Takis turned to his work bench and mixed several clear liquids into a small spray bottle and took the lid off a steel vessel that issued clouds of cold mist. After spraying the liquid into the container he took a spoon and fished out a little white snowy powder that steamed gently. He turned to Vasili and said. "Here detective, try this, I invented this and then used it while I was in New York and it clinched my job offer."
Vasili opened his mouth and popped in the spoon. His taste buds were totally confused. It was cold, but then hot and then cold again, but it was sweet and then again sour and finally flowery. He had never tasted anything like it. After thanking Takis for that experience Vasili went on to cover details of Takis's travel timings and to try and establish any possible reasons for Xenia's death either by natural causes or more sinister means. All in all this interview was drawing a blank, except for that most wonderful taste sensation.
Back at his desk Vasili opened the post-mortem file that the had been left for him by the pathologist while he was out. The findings were still puzzling. Death due to hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) but no signs of strangulation, drowning, smothering or any of the usual causes. There were some odd compounds detected in a swab sample taken from the areas of the skin damage. Capsaicin, menthol, geraniol, limonene, acetic acid and fructose. Vasili wished he had paid more attention in chemistry lessons. Some of the names were familiar but he needed to be sure and something was starting to smell rotten in Takis's story. Time to visit the laboratory and talk to a chemist and then back to, what he was now sure was, the crime scene.
An hour later Vasili stood in the middle of the patch of crazed marble where Xenia's body had been found and watched as two officers escorted Takis, still dressed in his chef's whites, into the apartment. “Takis Xana, you are under arrest for the murder of Xenia Salis, I know how she died and the efforts you made to give yourself an alibi. What I want to know is why?”Takis stared at Vasili, “How can you know I'm guilty? You have no evidence, I was not even in the country when she died.”
Vasili stepped away from the crazed marble. “It is all to do with hot and cold Takis, like your flavoured snow. Xenia died from lack of oxygen caused when you threw a container of liquid nitrogen over her. The intense cold cracked the stone floor and also lowered her body temperature so it looked as if she was dead while you were still in the air. But that could have been done by somebody else. It was you who gave me the last clue, the nitrogen vessel still had traces of the same powder that you gave me to taste with chili, mint, rose oil, lemon oil, vinegar and fruit sugar in it. Where else could that mixture have come from if not you?”
Takis slumped between the two officers. “She would have told everybody if I'd let her live. I would have lost the new job in England if she had told them the mixture was her recipe. I could not lose my new job.” He started sobbing as he was led away.