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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McLeod pushed the shovel into the snow as she had been asked.

 

“Perfect depth,” said Crabtree bending down too, “push the shovel across his torso at that depth. Excellent well done.”

 

McLeod threw the snow on to the road as Crabtree got to work on the torso with his trowel. Soon the whole of the black jacket was visible under a light snow covering.

 

“Right arm next,” said Crabtree, “note the purple jumper to match the socks, obviously fashion conscious.”

 

“This doesn’t look like Wooster,” said Barnes to Knowles, “it’s the wrong body shape.”

 

“This man is wearing boots and Wooster was wearing shoes,” replied Knowles.

 

“There’s a dark-red patch under the snow on his left side,” said Molby.

 

“Duly noted,” said Priestley writing down the details.

 

“Right arm is not so good,” said Crabtree, “bent at a horrible angle, broken at the elbow, ouch, I am guessing he fell on to it, he was probably unconscious when he landed.” Crabtree moved his trowel over the right shoulder area. “Yes, upper right arm took full impact, scraping on the jacket indicating he hit the road, not the snow. This is funny, some small pebbles and a few leaves on top of the body here, looks like an attempt to cover him up using snow from the bank here,” Crabtree gestured upwards at the slightly overhanging lie of the land, “body was also straightened I believe after impact by person or persons unknown at this time. I am guessing the snow landed on the road, but was mostly blown into the bank by the wind early on in the snowstorm at least. Assailant saw fit to cover the body with snow. OK, everyone, I am now going to work around the head, starting on the right-hand side.”

 

Knowles looked around and saw Andrew and Annette approaching. He held up his hand to indicate they should wait for a moment. He turned back and listened to Dr Crabtree’s commentary.

 

“Black hair, gold earring right ear, right eye blackened, slight lacerations on the forehead on the right side, even though the face is looking skywards, indicating either moved to face the sky or the body righted itself after impact somehow. Eyes are hazel, teeth are in good condition, oh…and here is the cause of death, a massive blow to the skull with a blunt instrument, rock or stone, just above the left ear. Hit slightly from behind. Instant unconsciousness and brain haemorrhage would have caused death in a minute or two. Consequent bleeding on to the road surface. Very nasty indeed. Not accidental.”

 

All the people were quiet for a moment as though they were paying their respects.