This puzzle is bloody murder, but I must solve it before ...

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This puzzle is bloody murder, but I must solve it before Henrietta does

Everyone should have an impossible life’s challenge to which they dedicate themselves, and which really doesn't matter

This week two people met in an upstairs lounge at the Athletic Club and Social on Buitengracht Street in Cape Town to take the first steps in solving a murder. Six murders, actually, and the case is so cold that it has defeated the most finely grinding ratiocinating minds of the past century, nearly 100 years’ worth of Holmeses and Marples and Renkos and Maigrets and Jessica Fletchers.

As we read the opening pages of the case materials I looked up in alarm at Henrietta and she looked at me, and we both felt the winding length and unmacadammed width of the road ahead. This won’t be easy.

Henrietta is one of my oldest friends. We’ve known each other since I was 17 and she was 16, and whenever we’re in the same city we meet for lunch and flagons of wine and talk about work and life and mutual friends and enemies. We’ve never before set out to solve a decades-old puzzle...

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