.

Fake, obviously. This was going to make things more difficult.

Thinking about it, the lawyer didn't seem like the type to get his hands dirty. While flipping through the registry book she found out his name was Derek Wither. The Wither family was known to be stuck-up and somewhat posh. They would typically hire others to do their dirty work rather than handle it themselves. Plus they would often pin the blame on others. All in all, they were a family of cowards. Seeing as how this man had an occupation, he was either bored being of nobility or he had a falling out of some sort. The man hardly seemed competent enough to make it through law school.

Still, this didn't mean he wasn't still a suspect.

Amelia ordered Arthur and his team to search the remaining suspects' rooms, as well as the rest of the building for the murder weapon and to not touch it if they found it.

"Do you have any idea who it was yet?"

It was Edward. Amelia was sitting on the floor, looking at the ninety-nine knives and the registry book. She looked up at him.

"I've narrowed it down to two."

"So now the real game begins."

He chuckled at what was going to happen.