Who: Josie Randall and Oliver Sjoberg. What: Whodunit? Where: Staff Quarters. When: After work one day. Privacy: Private Complete: Yes.
Josie was trying to carry on her job as if nothing had happened but it was much harder to keep guests happy when they had to keep being questioned about murder. She couldn’t wait until she could move on to a new hotel, one without murder. This whole dead body thing was putting a damper on everything but she didn’t want it to be the cause of bad reviews so she was doing her best to be even more cheerful than usual, which meant by the end of the day she was completely exhausted, despite the numerous cups of coffee she had consumed throughout the day.
Her feet dragged as she made her way to the staff quarters but as soons as she pushed open the door she forced a smile back onto her face. Acting cheerful when tired was good training for always being nice to customers, no matter how ridiculous their requests could be or how difficult some were. “Anyone want some coffee?” she asked the room, not even looking around to see who was in it.
Oliver was sitting on the floor with a plethora of maps and notes spread before him, and he perked when Josie entered the room. He lifted his head to greet her with a smile. “Coffee would be great! Thanks, Jose!” he said, despite the fact that he’d already consumed more than his fair share. It was all he could do to keep from falling asleep on the job, since he tended to function on far less sleep than most people.
“How was your day? Do you want a foot rub or something?” he offered. It must be hard, looking after customers in the hotel all day, Oliver thought. He was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to handle that, especially while everyone around him was freaking out about the... happenings of the other day. At least he got to spend most of his time outside of the hotel.
“No problem!” Josie returned brightly, as she made them both a nice, strong cup a coffee. “I won’t say no to a foot rub,” she added, handing him a mug and taking a seat on one of the couches. “And my day was fairly normal, aside from all the side effects that come with finding a dead body in a room.” Having seen the body herself Josie was finding that it was easier for her to address the fact that there had been a death in the hotel. She didn’t like that it had happened but there was no denying that it had, she had seen it and she couldn’t forget it so there was no skirting around the issue for her. “How was your day?”
Oliver accepted the mug and sipped it, smiling. Always smiling. He clambered over toward the couch and waggled his fingers, readying himself to give his co-worker’s tender tootsies a deep massage. “My day’s been more of the usual. Been trying to keep people from focusing on the ‘dead guy’ thing too much. I mean, it’s terrible that it happened, but what can you do, right? I’m still a little freaked out, but serial killers don’t usually kill multiple people in the same spot, right? We’re probably safe.” To be perfectly honest, he was secretly a bit thankful that the investigation was distracting management from the fact that he’d made a drunken ass of himself the other day. Perhaps he wouldn’t get fired anytime soon after all.
“Have you heard anything new? I haven’t, aside from the constant ‘the butler did it’ gags. It’s getting old.” Oliver said. He carefully removed her shoes.
Josie hoped Oliver was right about serial killers. She hadn’t really thought about the fact the murderer might strike again but now he’d placed the idea in her mind it was going to be hard to forget. Was one of the guests that she was being so nice to trying to kill her?
“I haven’t heard anything,” Josie replied. “I think everyone is just trying to forget about it and enjoy the rest of their holiday.” As much as you could forget it with the detective around questioning people. “Have you heard much?”
“Yeah, it’s a huge bummer. Can’t say I really blame them,” Oliver commented, launching into one of his patented foot massages. He was actually quite pleased that Josie had accepted, rather than acting like that was a weird or creepy offer like some of the other people here. He was just friendly, okay? And anyway, Oliver didn’t often have a clue when he was crossing some sort of unspoken boundary.
“I got nothin’. I’ve tried to do some sleuthing of my own, you know, casual question here and there. A bit of googling. So far, I haven’t found anything, though. I’m assuming it’s one of the Adventurecations peeps, since they always say that usually people are killed by someone they know, right? Do you have any ideas?”
Josie spent all day on her feet and, as much as she tried to be both practical and professional, no matter how comfortable her shoes were they were stills heels and her feet were still aching at the end of the day. There was no way she was going to turn down a massage!
“Maybe one of the guests own their own hotel,” Josie suggested, the idea coming to her head as Oliver mentioned Adventurecations. “But they’re not doing very well so they want us to get bad reviews to stop us from getting guests.” For that theory to make any sense someone would have to be killing someone at hotels everywhere, not just here, but Josie still thought it was a plausible idea.
Oliver considered her idea seriously. It made sense, right? He was pretty sure that he’d heard on a show once to ‘follow the money’. “That’s... smart. Really smart. I wonder who has enough money here to own their own hotel, or know people who do? Maybe someone owns a travel company, and they just don’t like Adventurecations.” he suggested.
Someone who could own a hotel and/or a travel company. Hmmm. That certainly narrowed things down a great deal. The gears in Oliver’s head were turning.
“I wonder where all the guests stayed last, and whether there was any weird sabotage there?” he said.
Josie was pleased that Oliver liked her theory! His point about knowing someone who owned a hotel was a good one too, it was be less suspicious to pay someone else to sabotage a hotel than to do it yourself, if you owned one. “We’re a pretty pricey hotel,” she pointed out. “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone had that kind of money.”
If she knew where all the guests stayed last it wouldn’t be hard to reconnect with some of her friends from Hotel Management school and see if they had worked at any of them, though she wasn’t sure they’d be forthcoming about any murders that might have happened. When they all met up they preferred to boast about what famous people had stayed in their hotels, not what things had gone wrong.
“That would be interesting to find out,” Josie agreed, “Maybe they’ve posted about their previous stays on Adventurecations.”
“I’m sure more than a few of them do. These aren’t poor backpacking kids on walkabout, that’s for sure,” Oliver said, running through his mental catalogue of everyone who had arrived in this group for anyone that stood out as particularly rich or particularly crafty. He wondered if he’d be able to weasel any further details about the murder out of the detective, so he could try some of that ‘criminal profiling’ stuff.
“I’ll get on Google and see what I can find out about all these people. Maybe I’ll make a fake account and join their forum, see what kind of stuff they said on there. Between the two of us, I’m sure we could figure this out. It’s just a matter of narrowing it down, right? You, Jose? You are a genius.”
He stopped in mid-rub to pick up on of his notebooks from the floor nearby. He started to list off all the Adventurecations guests to the best of his ability, though the names he listed might have been only legible to him due to sloppy writing and idiosyncratic spelling abilities.
“We’ll be so sneaky that no-one will ever know that we’re onto them,” Oliver added with a mischievous grin.
Oliver was right, she was a genius! How the detective hadn’t solved this case already when the motive was now so obvious was more of a mystery to her than the murder itself. “We can split the guests up and google half each so it’s quicker,” she suggested. She already spent slow moments at work browsing the Adventurcations website to make sure no one had said anything bad about her and her service so that would be easy enough to monitor too. “We’ll have the murderer caught in no time,” Josie added, smiling back at him. “And we’ll destroy the reputation of their hotel instead of them destroying ours!”
Oliver tore his list of guests in half and handed one to Josie. He trusted that Josie would know what he was talking about, even if his list was not entirely accurate; she knew all of the hotel guests even better than he did, and he couldn’t wait to see what kind of dirt she’d dig up.
“It’s brilliant! You and I - we think outside the box. We’re going to win Employee of the Month for sure when we solve this thing.” Oliver said.