#31: The Case of the Foul-Mouthed Seamstress
Status: Solved

Dear Jen-Jen and Pete,

Daddy and I are coming to visit on Sunday. We’ll bring that salad dressing you like. In the meantime, I’ve got a little mystery for you. As you know, I have a new Bernina sewing machine that I very much enjoy. I also enjoy my Bernina online quilters’ chat group. Lately, however, someone has been posting obscene messages. [Discretion prevents the Shut-Ins from reprinting the messages here, though, sadly, it did not prevent Jenny’s mother from sending them in the first place.] Who could be posting these dirty things? Thanks, sweetheart.

Mom/Aunt Judy

The Shut-Ins were pleased with the promise of savory dressing but not with the unsavory talk. Fearful that Jenny’s mother would continue to forward the salty postings, they set to solving the mystery right away.

The cousins immediately ruled out the Amish, because the Amish have better things to do. They then reviewed the other clues. “What we’re dealing with here is a Net-literate quilter with a mouth like an open sewer,” Jenny observed. Suddenly, the cousins froze. “You just described my mother to a T,” Peter said slowly. Jenny nodded in agreement, her brow furrowed with disappointment. “She can’t get enough dirty talk,” Jenny sighed. “I think we’ve found our perp.”

The mystery was solved. The cousins agreed to keep their finding to themselves, so as not to make future family gatherings awkward. They further resolved to ask Jenny’s mother to bring croutons, too, as long as she was going to the store.

- - -

#32: The Case of the Prank-Playing Sister
Status: Solved

Hey you guys,

I’m writing to request assistance in solving a disturbing case involving a missing zucchini and a terrible stench.

— Maureen [Peter’s sister]

Hmm. A missing zucchini and a terrible stench. The Shut-Ins could see where this mystery was headed, and Jenny wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. “Your sister is playing a prank again, and I’ve just about had it with your family and their dirty jokes,” she told her cousin. “I think she thinks you won’t get that it’s dirty,” Peter replied. “I’m not sure that I do,” Jenny answered, “but I’m still not touching it.”

Peter was left to solve the mystery solo. Left to his own devices, he turned to his preferred forensic technique of napping. Once again this proved effective. Peter’s dreams revealed that the zucchini was not a zucchini, but a Jungian symbol of youth and promise. His sister was trying to tell him she feared growing old. Her letter was not a dirty joke but a cry for help. Peter thought about calling his sister to tell her he understood, but before he could, sweet slumber beckoned again, and soon he was out cold, dreaming the untroubled dreams of a baby.