The first to die was Mary Turtle.
Her throat was slashed, quickly, suddenly, violently. She barely had time to cry out, “My diamond!” before collapsing to the ground in a choking, spurting mess of blood and tears.
“My diamond” as she called it, or “the world’s most valuable diamond” as most jewelers called it, was the murderer’s real target. Mary Turtle had been wearing one half of the world famous Dove Diamond–a gem with a torrid and bloody history of its own.
Through a series of dubious methods and oily deals, the infamous 50 carat rock had landed in the hands of Harrison P. Turtle, a Georgian real estate magnate, railroad tycoon and father of two beautiful, precocious twin daughters.
In a brash and controversial move that still makes gemologists, scientists and the upper class bristle with rage, Harrison split the diamond in half, giving each of his daughters an equal share. “Perhaps this will break the stone’s curse and bring about the peace that its name implies,” he proclaimed to the newspaper men he had gathered for the occasion.
The twin Southern belles then put on their Dove Diamond necklaces in unison and proclaimed that the gems would never leave their necks, and they would never leave each other, thus keeping the diamond whole.
“These necklaces shall only be removed from our persons upon our deaths,” Mary declared, to which Carol, her exact physical double, quickly added, “And even then we’ll likely put up a good fight.”
That earned them a good laugh at the time, but no one was laughing now.
Nicky Saint, Boston’s best private eye, looked down at Mary’s bloody corpse. “The thief probably could’ve cut off her necklace without going another six inches into her jugular, don’t you think?” he asked the cop attending the scene.
“Must’ve not wanted her to say anything about it… ever again,” the cop said.
“That’s one way of doing it,” Nicky said. He stepped over her body and looked out the mansion’s window to the snow falling gently outside. “A Turtle’s dove stolen on December the twenty-sixth, the second day of Christmas,” he mused out loud. “That’s no coincidence.”
“What do you mean?” the cop said.
Nicky Saint checked his watch, then wrapped his scarf back around his neck, “I mean we have less than twelve hours to find the killer before Carol meets the same fate.”