Barbara Coldwell was the victim in A Study in Pink (Case #52 of Mysteries of the Past).


Barbara was the editor-in-chief of Pistols & Petticoats. She had short wavy blonde hair, blue eyes, and wore magenta eye shadow and light purple nail polish. At the time of her death, she donned a pink dress with magenta and red lining and a pink cap with a magenta rose, a pink bow and green and red flowers. She also wore black flat shoes, two pearl necklaces and silver earrings with blue jewels.

Murder details

Barbara was found dead at the Pistols & Petticoats building. Per Dick, she was defenestrated and died when she broke her spine in two after landing on the stairway below. Despite that she was wearing all pink, Dick was able to find traces of pink frosting and sprinkles on her dress, concluding that the killer ate sprinkled donuts.

Relationship with suspects

Barbara had written a steamy romance fiction regarding Mayor Cornelius Castletown, and so he tried to convince her not to publish the story so that the office would still be taken seriously. Evie thought Barbara did not take the magazine seriously enough to make it have a literary impact and so wanted to replace her as the editor-in-chief, which angered Barbara. Barbara's daughter, Verushka, convinced her to hire Callum Edwards as an artist for the magazine. Callum then grew to hate the job, however, as he kept drawing things that he did not want to draw. Barbara had advised one of the magazine's superfans, Ginny Farnsworth, to leave her husband, which she did. However, her ex-husband grew immensely wealthy after the divorce, so Ginny blamed Barbara for her loss. Barbara thought lowly of Verushka, describing her as "superficial and petty".

Killer and motives

The killer turned out to be Verushka.

Upon admitting to the murder, Verushka complained that her mother always controlled her. When she thought of marrying Callum (despite him not knowing about it yet), her mother said she was not allowed to marry until she was 25 years old. Angry, she pushed her mother out of the window of the Pistols & Petticoats office, killing her. Judge Takakura sentenced her to 25 years in prison.


  • Barbara's death at the hands of her daughter is one of the instances of domestic homicide in Mysteries of the Past.
  • Barbara may be a reference to Barbara Cartland, an English author.

Case appearances



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