File No. 001: The Hand Sandwich is the first case of Layton Brothers: Mystery Room. A woman, Sandy Aldwich, has been murdered in her hotel room. For some reason, her left hand has also been put inside her sandwich.
Lucy Baker entered Alfendi Layton's office but found that nobody is there. She decided to practice her line when she accuses someone but when she finished, Alfendi Layton happened to walk in. She introduces herself as his new assistant, with the inspector recalling getting a memo about her and introduced himself as Inspector Layton although he advised her not to stick with formalities. Lucy decided to call him "Prof", with Alfendi remarking that since his father was an actual university professor, he would certainly not approve.
Alfendi started to tell Lucy the details of her first case, which was a murder case happening at a five-star hotel in a popular seaside holiday resort. The victim was a woman named Sandy Aldwich, a guest who went to the hotel with her lover. There were three suspects, whom Lucy thought were all suspicious but Alfendi seemed to know who the culprit was already.
On the afternoon of the murder, she called room service for a sandwich. A bellboy named Zach Carrière delivered the sandwich to her out to her on the terrace and is the first suspect. After Carrière finished his order, a man who claimed to be Aldwich's lover turned up. Alfendi explained that the man refused to give his identity, with Lucy thinking that withholding his identity made the second suspect of the case very suspicious. The supposed lover could enter the room using a key card Aldwich sent to him. He apparently never interacted with the victim and so when he left, he placed the "Please make up my room" sign on the door handle.
Later, a hotel cleaner named Vera Wipovsky saw the sign and entered the room as part of her cleaning duties. At some point, Wipovsky drew the closed curtains and noticed that Aldwich was outside on the terrace. The woman was found slumped on a table so Wipovsky assumed that Aldwich was asleep. However, this wasn't the case as Wipovsky found Aldwich murdered sitting on the deckchair in the terrace of her hotel room, with her hand placed inside a 'double fish sandwich'. As Wipovsky was the discoverer of the body, she was the third suspect of the case.
Alfendi finished explaining the case to Lucy and told her that if she managed to find out the meaning of Aldwich's hand being in the sandwich she ordered, she would pass his test. He started to introduce the suspects' profiles, with the supposed lover being first. The lover admitted that he was at the room around the time of the murder but claimed that he never saw or spoke with Aldwich. When Lucy suggested that Aldwich left the room, Alfendi also suggested that she was out at the terrace and the lover just didn't notice her due to the closed curtains. After Lucy decided that the lover was guilty since he wouldn't give up his identity, Alfendi explained Carrière's and Wipovsky's actions during the day of the murder.
Aldwich's hand in the sandwich was one of the case's biggest mysteries as it couldn't had happened by chance so Lucy made sure to examine the sandwich when she could. Now that his overview was finished, Alfendi asked Lucy what her gut feeling on who the culprit is. Lucy wouldn't answer as she thought she needed to conduct an investigation of the crime scene first. Alfendi told her that the crime scene was available to inspect by the special reconstruction device that eliminated the need to go the actual crime scene. Alfendi explained the importance of finding evidence to back up for later deductions about the crime so he gave Lucy five minutes since he was expecting a visitor soon.
After Lucy finished inspecting the crime scene, she answered Alfendi's question on who the guilty party was. Alfendi was told of her reasoning and afterwards, according to his deductions, he was 97.6% sure of who the killer was as the case was unusually simple. The remaining 2.4% was due to certain areas of uncertainty such as the man who refused to give his name away. Lucy started to think the man killed Aldwich as his crime of passion but the aforementioned man suddenly and angrily entered the room. Lucy blurted out that the man was the culprit, with the man dismissing it as slander. Alfendi apologized to Lucy about him forgetting to tell her he had interviewed the man earlier.
The man calmed down as he claimed that he had done nothing wrong although Lucy mentioned the fact that he was withholding information. Alfendi stopped the argument and decided to ask why the man would withhold his identity. The man agrees to since he had done nothing illegal and he had his own business to worry about. Since the man apparently owned a business, Alfendi figured a connection to the murder would give him bad publicity ruin his reputation. The man reluctantly found Alfendi's deductions to be true but still insisted that he told everything he did around the time of the murder. Until his lawyer showed up, he was not obliged to tell the inspector any more information. Alfendi understood the man's situation and allowed him to go. Before the man exited the room, he moaned about the smell of the aftershave he had smelled before and agreed to not be too far away from the premises until the case was solved.
Once the man went away, the bellboy, Zach Carrière, entered as part of his appointment to assist the investigation. Carrière was happy to help as since he was a rabid fan of crime fiction, he had many things to say about the case such as Wipovsky telling him something strange about the sandwich. Alfendi interrupted their conversation as he wanted to examine the corpse first then try to find the meaning of the hand sandwich. Alfendi then explained the process of solving a couple of issues regarding the case before confronting the prime suspect.
Through inspection, they established that the woman died of posterior strangulation and the long, thin, strap-like item used to kill her was a high-quality tie that matched with the marks on Aldwich's neck. Carrière recognized the tie belonging to Aldwich's lover, whose name was "Bosco Phelps" and was apparently a violent man who caused Aldwich to go to the hotel as her refuge, as he knew this from Aldwich herself. Before they bring the lover back in for questioning, Alfendi wanted to tackle the mystery of the hand sandwich first.
Carrière suggested that the sandwich was a dying message from her as Aldwich was also a fan of crime fiction. After further inspection, the sandwich filling order supposedly gave away the killer's name as the first letter of the contents of the sandwich from top to bottom spelled "Phelps". Carrière told them to arrest the victim's lover at once as there was enough evidence to suggest he was the killer. Alfendi thanked Carrière for his part in the investigation and made sure to contact him if there was anything else he needed to do.
After Carrière left, Lucy told Alfendi that she suspected Carrière as the killer since all the clues at the crime scene seem to be heavily contrived. In order to prove the dying message was set up, they needed to find a clue that the person who set the message up did not know the victim's lover well. Under the table was a receipt signed by Aldwich but the name was instead "Bosco Felps". Since the surname was spelled differently than the supposed dying message, the name on the receipt was correct as Aldwich would know how to spell her lover's name. To be sure of their deductions, Lucy asked the man himself about his identity. The man's name was indeed Bosco Felps and became cooperative once he was informed of the situation. Felps turned out to be a young, rich import-exporter who temporarily stopped working in order to enjoy a nice vacation with Aldwich.
As Carrière's deductions were clearly false, it had to be him. Alfendi agreed with Lucy's thoughts but was troubled that there was still no decisive evidence to implicate him as the killer. They needed to find evidence of Carrière being the killer so they started to ponder why Aldwich's hand was in the sandwich in the first place. Looking over the suspects' statements, the one where Felps smelled a strong scent of Carrière's aftershave instead of Aldwich's perfume when he entered the room strongly implicated Carrière as the killer. Alfendi quickly told Lucy to call Carrière for questioning as he was now the prime suspect.
When Carrière asked if they had arrested Felps yet, they told him there was no need to arrest an innocent man and Carrière was the culprit instead. Carrière was shocked at the allegations against him as he thought they already established Felps as the culprit. Lucy brushed it off as yesterday's news but Carrière argued that since the tie and the dying message point to Felps, he should be questioned instead. However, everything was set up by him to make it look like Felps was the killer since Felps would have hid the murder weapon far better if he was indeed the guilty party and the dying message spelled his name wrong as proven by the receipt given from Carrière to Aldwich to sign.
Carrière admitted that they were right about the misspelled dying message but insisted that Aldwich created the dying message while she was struggling so it wouldn't be surprising she made an error. However, if what Carrière suggested was the truth, she would have no reason to remove the fried fish with pickle juice on it. As the first letter of fish was part of Felps's name, the killer would simply remove the pickles and there would have been no need to remove the fried fish and put the hand in to implicate Felps.
Alfendi remarked that putting their hand in a sandwich and removing a fried fish while being murdered was too unusual so the killer, who didn't know the proper spelling of Felps's name, had plenty of time to set things up. Carrière refused to admit he was the killer as even though Aldwich didn't leave the dying message, there was still no proof to implicate him. Alfendi remained unfazed at his response as they did have proof of why the killer put her hand in the sandwich. Carrière was confused at his logic as he thought the killer only put the hand in to create the misspelled dying message. They both deduced that the hand was used to disguise the smell of Carrière's aftershave on her hand as Felps confirmed he smelled a very strong scent of aftershave from Carrière. During the struggle, Aldwich must have had gotten the scent of the aftershave on her hand so Carrière needed to cover the hand in pickle juice to disguise the smell. However, he knew the hand in the sandwich would be too suspicious so he created a diversion in the form of a dying message.
Carrière demanded proof of his guilt, with Alfendi deducting that since she got the aftershave on her hand, there must be a wound somewhere on Carrière's body. Carrière told them there couldn't see anything resembling a wound on his body but they figured he was hiding it on his neck due to the neck being the one of the normal places to apply aftershave and the odd manner of him wearing his neckerchief. Carrière denied the wound being caused by Aldwich but a slip in the tongue had him admit in the existence of such a wound. Alfendi told him they will compare the wound to Aldwich's fingernails unless he admitted his guilt.
With his guilt clearly established, Carrière admitted he killed Aldwich but revealed it was all Aldwich's fault. He was one of Aldwich's many boyfriends before she found Felps and started paying her money but in just one month, his savings had been squandered and she dumped him in favor of another man.
Back at the office, Lucy and Alfendi celebrated their success in solving the mystery behind the murder of Aldwich. Alfendi admitted that part of their success came from Lucy's hard work and regarded the office as a rather exciting place to work at. Lucy replied that the office was a little bit too exciting but Alfendi offered her the position of being his assistant since she had passed his test. Lucy was astounded at the opportunity but Alfendi informed her of the one condition where she must be willing to learn what he had to teach. Lucy accepted his offer and Alfendi welcomed her to London's New Scotland Yard Serious Crime Division Classified Investigation Agency Headquarters. Lucy commented the name was too long, with Alfendi agreeing that the name was too inefficient so he decided to call it the Mystery Room. Lucy remarked the name was short and simple and Alfendi suggested she should keep the eager attitude with her. Alfendi noticed her sharp attitude resembled that of his brother and told her she would be introduced to him one day.
At the commissioner's office, the Commissioner was speaking to someone on the phone. He told the other end of the line he had assigned Lucy Baker, who was completely inexperienced, to the Mystery Room. The Commissioner then agreed to keep an eye on things.
- Deckchair - A deckchair designed for lounging in the sunshine. It reclines, and is fully adjustable.
- Curtains - Black-out curtains that block out all daylight. When they are closed, it's impossible to see onto the terrace from within the room.
- French Window - A large, full-height window that offers an uninterrupted view of the coastline. It was unlocked at the time and has Aldwich's, Carriere's, and Wipovsky's prints on it.
- Corpse - The dead body of Sandy Alwich. The cause of death is posterior strangulation with a long, thin, strap-like object.
- Table - A round table made of wood. Though simple in construction, it is well made and sturdy.
- Fried Fish - A breaded and fried fillet of white fish that's covered in pickle juice. Originally part of the sandwich, but removed for some unknown reason.
- Tropical Fruit Juice - A glass of juice made froma bountiful assortment of tropical fruits. There's no indication that Aldwich drank any of it. Carriere's fingerprints are on the glass.
- Sandwich - An extremely full 'double fish' sandwich, one of the hotel's popular specialities. Not a single bite has been taken from it, however.
- Receipt - A copy of the receipt for the sandwich and juice. It's signed, 'Bosco Felps', but the handwriting is Aldwich's.
- Potted Plant - A potted plant that gives the area something of a Mediterranean feel. A few of the leaves are wilting.
- Tie - A high-quality tie made of silk. It's crumpled and creased, showing signs of having been pulled very tightly.
- Pickles - A number of thinly sliced pickles. They have a unique smell and flavour that is an acquired taste.
- Smoked Salmon - Salted and smoked sliced of salmon, cut very thinly. There are a fair few slices in this sandwich, adding to the overall volume.
- Lettuce - So much shredded lettuce that it's spilling out of the sandwich. Exposure to the air is starting to turn the leaves brown.
- Pineapple - Extremely sweet tinned pineapple.
- Egg - A number of slices of hard-boiled egg. The yolk is firm from the egg having been boiled for a sufficiently long time.
- Aldwich's Hand - The victim's left hand, placed inside the sandwich with the other fillings. It reeks of pickles.
- The Victim's Lover: Statement 1 - "Yes, I went into the room, but I had no idea Sandy was out on the terrace. How could I? The curtains were drawn shut."
- The Victim's Lover: Statement 2 - "Actually, when I entered the room, there was a strong smell of scent. It wasn't Sandy's perfume. It was the aftershave that bellboy I passed in the corridor wears."
- The Victim's Lover: Statement 3 - "I left the room and hung the 'Please make up my room' sign on the handle as I went. It was an absolute pigsty in there."
- Zach Carriere: Statement 1 - "Mademoiselle Aldwich had called room service. She wanted to eat on the terrace, so I took her food out to the table there and then immediately left the room."
- Zach Carriere: Statement 2 - "While I was delivering her order, Mademoiselle Aldwich and I spoke. She shared my passion for crime fiction. We had a lively conversation on the topic."
- Vera Wipovsky: Statement 1 - "I only cleaned the room, that's all! The sign was on the door. All the doors lock automatically when they close, but I have a master key, you see."
- Vera Wipovsky: Statement 2 - "I opened the curtains while I was cleaning the room, and there was the young girl out on the terrace. I was surprised, so I called out to her, but...she was dead!"
- Corpse - Available initially
- Murder Weapon - After resolving "Corpse"
- Hand Sandwich - After resolving "Murder Weapon"
- Dying Message - After resolving "Hand Sandwich"
- Carriere's Mistake - After resolving "Dying Message"
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