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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“Yes. That happened when the smoke came in through the window. I knocked over the cup in my haste to get some fresh air.”

 

“Did you have a good view of the major during the journey?”

 

“He was in my line of sight, but I was concentrating on my wife Marie. We were going to be acting the parts of the policeman and the murderess, you see.”

 

“So you were going to be investigating the murder committed by your wife?”

 

“We were acting though, Inspector Knowles, acting means forgetting your relationships in real life and subsuming yourself into the role.”

 

“At the very end, what happens – do you go round the punters and ask them who dunnit? Gather everyone together as happens in Agatha Christie mysteries?”

 

“Normally, although this time it was going to be slightly different; they were going to write down their murderer suspect and then three reasons why the murderer gave themselves away. These answers were going to be read out when the train arrived at the station. We had to make sure everyone had something to write with and a few pieces of paper.”

 

Knowles wrinkled his nose – “what did you give them to write with? Please answer pencils.”

 

“Oh no, we just bought a small box of those bic biros.”

 

“We used those as pea-shooters when I was at school.”

 

“That dates you, Inspector.”

 

“Yes and it’s not the only thing that does. Oh dear, so everyone had the use of a bic biro did they?”

 

“They did, but I’m sure that no one had chance to use the biro because the event hadn’t really started.”

 

“My fear is that someone did use their biro, but not in the way you were expecting. Anyway, was there anything else planned that was going to be slightly different this time?”

 

“Not that I am aware of; Madge was going to be poisoned by a mushroom vol-au-vent that had been impregnated with strychnine by the murderer.”

 

“How would the murderer do that without making it obvious?”