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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“What’s your guess, Barnesy?” asked Knowles, “dart or ingestion?”

 

“I think he ate something poisonous,” said Barnes, “which might be problematic for us as he could have eaten this before he was even on the train.”

 

“A slow-acting poison, you mean? I hadn’t thought of that – I hope not because I think the murderer is on that train.”

 

“What about you, sir?”

 

“A dart in the neck using a blowpipe of some manufacture.”

 

“Is that your biro idea?’

 

“I don’t know whether a biro was used; if it was then I have to believe that an actor was the culprit as members of The Round Table wouldn’t have known about the biros until they boarded the train. We might have to collect the biros from everyone. Right, here’s the lab.”

 

The two officers entered and walked over to the table where Dr Crabtree was standing over the cadaver. Dr Crabtree looked up and smiled before putting on his glasses, which had been lying on the table.

 

“Hello Colin, you look eager for some news. Well, I have some, but not a complete picture just yet. I have to examine the stomach contents and get them analysed.”

 

“But from what you know…” began Knowles.

 

“So far, it looks like poisoning by a drug of the curare family. Something was dipped in curare, leading to asphyxiation owing to the inability of the victim’s respiratory muscles to contract.”

 

“By a blow dart?” said Knowles anxiously.

 

“Literally, Colin, yes and no.”

 

Knowles looked confused and open and closed his mouth a couple of times, like a goldfish.

 

“The explanation, Colin,” said Dr Crabtree holding up his hand to stop Knowles from talking, “is that there is a puncture wound in the left-hand side of his neck and also one in the back of his left hand. It’s entirely possible each wound could have lead to his death. I believe the one in the hand came first simply because this is the older wound and there is more bruising around the puncture.”