The Case of the Poisoned Picnic Fare
Inspector Gluesou examined Geraldine Foster's body, lying near the picnic table. The discolored face and strangulated expression indicated death by poison.
Gluesou turned to his assistant. "Larry, bring the family members out here and have them sit on these garden chairs. I need to question them about the food eaten this afternoon."
"Yes, Sir," said Larry. "According to the information we have obtained, old Mrs. Foster planned to inform her sons and daughters she meant to change her will, giving all to charity."
"Yes, yes. I am aware of that."
Inspector Gluesou made a mental note to obtain the recipe for the yam pudding; it sounded delicious.
Geraldine's offspring came forward, some with handkerchiefs pressed to tear-dampened cheeks, some with mournful faces. Gluesou began his questioning. The questions concentrated on what the members of the group had eaten of the picnic fare: ham, potato salad, baked beans, olives, Jello and yam pudding.
Gluesou made a mental note to obtain the recipe for the yam pudding; it sounded delicious. As he questioned them, he had his assistant jot down the answers.
It turned out that Jack Foster, who could not tolerate Jello, had partaken of a bit of each of the other dishes. His older brother Harold loved ham, potato salad, olives, Jello and yam pudding. Their older sister, Jennifer, claimed yams made her sick. Bernice Foster-Barnes could eat beans by the bowlful, but not a bite of ham. Brother Bruce had eaten lightly of ham, baked beans, olives, Jello and yam pudding. The youngest of the tribe, Frank Foster, had turned aside a helping of olives when his mother offered them.
Gluesou turned to his assistant. "Have we learned what Geraldine Foster ate?"
"A woman of great appetite," Larry said. "An examination of her plate shows she ate a bit of everything."
"It's quite apparent, then," said the Inspector, "how she came to die, and who poisoned her."
"All of them! Each ate a bit of all but one of the six offerings. Obviously, each serving contained a small amount of poison, not enough to kill. But when Geraldine Foster ate a portion of everything on the picnic table, as they knew she would, she consumed enough poison to cause her death. Have them all arrested for murder!"