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.
“Using all your naturally diplomacy as usual, Cedric,” said Toby, winking at Sergeant Barnes, “you know that Gwendoline still holds a candle for Edward, even though Grandpa disapproved of her feelings for him and always did do. Not the right social class for his beloved granddaughter, eh Gramps?”
“Have more respect for your elders, Toby,” hissed the grey-haired Gertrude Johnson at her grandson, “and never, ever refer to your grandfather as Gramps again – don’t they teach you any manners at Harrow these days?”
Gertrude was sitting with her stick in the comfiest chair in the room. George, her husband, appeared to be asleep by her side, though he had clearly spoken his name only a few moments earlier.
“Well, they teach us to think for ourselves, actually,” said Basil Fawcett.
James Beauregard joined in. “Yes, Cedric, you are being extremely harsh on Edward; he was a very good-looking young man and could have been a model under different circumstances. He just needed some help; the ladies found him irresistible too, of course.”
Henrietta Fawcett smiled at Sergeant Barnes and raised her eyebrows.
Sir Michael Johnson raised his hand as if to stop the chatter. “I am sure this family squabbling will only hinder the investigation of the police into this murder.”
Knowles shook his head vigorously. “I disagree entirely, another ten minutes of that and we would have had our murderer identified.”
“What are you talking about, man?” exclaimed Sir Michael.
“Edward Pritchard obviously arouses certain passions within certain people here, which could lead to murderous thoughts and, perhaps, murderous actions. I will need a statement from you all regarding your whereabouts between 10:00p.m. and midnight last night. If you can provide an alibi by citing an individual, or individuals, please do so.”
“I thought you said the murder was committed at 11:06p.m., Inspector?” asked Timmy Beauregard, nonchalantly chewing his bubble gum.
Barnes smiled and looked at Knowles, who said, “My, someone was listening closely, weren’t they – your whereabouts between 10:00p.m. and midnight; Sergeant, please hand out the statement forms and pens if necessary.”
As Barnes handed around the forms, Knowles continued, “Once all the forms have been collected, we will need to read them and then perhaps interview you all, so we will need a private room for those interviews. Do you have somewhere suitable for these interviews to take place?”
“You can use the reading room in the coach house, Inspector Knowles. There’s a couple of chairs and a desk, which should fit the bill nicely,” said Lady Johnson. “Fairfax will take you over there once everyone has finished.”
Knowles nodded appreciatively, but kept a careful eye on everyone, especially noting if someone’s eyes were looking up and to the right, a sure sign of ‘creativity’ when writing a statement. Barnes on the other hand was looking at the women in the room, some more than others.