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.
“Well, we were all subdued, but Madge Williams was a bit upset that someone had stolen her thunder, as it were, by dying. Apparently the actors take it in turn to die and so she won’t get another chance for a month now.”
“Hit her badly, did it, not dying? That is unbelievably petty, wait until I speak to her. Was there anything unusual said? Did anyone seem happy or did any individual avoid eye contact with the others?”
“I was more concerned with looking after Mrs Harkness than monitoring the other passengers. However, I could tell Mr Johnson in Seat 5, who would have had a clear view down the length of the carriage from his seat, was quite perplexed at what had happened.”
“Thank you, Gerald, that is useful I will have to ask him what was troubling him. Anyway, I think I have kept you enough, you must have a superior to report this incident to, I know I do.”
“Thank you, Inspector Knowles, I do have to let my boss know. We have another run tomorrow and I am guessing we will need another train?”
“Little Toby is probably going to be off limits for the rest of the week until we’ve searched everything and stripped this carriage to its bare bones.”
“Thought as much, we shall have to bring Sir Isaac Newton out of the shed and get him ready.”
“I am pleased you appreciate the gravity of the situation,” quipped Knowles, “and have a suitable substitute. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction don’t forget.”
“Well, I hope you’re right about that,” said Gerald and shook Knowles by the hand before vacating the carriage.
“Don’t forget to give a statement before leaving the station,” shouted Knowles. Gerald Kennedy gave Knowles a thumbs-up and left closing the door behind him.
Knowles knew he’d have to ask the search team to take the carriage to pieces in order to find any evidence hidden from sight. He also knew he would have to get the uniforms to search the track near the Scoresby road bridge. He made two phone calls to make these searches a reality and then decided to have a quick look on his own for any evidence cast away by the murderer. He inspected the carpet for damp patches and found two, in front of seats 10 and 14. He noted their position and put a piece of tape across the side of the seat so no one would place their hoof in the middle of potentially significant evidence. He found a straw under seat 3 and thought this might be important, so he placed the item in an evidence bag. The straw could easily have been used to blow a small dart at the major although not from seat 3, which was around 10 yards away, facing in the wrong direction, and, according to the seating plan, was occupied by 8-year old John Smedley. As Knowles pondered the possibilities, there was a knock on the carriage door and Sergeant Henderson of the search team entered.