The MantleMystery teasers are little stories where you need to figure out what happened based on the given clues.
The Police established the following facts:
1. On a beastly hot day, a masked man had entered the Johnson apartment. In attempting to beat from Mrs. Johnson the hiding place of her fabulous diamond necklace, he accidentally killed her. He had ransacked the apartment and fled empty-handed.
2. Mr. Johnson, an invalid who had been under sedation during the crime, discovered the body and notified the police.
3. Suspicion fell upon James, the doorman and an ex-con, who had not reported to work since the slaying.
4. The necklace was safely hidden in the false bottom of a jewelry box in the guest closet near the fireplace. The box rested on the closet shelf above the spot where Mrs. Johnson always hung her gold silk mantle. She wore the mantle in the apartment on chilly days, but she never wore it outside the apartment.
Upon learning these facts, the famous detective, Dr. Newman, asked to be left alone in the apartment with the doorman.
After hearing James insist he had never been in the apartment before, Newman shifted a cigarette container and two statuettes on the shelf above the fireplace and rested his elbow there.
"The necklace was right here in the false bottom of a box above the mantle. See for yourself," urged the detective.
In a moment, James had found the jewelry box above Mrs. Johnson's silk mantle.
After James was placed under arrest, Newman couldn't help muttering, "A criminal should never return to the scene of the crime!"
Why was James the criminal?
AnswerJames said he had never been in the apartment before. If that was true, then he would not have known about the silk mantle. When Newman said that the necklace was in a box above the mantle, an innocent man would assume he meant mantle, the shelf above a fireplace. But because he knew it was above the silk mantle, he had to have been in the apartment before.
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