TIKTOK... BANG!
BY G. T. KARBER

Dated Feb 15, 2022, and found at the end of one of Karber's moleskine journals, this story is a classic whodunnit with a modern twist, featuring a teenage supersleuth who is TikTok famous.

It was the morning after Edward Lazenby’s 50th birthday party that the businessman was found dead in his mansion’s central atrium.

His assistant found the body. Since she had not been invited, she had been annoyed as she waded through the streamers, balloons, and party decorations that filled every nook-and-cranny of the house. But then, she saw her boss with a hole in his chest, and she felt bad about feeling annoyed. Or, at least, that's what she told the police.

They searched the mansion, top to bottom, but they couldn’t find the murder weapon, a small caliber pistol, anywhere on the premises. They reviewed the footage from the security cameras that surrounded the mansion, and confirmed that nobody came or went after the party ended, which they knew the time of because Lazenby had posted a picture of himself alone on Instagram at 2:22 AM.

That narrowed it down to three suspects:

1. Patricia Lazenby, Lazenby’s wife.
According to several guests at the party, she had taken sleeping pills and gone to sleep halfway through the party while her jovial (drunken) husband partied late into the night. She had the best opportunty, but no way to get rid of the weapon.

2. Jeremiah Strimm, a business partner.
This old friend was the last to leave. He and Lazenby had been drinking and enjoying themselves all night, but (according to him) he didn’t remember anything after the third or fourth round of drinks, which they had around 10 PM. The police only knew he was the last guest to leave because of the security cameras, which saw him walk out the front door at 2:16 AM with his umbrella in his hand.

3. Jessica Mase, the assistant herself.
She had complained to several friends about the awful, sexist treatment she had faced from Lazenby, some of it borderline harassment, and how she was worried that, if she quit, he would badmouth her across the industry.

Beyond narrowing it down to 3 suspects, the police could go no further. And so, the detective in charge did what he always hated doing: call in the local supersleuth, teenage TikTok star Madison Amber Leigh.

Madison barely looked up from her phone the entire time the detective summarized the case. That used to drive him crazy, and it still did, but now, he accepted that it was her method, and he knew her method got results.

Instead of paying attention to what he said, or even examining the scene of the crime, she scrolled through her phone.

She checked what Twitter was saying about the guy (he sucked, but was dead now, so who cares).

Then, she checked the Instagram stories of people partying there the night before (drunk rich idiots with their arms around Lazenby).

Then, she took a photo of an empty corner of the living room (maybe because of the architecture?), and, finally, she checked her weather app and scrolled back to yesterday's report (sunny, with strong winds).

When she was done, she looked up at the police detective and said, “Okay, I know where the pistol is. And I know who did it, too.”

“Who?” the detective asked, but he knew what he answer would be, like it always was:

“You’ll have to watch my TikTok just like everybody else.”

Unfortunately, you're in the same position as the detective: the resolution to this mystery is only available to members of the Detective Club. Subscribe via email to learn what Madison Amber Leigh discovered. If you guess correctly, you'll receive a special commendation!