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"The Star-Crossed Star" by Hy Conrad

See-n-Solve #104 - October 2015

Orig. appeared Nov. 1999


Learn about Amy and Harry Silver

"The Secret Admirer"
Can you solve the mystery?

Crime Scene See-n-Solve

Amy had been dying to see Johnny Eckert on stage, but not like this. Eckert was lying on the set of "Midnight Madness," the play that had made the TV actor into a Broadway star and that was now touring the country. The young actor had been shot right on stage, in full view of the crew who'd been preparing for tomorrow's opening performance. Detective Harry Silver had gotten the call 15 minutes ago and knew that keeping Amy away from her idol's murder scene would probably result in another murder-- his own.

Drew Grant, the play's director had been sitting in the house and saw the whole thing. "Yesterday, when we got into town, some weird guy was hanging around, trying to get in the stage door. I approached him, but he just scurried off. We were loading the set today, plus doing a few repairs and repainting the set. Johnny was standing onstage, complaining about the fumes, when this guy rushed onstage. He shot Johnny once, then rushed off. Some people were in the wings, so he changed directions and wound up going through there."

The director pointed to an upstage door, part of the play's set. "No one saw where he went."

"Could this have been a hired hit man?" asked Harry as he looked up from his notepad.

Drew Grant lowered his voice. "The idea occurred to me, too. Johnny loved to sue and he often won. Right now, he's suing his manager, the play's producer-- even the president of his fan club."

"Was he suing you?"

Grant smiled. "No. I lucked out. Those people are here if you want to talk to them." He turned and pointed to three forlorn-looking individuals standing around the stage.

Harry glanced at his daughter who was preoccupied, still gazing at the dead star. "Snap out of it, honey," he whispered. "This is one case I know you want to solve."

Crime Scene See-n-Solve

Illustrations by Josh Neufeld