Death at Holbrock's Inn

He was lying upside down in his food, foaming at the mouth. The victim was a middle-aged man. With brown eyes, wavy brown hair, and except for the unnatural blue-yellow skin and reddened eyes, well-groomed appearance. Frederick Pemberton, on the other hand, was short and stocky, and over the years his head hair had visibly gone south. But at least he was still alive, he had that ahead of the victim.

All those present in the restaurant had been asked by the police to stay in order to be questioned. However, there were not many people. Just the landlord and the waitress, a young woman, no older than 25 years, spindly, with a pale face and shock-white hair, as well as the guests, 2 couples and just himself, Frederick Pemberton, the well-known detective.

"Death occurred not more than half an hour ago," said the coroner. "What do you make of it?" asked Inspector Hewlett without looking at Frederick Pemberton. They knew each other from so many criminal cases in the past. "I didn't do it!" pressed out Pemberton. "I know that!" retorted the Inspector. "The waitress already said that you never left your seat in the last hour."

The famous detective looked at the body, but turned to the waitress as she passed. "Can you wrap up my dessert, please?". The waitress, Charlotte, looked at the detective in bewilderment and took a moment to comprehend the question, but then stammered out an "OK."

"Poisoned." said Pemberton. The coroner rolled his eyes. "With the food." The inspector added wryly. "Well, then, we've got it!" grinned Pemberton mischievously. "But who?" asked the Inspector more in the blue. "Well, so if it wasn't me, because the waitress saw me all the time, it couldn't have been her, because I saw that she never served that table. It was the host."

"What about the host?" asked Hewlett. "From the food, he should have been lying there." Pemberton remarked. The Inspetor stared at the dead man for a while and then said "And then you have the food wrapped up after all?" the Inspector asked with feigned astonishment. "It's for my mother-in-law." explained Pemberton unemotionally. "Still, I don't think he did it. I mean, how crazy would that be, to do that in his own restaurant? And wouldn't he have tried a better alibi if he had?"

"He did! - You!" remarked the coroner. The inspector and the coroner seemed amused by this remark. Pemberton remained stoic. "What about the other guests?" he asked. "The elderly couple there said they didn't notice anything. I guess the woman went to the bathroom. And that's when you pass the table. But they both say they didn't know the dead man at all.". The inspector continued:

"The second couple is more interesting. She must have been involved with him before. But that must have been a long time ago. And she said the breakup had come from her at the time. I think it would have been more of a problem for him than for her. And they would have had no contact since that time. The two of them seemed happy and genuine. And no one has ever seen them get up and go to the bathroom." Pemberton could even confirm that.

"Suicide!" the host said self-consciously as he approached the scene. "Because of the food?" asked the coroner. "Don't I get it?!" the innkeeper replied irritably while looking into the grinning faces of Hewlett and Pemberton. "I remember he had some funny little envelope lying on the table, and it was torn on one side." said the innkeeper. He pointed to the trash can. "It's still in there. I put it away sometime when I brought him another beer.".

The coroner jumped up and found the envelope quickly and without effort. A quick sniff, then it was clear to him "Arsenic!". "Suicide! -I say!" said the landlord almost euphorically. The inspector reached into all the dead man's pockets and finally found something that resembled a suicide note. "Well. Suicide it seems." said the inspector. "Strange. Never came across it that way before." - "Anyway, it wasn't the food!" insisted the landlord. "I've changed my mind." said Pemberton to the passing waitress "I'm not taking the dessert after all."