Only A Matter Of Crime Chapter One, Part One

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A Hannah Anderson Mystery

I remember this day more vividly than yesterday, even though this all happened 4 years ago. It’s actually one of the reasons I wrote all this; to get it out of my head. Buckle your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen as this is just the beginning of my journey. ~ Hannah Anderson

Hannah’s eyes traced the pattern on the office floor. If someone hid the safe under the floor, they either did an amazing job or this was another dead end. The wood floor looked perfectly normal to her.

The mansion was bigger than it looked from the outside, with seemingly endless rooms and endless places to hide a safe. It didn’t help that the decor was painful to look at.

Green, mint, and bright neon orange? The interior decorator should be arrested.

Mr. Martin’s accomplice, Robin Porter, had confessed the money they stole was hidden in a safe inside Mr. Martin’s mansion.

If only Mr. Porter had been more specific.

“Any luck over there?” Joel Anderson, her brother, asked stepping into the crammed office space which was full of useless clutter.

“No. Do you think the confession was a false flag?” Hannah asked.

“Don’t be silly. There are still fifteen rooms left to search!” Joel laughed, tapping the floor plan he had acquired prior to their search.

“Yeah, just fifteen rooms. So little. We’ll be done by next year if we’re lucky.” She remarked sarcastically.

“Hey, hey! You wanted this! A good detective never gives up, Hannah.” Joel said, nudging her shoulder. “Remember that. No matter what anyone says; even you!”

He tossed her a granola bar and she caught it.

“Don’t worry, it should last you till’ next year.” He winked.

“So the crime was the robbery of New Ashens Federal Bank, right?” Hannah asked, taking a bite from the bar and gathering her thoughts.

“True. Can you believe the two of them made off with six hundred thousand dollars before anyone caught on?” Joel remarked.

“It’d make you think they were smart, but with how you found Robin, that’s definitely not the case.” Hannah chuckled.

Joel touched his chin thoughtfully. “What is the last place anyone would look?”

“Hmm,” Hannah stopped for a moment to think. “If I were a thief, where would I hide my money? Somewhere inconspicuous…”

She snapped her finger. “I’d try the kitchen or the bathroom! No one would think to find it there!“

Joel looked skeptical, “I don’t know. Don’t you think his butlers or personal chefs would have noticed it there?”

“We can’t rule out his staff’s involvement.”

“I’ll trust your instincts on this one. Let’s split up. I’ll check the bathrooms, you check the kitchen.”

They both nodded in agreement and went their separate ways.

Who has their kitchen on the second floor? Hannah thought on the way up the stairs. Then she remembered what kind of crazy person she was dealing with.

The kitchen was decorated in the same ugly fashion as the previous rooms. Whoever designed this house had committed multiple crimes she’d gladly testify for. Hannah started opening every drawer, knocking on every surface and examining every corner of the extravagant room.

Mr. Martin must have loved trying different cuisines. The seasoning self was the most stocked she had ever seen. At least he had some taste. Although, it won’t matter when he’s behind bars and living off plain prison food.

She found a large pantry cabinet that almost resembled a wardrobe in its height and vastness. When she opened the doors, she found it to be quite stocked. Goodness, I hope someone will donate all this to a food bank before it expires.

Hannah was thorough with her search; instead of just brushing things aside, she carefully removed each and every object, looking for the signs of a safe. Why would someone so rich rob a bank, anyway? Then again, maybe that’s how he acquired his fortune.

Cough! Cough!

So dusty… Hannah reached for an old looking dusty can of spam in the back. It wouldn’t budge when she pulled on it. Is it glued here or something?

Hannah pushed it forward, towards the back of the cupboard and-- click!

The entire pantry cupboard slid left into the wall until it was flush against it. In its absence before her was a giant safe with a key code panel. Just like in the movies.

The pantry cabinet must have been attached to some sort of mechanism that helped it slide into a hollow compartment in the wall beside it.

“Ah-ha!” Hannah exclaimed joyously. “Joel! You’re going to want to see this!”

“What was the safe code again?” She mumbled to herself. “Oh, double zero, seven. Goodness, Mr. Martin sure loved the movies.”

“Okay, lets see if our Mr. Porter lied to us or not.” Hannah keyed in the code and to her surprise, it actually worked.

Joel darted into the room just in time for the safe to open and reveal the missing money. “See, it didn’t take a year. Good job, Hannah.”

“Ha, ha. You better start counting in case there’s more than one safe.” Hannah patted him on the shoulder. “I’ll call the police.”

“Remember to ask for Detective Lester and tell him you are contacting him on my behalf.” Joel told her as he began to count the stolen money. “Who knows, you might just replace me as lead detective one of these days.”

They both laughed.

Everything went well; the search, the counting of the money and the arrest of Mr. Martin. All in a day’s work. Hannah thought to herself as they drove away from the mansion in Joel’s car.

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