The Case of the Desert Caper

It was a long and almost unbearable drive out into the desert as the hot sun beat down on Detective Nose’s face. As luck would have it, his air conditioning had broken down only two days earlier and despite having all the windows open, the heat was simply excruciating. As the inspector sipped on some of the water that he brought for the trip, the thought that he may have somehow missed his destination was beginning to penetrate his mind. Just as he was about to turn around and head back, a small sign appeared that read “Ross Expeditions Here”. With a silent sigh of relief, he turned his car towards the small cabin that could be seen in the distance.

As Nose reached the front door, Jason Ross introduced himself and motioned for the detective to come inside. The interior of the cabin consisted of one very large, but cozy room. In the right-hand corner, all the camping supplies were piled including an axe, one five-liter jug of water, some canned food, a lantern and other various pieces of camping equipment. To the back of the room was a small fireplace, and a wooden table with a couple mismatched chairs.

The most notable item in the cabin could be seen in the middle of the floor; a body, evidently lifeless, sprawled on top of two sleeping bags that were casually laid there. The cause of death was not obvious.

“Can you tell me what happened?” said Detective Nose.

“I wish I knew,” Jason said quietly. “I run a desert camping expedition business, providing tours to a variety of people. I have been trying for years to get my brother to come and join me, but being the city person that he was, he would always scoff at the idea. He used to joke that if he wanted to be without the convenience of phones, running water, or electricity, he’d simply skip paying his bills. Anyways, last week we were having a few drinks together, and we made a silly bet in which if he lost, he would have to spend a week out here with me. As you can see, he lost.”

Jason then paused for moment and took a long deep breath before continuing.

“I woke up early this morning and since my brother was still sleeping, I decided to do a little dirt biking. I was gone for about two hours. When I returned, I found my brother dead in the middle of the floor. I really do not know what happened. Other than his wallet that was on the table, nothing seems to be missing.”

“I think you may know more than you’re telling me!”

Why did Detective Nose suspect that Jason was not being completely honest?

ANSWER: Had Jason really intended on camping out in the desert for the week, he would have brought more than five liters of water. Remember, Jason ran an expert camping business in the desert, and he would have known that five liters of water was not nearly adequate for the week.


30 Responses to “The Case of the Desert Caper”

  1. Cooiejr on October 25th, 2011 9:58 am

    I Am stuck doing this in school1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sherlock62 on December 21st, 2011 12:03 pm

    This one was weak. Making an accusation based on that? We already know that the detective was completely unfamiliar with the area, so imagine how embarrased he’d be to learn there was a General Store with a gas station ten minutes further along?

  3. admin on December 22nd, 2011 6:43 pm

    Although, I do not think most remote deserts would have any kind of nearby amenities, especially since there is no electrical power or other services available — you do have a valid point. Thanks for your comments. Always appreciated.

  4. KazukoStarz on April 3rd, 2012 12:04 pm

    I was thinking that if the murderer’s brother is dead, why wouldn’t he get all upset and panic to get help? yet he seems calm and able to explain everything to the detective?

  5. bucyrevd on April 5th, 2012 6:49 am

    We do not have desert knowledge, so we were totally focused on the sleeping bags. That was our red herring.

  6. S Sebbesse on May 21st, 2012 10:38 am

    Detective Nose has been very entertaining and fun for class 621-IS145

  7. admin on May 21st, 2012 6:53 pm


  8. Pepper on August 1st, 2012 3:06 am

    I really enjoy these mysteries! Thanks!

  9. admin on August 1st, 2012 3:40 pm

    Thanks Gwen!

  10. Stephanie on October 4th, 2012 4:17 am

    If the brother was asleep (and didn’t awaken before his demise), how did his wallet end up on the table? Or did Jason just miss that detail on his way out the door? If this detail was important after the brother was found dead, it seems that it should have been part of the narrative earlier.

  11. admin on October 4th, 2012 1:09 pm

    The detail is of little importance in regards to solving the crime.

  12. shannon on October 10th, 2012 10:32 am

    hi is anyone there this is shannon!!!!!! this was an interesting story who writes theeses????

  13. devin on October 10th, 2012 10:33 am


  14. pennelipe on October 26th, 2012 11:07 am

    i love this story

  15. edward on November 2nd, 2012 11:00 am

    this is such a strange story
    kinda seems lame since so short
    still really fun

  16. Jackson on February 15th, 2013 7:45 pm

    If he intended on camping, he would not have brought his wallet

  17. mrs. w on February 25th, 2013 9:36 am

    where are the endings to the stories???? Curious kids want to know!

  18. admin on February 25th, 2013 9:38 am

    At the end of each story there is a little flash plugin that provides hints and the answer.

  19. cmnna on March 13th, 2013 5:42 pm

    if he knew they would be going desert camping he would of brought more wzater

  20. Connor on May 11th, 2013 7:08 am

    I <3 Detective Nose!!!!!! I'm on this website 5 hours a day!!!!! Hope you add more

  21. admin on May 11th, 2013 10:05 am

    Thanks! I will try and get a few more added before the end of the month.

  22. jaylen on May 14th, 2013 5:36 pm

    i do these mysteries in school……i like how they are complex but fun!

  23. admin on May 16th, 2013 2:39 pm

    Awesome! I am glad that you enjoy them.

  24. John on June 9th, 2015 8:38 pm

    I grew up in the desert. There is water available in most deserts, if you know where to look for it. I have gone for many week long hikes in the desert and started with a liter of water per person. The expectation was that we would find water at the springs that I or another guide knew the location of.

  25. JimBobJOe on September 22nd, 2015 9:58 am

    This is was not okay not enough water!

  26. test on February 16th, 2016 12:52 am

    lookie here

  27. jozlyn on March 28th, 2017 9:34 am

    wtf cool

  28. kyla on February 20th, 2019 9:43 am

    you need to make more of these

  29. iamstuck on April 1st, 2019 9:52 pm

    I am stuck

  30. lolhwgjhvabefhebwwebf on April 1st, 2019 9:53 pm

    I am stuck on this XD

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