A Cigarette's Dying Breath

When the lights came on, the revolver lay in the middle of the old study. A wisp of smoke, like a cigarette's dying breath, drifted from its muzzle. Five guests stood in shocked silence, their host lying dead with a hole in her chest.

"What do we do?" Marie asked.

Yasmin toyed with a massive dictionary. "Call the police. Touch nothing."

Gerald looked frozen stiff. "But we're in here with a murderer! I want the gun!" He looked at the others. "To protect myself."

"No one touch the gun." Yasmin's voice was calm. "You'll mess up the fingerprints. The murderer wants that to happen, the innocent don't. So if you aren't the murderer, don't pick up the weapon. If you are the murderer, picking it up won't help." She smiled.

"So..." Gerald looked around the room. "If I'm not the murderer, you'll stop me from touching the gun?" Yasmin nodded. "And if I am?" She shrugged. "Okay... I did it!" He lunged for the gun. Yasmin's book clocked him in the face, and she bound him in moments.

"Mystery solved, ladies and gentleman."

Gerald grunted. "I only said that to get the gun!"

"Tell it to the judge, confessed murderer."