This excerpt is from the book entitled The Frisby Waterless Murders, an English Murrder Mystery book set in the countryside, starring two policemen who have been working together for a few years and get along really well. There’s lots of dialogue and banter with some humour thrown in amongst the murders and suspects.

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“Just the garden, actually. I don’t go to the woods to look for mushrooms any longer as the only ones left are the poisonous ones.”

“That’s like a parable of modern society, Carly. You’ve used up all the sustainable resources and all that’s left is the poisonous stuff, which can’t be used by anyone. What is the point of a poisonous mushroom anyway? Who or what can eat that?” Knowles made a mental note to ask the Reverend Strong at Goat Parva why God had created poisonous mushrooms and what their role was in God’s plan of creation. Did God have a bad couple of minutes during the creation week, perhaps on a Monday morning, and create all the venomous creatures, poisonous plants, and horrible diseases at that time?

“Perhaps they’re a throwback to the time of the dinosaurs when creatures were a lot bigger and so wouldn’t be affected by such small amounts of toxins. But then that comet hit us around 65 million years ago and all the dinosaurs died out, but the mushrooms survived.”

Knowles had a vision of the tabloid headline “Mushrooms survive direct hit by comet” but decided he should get back to official police business.

“Carly,” he said in his best inspector’s voice, “who hired you to do the catering at this event?”

“That would be Gerald from the Round Table; said he had twenty five to feed a lunch to and could I help him out? I could of course, although I had to get a bigger mixing bowl for the salad – I thought about using an old horse trough, but I didn’t of course cos that would have contravened health and safety rules.”

“It would Carly, surprisingly enough it would, on so many levels.” Knowles nodded his head to emphasize the point. Carly Waferr smiled as she had been half-joking, though there was a small horse-trough in her shed, which would have done the job as long as she’d removed all the rust beforehand. What would she have mixed the salad with though?

Her thoughts were interrupted by Inspector Knowles’s next sentence – “Carly, who is Gerald from the Round Table, and where is he now?”

“He’s the train manager; he’s the one who was co-ordinating the entire event; I expect he’s still on the train.”

“Yes, that’s probably the best place for a train manager. Now, had you served your delicious meal to the clientele?”

“No, the lunch I described was for when everything was over. I had just served a beverage and a muffin, Inspector, and most of the plates that came back were wiped clean.”