• Published 26th Jan 2018
  • 2,120 Views, 32 Comments

Who-dunce-it? - RB_



It's always a bad sign when the highlight of the party is the murder.

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The Fourth Chapter

Dead silence.

“You…” Rarity said. “You what?”

“I never actually poisoned Blueblood,” Mrs. Orange repeated.

“I’m, I’m very sorry, darling,” Rarity said, “could you please repeat that, just one more time? I don’t believe I heard you correctly.”

“I didn’t poison him!” she said. “I never got the chance; the butler found me on my way to the kitchens and insisted on bringing me to the dining room. I never actually got the chance to put the poison into his bottle. The vial of poison disappeared from my purse sometime after that.”

“But, but he’s poisoned!” Rarity said, gesturing frantically at the corpse. “His body is right there!”

“Well, it wasn’t me who did it!”

Rarity’s mouth hung open. For the first time that evening, she had been rendered completely speechless.

The others were, thankfully, not so totally afflicted. “Then who did!?” they chorused.

It was then that a groan came from the end of the table.

Once, on one far, far too successful night at the bar, Rarity had asked Twilight if she thought there could be life after death.

Twilight's response?

“Let's find out!”

The ensuing night of mad science, grave robbing, and drunken dark magic had forever engraved in Rarity the importance of not playing god. It had also taught her that ponies did not, did not, come back from the other side.

Needless to say, it had been a good while since last they’d gone drinking.

And so, when she saw Blueblood's corpse start to get to its hooves, she was understandably shocked.

Prince Blueblood pulled himself up by the edge of the table. His movement was uneasy, but he recovered remarkably quickly for one had moments ago been deceased. He shook his head back and forth, then flipped it back so that his hair landed properly.

Then, he grimaced.

“Ech. I have the worst taste in my mouth. No one warned me of this. Why did no one warn me of this? I would have made sure to slip myself a luxury breath mint before I drank the poison.”

Rarity’s well-thought out, considered, and above all lady-like response to this?

“Buh.”

“I see I’ve rendered you all speechless.” Blueblood waggled his eyebrows. “I do have that effect on ponies.”

“See!” Mr. Orange exclaimed. “I told you! He wasn’t dead at all! If you all had just listened to me—”

“Shut up, Mosely,” Mrs. Orange said, then to Blueblood: “You were dead! Your heart had stopped, several of us checked!”

“Have you ever heard of the Promiscuran Giant Pufferfish, found off the coast of the Trottish isles? It’s a delicacy in some areas, very rare, very expensive,” Blueblood said. “Its liver contains a powerful magical poison, one that can put someone in a death-like state. I had my chefs prepare a concentrated dose of it, enough to kill me, but only for an hour or so. The fish itself made for a truly scrumptious dinner last night, too.”

“So you poisoned yourself… on purpose,” Stalwart said.

“Well, I didn’t do it accidentally! I’m far too intelligent for that.”

“What the heck?” Rainbow said. “Why?”

Blueblood clicked his tongue. “For the same reason I gathered all of you for this dinner. You see, some nights ago, it occurred to me that there might be some small group within the populace that might—just might—not appreciate me.”

“That only just occurred to you then!?” Rarity blurted out, the memories of ghastly things from beyond having finally been driven from her brain.

“It’s quite an outlandish proposition, I know,” he said. “But the thought consumed my mind. What if these ponies existed? What if they thought these things, but wouldn’t say them to me because of my status? What if they were using me for my prestige?

“Heaven forbid,” Mrs. Orange said.

“Certainly there have been people who believed, at one time, that I had wronged them,” he said, “but surely, they must have realized the error of their ways, realized that they, not I, were in the wrong?”

“Error of their ways!?” Stalwart exclaimed, rising from her seat. “I’ll show you the error of your—” But the major placed a hoof on her shoulder and pushed her back down.

Blueblood looked at her oddly. “Who are you?” he asked. “Ah, no matter. So, I decided to do something about it.”

“By… killing yourself?” Fancy said.

“Precisely! If I wanted to know what ponies actually thought of me, well, I’d have to remove myself from the equation!”

“No need, you were already a zero,” Rarity muttered.

“So, I selected a group of ponies, some of whom were once my enemies, and some of whom may have been pretending to be my friends, and brought them together.”

“And then you killed yourself,” Rainbow said.

“Indeed! And I think I gave a rather wonderful performance. In my absence, all of you would be free to speak freely of me, and the truth would come out. My faithful butler would tell me how you all felt after I revived, and then my fears would be assuaged!”

Fleur flung her head towards the butler. “You knew about this!?”

“I had no idea!” the butler said, backing away until he hit the wall. “I was just as in the dark as you were!”

“This has to be one of the most idiotic plans I’ve ever heard!” Rarity said. “And I’m friends with Rainbow Dash!”

“Yeah!” Rainbow said. “I’m, like, the queen of bad plans! How the heck did you top me?”

Blueblood huffed. “I read it in a book.”

You read a book?” Rarity said.

“Of course not; I have servants for that.”

“And now,” he said, turning towards the butler. “Tell me: how repentant were they?”

The butler was visibly sweating. He tugged at his collar. “Erm… Your Highness, you may not actually wish to hear—”

“No, please, tell me,” Blueblood said. “I need to get rid of this cloud over my head once and for all. How hard did they cry at my passing? What regrets did they voice? Did any of them feel deeply empty from my absence?”

The butler winced. “Nearly every pony here was plotting to kill you,” he said. “Your Highness.”

Blueblood blinked, and the smile drained from his face.

“What—all of them?”

Nearly all of them, Your Highness.”

“What, they were planning on murdering me?”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“What, even—” he turned to look at Fleur “—even you, mademoiselle?”

Fleur turned away, back into the waiting embrace of her husband.

Blueblood turned to someone else. “Even you, Mosely?”

Mr. Orange coughed.

“Wait a moment,” Mrs. Orange said; she was scowling. “Before we entered the dining room—before Rarity and the others arrived, even—you wanted to get something out of my purse, Mosely!”

“Erm—”

“Right when the poison went missing from my bag!”

“Poison!?” Blueblood cried. Mrs. Orange, meanwhile, got up, strode over to her husband, pulled back the lapel of his suit, and from a pocket on the inside extracted a little glass vial. She spat this onto the table.

“You’re the one who took it!” she said. “You sniveling little—”

“You were going to poison me, Mosely!?” Blueblood said. “You, of all ponies!?”

“But why?” Rarity asked. “I thought you were having an affair?”

“We were!” Mr. Orange cried. “But our love—it was never going to be accepted!”

He brought a hoof over his forehead, and in a tone most dramatic, he uttered the following:

“We could never be together—society wouldn’t have allowed it, not to mention Valencia! But I had this idea—”

“Oh no,” Valencia said.

“—that we could be together, in death! A crime of passion, a crime of romance, a crime of love! A crime straight from the pages of Romeoat and Juniper, the greatest romance ever put to page!”

“But Romeoat and Juniper is a tragedy!” Rarity said.

Mr. Orange blinked. In a much less dramatic fashion: “It is?”

“Have you even read Romeoat and Juniper?”

“Well, I’ve… skimmed it once or twice…”

“Celestia, they’re perfect for each other,” Mrs. Orange said. “Neither of them can read!”

“I—I can’t believe this!” Blueblood cried. He took a stumbling step backwards. “How could all of you turn on me so easily? What have I ever done—”

His eyes landed on Rarity. “You! You never got over the Gala! This was your doing, you selfish, arrogant—”

“Actually,” Rarity said, taking a step forwards (and causing Blueblood to take another step backwards, so that his body was right up against the window), “I was one of the only ones who wasn’t. I was the one who uncovered the others’ attempts! I solved your murder!”

Blueblood’s scowl turned to a smile, nervous but full of hope. “Then you are the only one in this room who actually cared about me?” he asked.

“Celestia, no,” Rarity said, scoffing. “I hate your guts!”

Blueblood took one more step back—and it was his last. He tripped over the shallow windowsill, fell backwards, and with an enormous crash shattered the rear window and fell screaming through it.

Mr. Orange tried to run after him, but Mrs. Orange grabbed him by the tail. “No more books for you,” she grunted around the hair. “They give you ideas.”

The rest of them rushed forwards to the edge of the window and peered down over the edge.

Rarity winced.

“Ooh, I don’t think he’s recovering from that.”

“Necks aren’t supposed to bend that way,” the Major agreed.

“He landed on my squirrel…” Rainbow said.

After everyone had had their fill of looking, they straightened up and moved back into the room. No one said anything for a few moments.

“Well,” Fancy said, straightening his suit. “It seems the only murder committed here tonight was a suicide.”

“He’s right,” the Major said. “None of us actually murdered him; it looks like we’ll all be leaving here tonight uncuffed.”

“Actually,” Lieutenant Cuffs said, reminding everyone suddenly of her presence, “conspiracy to murder is a crime, as is conspiracy against the crown. I suspect you’ll all get treason.”

“Well,” Fancy said. “Drat.”


An hour of questioning later, Rarity and Rainbow walked alone out of the garden of Blueblood’s mansion. The house was swarming with police, and some royal guard, as well; Rarity greeted a group of them just arriving as they passed in the road.

“I’m sorry it took me so long,” Rarity said. “I hadn’t expected everything to get so convoluted. It’s ended up being quite late, despite my efforts.”

“You’re fine,” Rainbow said, flapping along beside her, the sword case strapped across her back. “That was awesome, by the way.”

“I wouldn’t say so; I failed to solve the case.”

“You solved six different potential murders,” Rainbow said. “That’s pretty dang awesome in my book.”

“Well, thank you darling.” In the low light of the unlit path, it almost looked like she was blushing.

“I was right about one thing, though,” Rainbow said.

“About what, darling?”

“About how every time I think someone is cool, you find out they’re evil.”

“Oh, pish-posh,” Rarity said. “Fancy was hardly evil. He was doing it out of love.”

“Murder is still murder, Rares.”

“I suppose.”

They continued on down the path.

“It is a shame our carriage left us behind.”

“Yep.”

More walking.

“You know, it’s kind of funny.”

“Life is, sometimes,” Rarity said. “What specifically?”

“Out of everyone who Blueblood invited, out of everyone who showed up, the only ones who didn’t want to kill him were me and—”

Rainbow stopped suddenly in mid-flight, her face growing suddenly paler. Rarity continued on a few more steps before she realized and turned around.

“Yes, darling? Is something the matter?”

“Rares, I know you’d never use your teeth to chew through anything that wasn’t food,” Rainbow said.

“Of course not. I’d never do something so barbaric. No offense.”

“None taken, hornhead,” Rainbow said. “So if you didn’t use your teeth…”

“Yes?”

“How did you cut that twine earlier?”

Rarity smiled a demure little smile. A passing breeze caught the edge of her dress, pushing it aside just enough to reveal the stiletto strapped to her hip.

“Well, darling,” she said, “it never hurt a lady to be prepared.”

Fin

Comments ( 21 )

........ this was so anti-climatic yet it was so likely to happen.

Clue, but with ponies...I loved it.

Great story! Very Clue-like which is awesome! You had me curious to know what all the little pieces were and what each pony’s part was. Really well done!

I'm definitely faving this story, I loved it all the way through! :pinkiehappy:

Naturally, I decide I'm gonna write a pony murder mystery ... only to see somebody else has done it, and probably better, too. Harumph!

In any case, this is a well done story, well in line with the traditional 'cozy' mystery. The narration's a little gag-heavy, especially at the beginning, but it doesn't detract too much from things. Rarity as a Miss Fischer style detective is something that honestly isn't done often enough. It'd be super fun to see a sequel to this, though I'm not sure what could be added besides more of the same.

Keep up the good work!

And then we got to that later!

Fantastic stuff. I only figured out a few of the potential murders before the big reveal. Thank you for a wonderful read.

(Also, is it really treason when it's against Blueblood?)

Rarity is actually kind of a massive hypocrite in this at best, and a scheming, backstabbing mastermind at worst. I mean, I was buying it right up until that ending reveal that maybe she just has an incredibly, overly strong sense of justice that overshadows even her loyalty to friends like Fancy Pants, or even Applejack (who would likely be quite upset at the prospect of her family being arrested for murder), but that reveal proves that she's no better than the rest of them. The fact that she works so hard to reveal the killer means either she thinks only she is above the law, or it means she saw an opportunity to throw suspicion off of herself and onto friends and associates.

But the fact that she clearly wanted Blueblood dead as much as the rest of them, though, and had the intent to carry out a murder scheme, only to then turn around and even bother to investigate the "death" is beyond the pale. She could have just remained silent and everybody would have been happy with Blueblood's death. Blueblood would have woken up, gotten stunned at the fact everybody trash talked him, and foolishly stumbled to his death on his own, and nobody would have to be imprisoned (perhaps even strung up?) for conspiracy and treason. Instead, she decided to meddle, even though she was just as guilty. That either stinks of hypocrisy or downright villainy.

This was hilarious

Awesome story! I've head this on my favorites for awhile now and finally got around to reading it. I knew it would be good just from the summary. Rarity would be proud. 5 stars man, I love this.

This was fantastic, I like to imagine they all get out of it somehow.

This was a goddamn work of art

I see somebody's played how to Host a murderer...

Ding-Dong, the Bitch is dead! Which old bitch? The bastard bitch!

8707032
Pretty sure she wasn't going to kill him, just had a weapon in case he did something spectacularly awful. Or in case of detective shenanigans.

“Actually,” Lieutenant Cuffs said, reminding everyone suddenly of her presence, “conspiracy to murder is a crime, as is conspiracy against the crown. I suspect you’ll all get treason.”

Um, from the little I've read about it, I think that conspiracy to murder requires multiple people to be acting together willingly with the intent to commit murder. The same for conspiracy against the crown, or any criminal conspiracy for that matter. However, as Rarity so well demonstrated, every one of them was acting on their own, save for Fancy and Valencia, and as that wasn't a willing partnership it wouldn't count either. Really, as far as I can see, the only crime committed was the blackmail and since, from her general demeanour and distaste for Blueblood, I doubt Valencia would be pressing charges, I don't know that any of the charges will stick.

Anyway, mostly a very well put together mystery. The only real problem I saw was that the reveal about Mr Orange's cologne came a little out of nowhere - it's possible that there was a line about his cologne or how he smelled that I missed, so It's perfectly possible that this is a problem with me rather than the story, but if not, then it's a little head-tilting. Particularly since the line about the smell being what ponies think oranges smell like, even though they actually don't, suggests that it wouldn't be his or his wife's scent. After all, he may be a doofus, but he should definitely know what his own fruit smells like. Still, since his involvement was mostly a joke, I can let that slide.

But, other than that, it all worked quite well. I did think it very likely that Blueblood was faking his death due to his choice of guests - why would he invite Rarity and the Major to a gathering of "personal friends" when they had, at most, a professional relationship with him and both had major reason to hold a grudge against him. But I admit, the reasons I thought he did it were a lot more nefarious... and a lot less in-character than his actual reasons.

Huh. So, turns out that writing a review of a mystery is kind of impossible without going into necessary details that require spoilers. Well, short version: enjoyed immensely, bravo.

Hee! I finally got around to reading this, and I'm very glad I did! Lots of fun and I do love me a dramatic mystery.

I noticed all of the lens and the frazzled cord and the "newer" monocle individually, but I didn't put them together. And I noticed how the pufferfish demonstration was at the same time as Mrs Orange's toilet trip but somehow didn't put the rest of the pieces together. I was barking up completely the wrong tree with the "pegasus sword".

I did think it was a bit weird for everyone to think it super incriminating that an invoice from Mr Orange smells of Mr Orange's cologne. That seems pretty natural to me: he obviously had to handle the paper to post it... It doesn't seem to imply they're having an affair.

Nevertheless, this was a delightful mystery with quirky comic elements. Very enjoyable - thank you!

Blueblood took one more step back—and it was his last. He tripped over the shallow windowsill, fell backwards, and with an enormous crash shattered the rear window and fell screaming through it.

welp, this is just sad. He dies by realizing everypony hates him and wants him to die
that is a worse way to die

This was amazingly well put together. Almost Asimovesque. I love that the little things like Mr. Orange reading Romeoat and Juniper are called back in the culmination. It rewards the reader for paying attention and keeping tabs on what's happened.

Thank you for writing this.

How does one even go about assembling a story like this. It's so intricate, so much continuity

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