This excerpt is from the book entitled The Black Hill Hotel Mystery an English Murder Mystery book set in the winter countryside, starring two policemen who have been working together for a few years and get along well.

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Knowles did as he was told. Priestley shaved the area and swabbed the wound with alcohol, which stung. She stuck the needle into Knowles’s scalp without warning.

 

“A nice darning stitch, please,” said Knowles, wincing with pain. He looked up the hill for some distraction and saw Barnes waving frantically at an approaching vehicle to slow down. Barnes jumped on to a rock as the police car slid to a halt about three feet away from him.

 

“There, that’s done,” said Priestley, “I will just put a plaster on that for you… there you are. And finally, take two of these three times a day for the next two days.”

 

Knowles looked at the little brown bottle and smiled. “There’s more than 12 tablets in there,” he said.

 

“Well, return any excess to Forensics or save them for the next time you get hit on the head.”

 

“I will do that,” said Knowles, smiling at the female doctor, “anyway let’s see what your boss has found shall we?”

 

“Hopefully, the hand in the snow will reveal some secrets,” said Priestley, smiling as she walked over to where Dr Crabtree was kneeling in the snow.

 

“First thoughts, Dr Crabtree?” asked Knowles.

 

“Can we clear the area around him very carefully with the shovels in the back of the van?”

 

“Absolutely, we have some outstanding shovellers just walking towards us now,” said Knowles, beckoning to Street, Molby, and McLeod to come over to where the body was.

 

“Hello, officers, can you dig down to the road in a semi-circle following this line,” said Crabtree, dragging his boot along the snow, “I think that should be enough room. I want to see how far down in the snow he is, and it is a he, so I can work out how long he’s been there for. It looks to me as though he was lying there when the snow started to fall, which would make the time of death around 3pm on Tuesday.”

 

McLeod and Street each took a shovel out of the back of the Forensics van and dug into the snow. Molby ran up the hill and came back with another shovel from his vehicle. He joined in the careful scraping away of the snow from somewhere close to the victim’s feet. The snow was about two feet deep in places. Eventually the road was exposed.

 

“I wonder if the temperature has been above freezing in this spot?” asked Crabtree.

 

“I don’t think it has,” said Knowles, “but about twenty yards further up the road it has because you could hear the water running earlier.”