“I did not kill Augustus,” Irma says when you tell her you believe she is the murderer. “I was blocks away getting tea at the time of the murder. You found the receipt in my purse.”
You decide to lay it all out for her.
“You wanted that receipt found. It would be your alibi. But I’m getting ahead of myself. At 2:30 you arrived at the gallery to set up. Augustus was drunk and fighting with everyone. When he got to you, he was all fired up. It’s interesting that you were supposed to show three urns but there are only two on the shelf. The centerpiece of your work, a red urn, the one with your mother’s ashes, is nowhere to be found. Augustus smashed it, didn’t he? And you struck him. Either you punched or kicked him. You seem fragile, but you are a master of Krav Maga, known to be one of the most brutal martial arts. You also have a history of violence, as is indicated by the restraining order Larry Stolin has on you. So it’s quite believable that you were able to deliver sufficient force to smash the liquor bottle in Augustus’ jacket when you hit him. That would also be enough force to drive the spike completely through him.
“After you realized what you had done, you cleaned up the ashes as best you could. You knew you couldn’t get them all, so you tried to throw us off by claiming someone had tried to burn evidence. Except when paper burns, there’s usually a small scrap or two that doesn’t completely turn to ash.
“Finally, there’s the Tea Shop receipt. You were clever enough to put it in your purse where we would find it. But you forgot about the bag you threw in the trash. The receipt has a distinct tear so it’s a match for the bag. The bag also has a FoodDash sticker to seal the bag that prevents the person who delivered the tea and scone to you from eating any of your food. So you weren’t out for tea at the time of the murder.
“Forensics will prove the ashes are human. And we can follow up on the receipt. Is there anything we missed?”
Irma stares at you intensely. Then she quietly says, “I want my lawyer.”