“When did it happen?” asked James.

“Last night. Right at the time you must have left the party. You sound not sober yet. Hung over?” asked Meghan.

“Yes. It’s terrible. Give me a couple of hours. Go there and learn everything you can. Forward me the name and basic details. I will do the online research before reaching,” said James.

It took more than three hours for James to regain complete consciousness. He hates to party. But, he cannot stop himself from partying. The only thing that can stop him from partying is a murder in the city.

James and Meghan make one of the most successful detectives in the NYPD.

James reached the spot where the murder happened last night. While all the other cops and authorities were hovering around the corpse, he noticed that Meghan was busy scanning the odd places in the house, such as behind the bookshelf, underneath the dining table, and under the kitchen sink.

Meghan sighed to James. He silently followed her into the kitchen.

“Richard is the one handling the case. He does not want to divulge any details to us. He thinks it is an accident, but, apparently it is not an accident or suicide. There are too many obvious reasons,” said Meghan to James.

“I could guess as much. Her attitude was the one that could kill someone and not kill herself. She was too confident enough to kill in an accident rather than be a part of a silly accident at home. She was too arrogant in her recent social media conversations. She spent too much on her car accessories and her bank balance never got disturbed because of her pampering father. Her boy friend was busy with his match in New Jersey from the last week. Is he here already?” asked James.

“The house was all set for a girls’ night. It looks like they had loads of fun. There were no strangers in the campus since last evening. She was with three of her friends. One of the friends woke up in the morning to find Miranda in a pool of blood beneath the staircase. From the house, it is clear that there was no fight. How could she land in a pool of blood without fighting, I wonder? We need to discuss to find it out,” said Meghan.

They both reached the staircase and started discussing.

James started, “Her head started bleeding first. She was hit in the head. The railing of the staircase can be a cause.”

Meghan continued, “Yes. You can see some strands of hair here at the corner. She must have been pushed very hard. She cannot hit herself so hard even if she slips by accident. So much more force is needed.”

James added, “It could not have started from the top. You can exert so much force from the bottom as though you are trying to hit hard. All the girls partied in the ground floor and slept in various rooms in the ground floor. There are only a couple of rooms in the first floor. These girls would not have gone to the first floor if the kitchen, computer, and TV are in the ground floor. Girls are so lazy and fearful.”

Meghan grinned and said, “Stop being judgmental about girls. If someone hit her from the bottom of the stairs. They should have lot of strength. Only a boxer or a professional wrestler to do something like that. These girls are too frail to do something like that. And, nobody else entered the house. This is leading to a conundrum.”

James was lost in thought for a few minutes and said, “Where is your laptop? I need to do some check about the security people around here. Do we have their names and basic details? If they are lying, their background would not lie to us.”

The background check on all the members of the security team present last night did not yield any results. James and Meghan went through the CCTV recording outside the flat for last night. It all seemed to be a regular night without much of difference.

“You cannot rule out the girls. May be two or three of them should have done something to get rid of this girl who is known to be too mean in the college,” said James.

“Did you look at them? I had a word with them. They all seem so innocent and shocked at whatever happened, ” said Meghan.

“Do I want to know anything about them, generally?” asked James.

“Diana is Miranda’s best friend. She is very sad. She has been texting many people since morning. She has been constantly crying and busy with her phone. Julie is our best bet. She is the most inquisitive and talkative one. If we have any questions, she can be of some help. Nancy is the last one and the completely lost one. It was the first time she came for the party last night and it all turned out to be nightmarish for her. She did not even enjoy the party. She threw up long before the other girls started the real party, “said Meghan.

“Just so you know, they are not as innocent as they appear. They are very good at hoarding information. They are also adept at acting. And, don’t get me started on the faking part. You are the best example.” said James.

“Why do you have to talk about us, now? Let us do something about this case and get away from here. I need to help my sister for her wedding shopping. Stop being so sarcastic about girls. Not everyone is like your ex. Stop looking at every girl and assume she is like your ex – manipulative and fake,” explained Meghan.

“I’m lucky I met you after I broke up with her. But, my impression about girls has nothing to do with Kathy. I know about girls. They can be psychopathic. Trust me. I have heard the weirdest of stories.”

Just as they were discussing, Tom walked in. Thomas is Miranda’s boy friend and a baseball player. He traveled all the way to New York as soon as heard about her death.

Meghan and James noticed that Tom talked to Nancy and Julie. He feigned complete indifference to Diana.

“This cannot happen. Tom and Diana were partying together last week and Miranda was also there in that party. Is there something that we could know here?” asked James.

Let us check with Julie. Meghan went and had a quick word with Julie.

Meghan came back and said, “It appears Tom and Diana are not on talking terms for the last week. Apparently, something happened between them in the last party that nobody knows other than them and Julie. I don’t think it will help us in any way, their fight.”

“Can we do some quick search about Diana? She is complicated. Girls would leave no chance to cry. She would not leave the chance to cry on his shoulder if she is really sad about her friend’s sudden death. She might be our candidate,” said James.

Meghan believed in James’ instincts more than she did.

Diana seemed to be a simple girl with a few friends. She did not have a boy friend. Miranda was her best friend. There was nothing striking about her that they could find from the research. James decided to give it up to find if anyone else is dangerous enough.

But, Meghan, wanted to do more research on Diana.

“Can we check her medical history?” asked Meghan.

Let me call Paul and ask him for all the details.

As soon as they received a report from Paul, both surprisingly said the same thing at the same moment, “Prick. Conduct Disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder.”

They smiled at each other happy they found the candidate.

James: “But, Meghan,  her best friend?”

Meghan: “Tom. Love. Two girls?”

James: “Get Richard on this. He is good at interrogation.”

Meghan walked to Richard and told him about their hunches. Though he was not happy they almost cracked the case yet again even before he could connect the dots, he had to go ahead and do the interrogation.

After a few hours of serious interrogation, the truth came out that Tom started loving Diana. Miranda did not know about that.

Last night, Diana told Miranda that she loved Tom and they had an argument after the other two girls slept. When Miranda tried to attack her and kill her, Diana got into manic depression, became extremely aggressive and hurt Miranda badly as she tried to run upstairs. Whenever Diana got into one of these manic depression phases, she would hardly give people the time to respond. Miranda could not survive the hard hit. As always, Diana was not feeling guilty about this as she was used to perpetrating violence whenever she gets into depression.

The NYPD completed their formalities. James left for the pub while Meghan went to do shopping with her sister.