When I was hired to look into the bakery break in, I was extremely surprised. For one thing, I am not a detective so I wondered why I got this job. I am a wizard, mundane things like bakeries is not what I usually work for. The woman who ran the bakery, insisted I do this. She paid more than I would expect, too. Just for idle curiosity of why a baker would want me to take this job, I did. OK, maybe it was the money too. I hadn't gone on an adventure in quite some time, being close to retirement age.
I went in the bakery, smelling the tempting aroma of bread, muffins, and cookies. I glanced where the woman had told me the item had been stolen. I tried to get her to say what had been stolen, since knowing that would help in this case and she said it was secret. “Secret? How am I supposed to do this if you don't tell me what was stolen?”
“It's the ingredient that makes my baked good so tasty. It's really important you do this. You could be the only person who can. All the others I asked wouldn't take me seriously, why would I need a wizard to solve this case? Wouldn't a detective be better? All I will say is my ingredient isn't normal it is...magical. OK I use magic to help my sales OK?” the woman seemed close to pulling her hair as she explained that.
“I see, it would be helpful to know what kind of magic you use. A little clue please?” I tried to make sure to seem I wasn't judging her for her choice of using magic to make cookies taste better.
“I can't say without revealing my secret. Can't you just trace magic?” she tapped her foot looking impatient.
“People do all sorts of magic in this town, knowing what school of magic will make it easier to trace it, why must you keep it a secret from me? I have no interest in making cookies after all.” I sighed, not too happy she was insistent on the secret thing.
“You will not think I am a good person if you knew.” she looks down. “I had to do it, people weren't buying my stuff. I had to have a gimmick or I wasn't going to be successful.” She sniffled looking about to cry.
“Well it isn't necromancy or blood magic is it? I don't think anything can be as bad as that. I understand wanting to be successful really! I am old and not much can I do now a days, is why I am taking a case like this. I promise I won't judge you.” I patted her arm gently, hoping she wouldn't break down.
“How would those make my cookies better? No, it is not those things. Ok, it's...” her voice lowered to a whisper. “Love, in a liquid form.”
“You can make love into a liquid? Interesting, I suppose you take this from people then? Otherwise you wouldn't be so upset and thinking it is wrong to have this.” I stroked my beard, to some people taking love could be considered bad. To me, well it wasn't the worst you could do. I had many experiences with the evil things people can do being an adventurer most of my life.
“Yes...I only take a little! Yet, if anyone found out they would jump to conclusions.” She sniffled a bit.
“Probably, people tend to overreact with things like this.” I sigh, patting her arm. “They would think you were a witch, doing something like that and blame you for bad relationships.”
“I know that is why I keep it secret, but it seems someone found out and stole it!” she shakes a bit. “What if they tell everyone?”
“I am guessing this person needed help in the love department. Telling your secret would mean revealing theirs. So, I don't think you have to worry.” I pat her hand gently.
“Hum you may be right, so...now knowing my secret can you find them?” she looks at me with hope.
“Well, love magic is pretty common with people. It may be difficult.” I sighed, shaking my head sadly, “I never tried to do anything like this before in the past, so there is that too.”
“Ugh, I don't know why I hired you to do this. I should of hired a detective who knows what they are doing!” she threw up her arms, speaking in an exasperated tone.
“If they knew your secret, they would probably expose you but I won't. I said it would be difficult, not impossible. I just have to find clues, did you notice any of your customers seeming to be buying a lot of your cookies?More as time went on?”
She nodded. “Yes, Big Bertha seemed to do that. I just thought because she really liked cookies though.”
“Well, it seems we should investigate her. Do you know where she lives?”
“No, I mean this is a big city! How am I supposed to know the address of everyone I sell cookies to?”
“Hum, that is a problem. Do you know her last name?”
“No I am even lucky to know her first, she is a customer who came a lot so that is the only reason why I know that.” she sighed a bit.
“Well where did you keep it, maybe I will find a clue there.”
She took me to a cabinet that looked like the front of it was torn off. “This, it was locked but whoever broke in ripped off the front. They must be really strong.”
I tapped my wand and looked about finding one hair. “Ah, they seemed to be as not as careful as they should be. This will tell me who it was, I think.” I whisked my wand over the hair, and chanted the spell to find out who it belonged to.
“Bertha Bigglesworth!” the wand said, and I smiled.
“Ah, so the culprit is found. We just have to find the love on her to be sure of it.” I nodded, grinning.
“She probably already drank it if she is trying to find a boyfriend.” the woman sighed wringing her wrists.
“I can see the traces of magic on her if that is the case.” I look in my scrying ball to see where she was. “Ah, now I go! I shall return as quickly as I can.” poof, I appeared in front of a very large woman.
“Bertha Bigglesworth?” I ask as the woman jumped in surprise.
“Um, yes why are you looking for me?” she trembled as I do a spell to find traces of the love magic.
“According to this, you stole Mary Myifins secret ingredient from the bakery.” I said and flicked my wand making magic handcuffs on her.
“Um, no that wasn't me. I am innocent!”” she tugged trying to get away.
“Then why was your hair at the crime scene and you have traces of the magic on you?” I grab at her hands.
“I um...Oh I am caught I guess. I found out eating a lot of her cookies attracted men to me, so I hoped to get a guy I liked to fall in love with me.” She looked down. “”Am I going to jail?”
“I am afraid you will be for a while.” I poof to the court house, and tell them about what happened. I don't say what magic lead me to think it was her, though.
“Maybe you might get a deal with Mary, since she doesn't want people to know about her magic.” I whisper, winking.
“Oh, well thanks for the hint. We will see what happens in court I guess.” Bertha sighed as they put her in holding.
That was the start of me opening up my magic detective service for the desperate. I found this was much easier on the joints then adventuring.