Other Stories in this issue

The Sutton Project

by Nupur Tustin

About the Author: A former journalist, Nupur Tustin now divides her time between composing and writing mysteries. Prior publications include work for Reuters, CNBC, diverse freelance articles, short stories, and academic research. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the SinC Guppies. She is currently working on Aria to Death, the second in her Joseph Hadyn series, while her agent finds a home for A Minor Deception, the first book in the series. Visit her web site at


“It’s downright shameful is what it is!” A petulant note had crept into Martha Sutton’s voice. The corners of her small mouth puckered in discontent as she shook her head of tightly permed graying chestnut curls at Bethany Davis, the police officer who had responded to the robbery Mrs. Sutton had called in an hour ago.

“I wouldn’t have let my John spend a penny on this place if I’d known we’d be dealing with a robbery every third day.” Mrs. Sutton glared at Bethany as though she held the officer personally responsible for the theft of her jewelry.

More like every three or four weeks, if that. But Bethany didn’t think the fact would appease the middle-aged Mrs. Sutton. The thefts in this partially gentrified section of Venice had grown at an alarming rate this past year, and the Robbery-Homicide division of the LAPD had yet to make an arrest or recover any of the goods stolen.

Bethany shifted slightly, and sucked in her stomach. “Was anything else stolen?” she asked. Mrs. Sutton’s beady-eyed gaze was making her uncomfortably self-conscious of the baby belly she still carried.

You try keeping fit, she thought resentfully. With this job and two toddlers. She looked pointedly at the sagging folds of skin under Martha Sutton’s chin. “Anything apart from the blue diamond necklace you reported missing.”

Mrs. Sutton frowned. “Wouldn’t I have told you if anything else was missing?”

Story Comments

Dec 7 - J Newman

Love this story! Very original with a surprise ending.

Dec 7 - Micki Browning

Thoroughly enjoyable. Never thought I'd see a crocodile have a prominent part to play in a story!

Dec 8 - Nupur Tustin

So glad you enjoyed the story. I had great fun writing it and walking around the neighborhood to map out where things were.

Dec 8 - Dee Overduin

Never saw that coming! Well done.

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