This excerpt is from the book entitled The Manton Rempville Murders an English Murder 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.

An English Murder Mystery book set in the countryside.

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“They sound like a firm of undertakers to me,” replied Barnes, “but presumably they’re the gardeners or the chauffeurs or one of each.”

Barnes’ phone rang and he listened intently for around a minute, while Knowles tried to work out why anyone would shape a box hedge into the shape of a box. “These people have too much leisure time and too much money,” he thought as Barnes finished his call and looked at him with a smile on his face.

“That was WPC Smythe – she has run some checks on Edward Pritchard and guess where he used to work?”

“He was a knife-grinder,” said Knowles, not expecting to be right. He didn’t like it when Barnes smiled at him; he felt like Barnes enjoyed knowing things that he didn’t.

“He might have done something similar in his role as a sub-gardener here at Manton Rempville Hall.”

“When did he stop working as a knife-grinding sub-gardener here at Manton Rempville Hall?” enquired Knowles.

“Three months ago, yesterday. He was dismissed because some money went missing from the house.”

“Really, well I wonder whether he was ever given the opportunity to deny the allegations? I don’t suppose we shall ever know, now that he’s dead.”

As he spoke, Miss Newton returned with two seventeen-year-old boys and a strikingly beautiful red-headed girl of about nineteen.

“Hello, I am Toby Johnson,” said one of the boys, shaking Barnes by the hand.

Toby was around five feet nine inches tall and was wearing a worn T-shirt and jeans. His straight black hair was cut short. He continued, “This is my friend from Harrow, Basil Fawcett, and his amazing sister Henry. She’s a stunner, isn’t she? You must be the police who want to interview us.”

“We are,” said Knowles. “I am Inspector Knowles and this is Detective Sergeant Barnes.”

“Anything of importance?” enquired Basil Fawcett, tossing his head slightly so that his brown hair fell in front of his eyes. He cleared it away from his glasses with the back of his left hand.

“It’s very important, I can assure you,” said Knowles, “and we will let you know in the fullness of time.”

“Come on, Basil,” said Henrietta Fawcett, “let’s leave the policemen to their own devices and go in to the lower library. By the way, Sergeant Barnes, my real name is Henrietta, not Henry. If you’d like to make a note of that.”

And with that the three walked into the Hall followed at an appropriate distance by Miss Newton. Barnes couldn’t help noticing how Henrietta’s red hair glinted in the faint sunlight.

Barnes had turned slightly red. Knowles looked at him and shook his head.

“Have you made a note, Sergeant?”

“No, sir, I haven’t – I had realized she was a girl.”

“I can tell, Sergeant Barnes, as I think she could too. Think of a nice ice-cold shower and you’ll be fine.”