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.
“Edward Pritchard was sacked for gross misconduct – some money went missing from my study desk and he was seen acting suspiciously outside my study at roughly the time the money vanished. He denied it, of course, but he had to go. There were suspicions he was stealing plants from the gardens and selling them for profit to a local gardening centre.”
“Did you call the police in over this matter, Sir Michael?” asked Barnes.
“We didn’t, Sergeant, it was a family matter, and he had to go,” replied Bunny Johnson. “He was causing problems for us as a family and it was better for all concerned that he leave immediately.”
“Was he good at his job?” enquired Knowles.
“He was a hard worker, who could plant flowers and shrubs with great precision in a short time,” replied Jenkins, “so, yes, he was good at his job. He mowed well and cut the hedges.”
“He was also a thief and that was not part of his job, Inspector,” said Sir Michael matter-of-factly.
“My next question relates to the sword that was used in the murder – it was a heavy cavalry sword dating from around 1796 as used by the Lifeguards, I believe. Do you have any such weapon missing from the house?”
Sir Michael enquired, “Do you have a picture, Inspector?”
Knowles handed him the picture taken by the Forensics photographer.
Sir Michael looked at the photo and nodded his head slightly. “Yes, the cavalry sword belonged to my great-great-great-grandfather and had been passed down to him from his own grandfather. It disappeared from the display cupboard in the upper library three months ago. Again, we didn’t call the police as I assumed that someone within the house had taken it, perhaps even Edward Pritchard. It was the only item that was missing from the house.”
“Is the cupboard normally locked?” asked Barnes.
“It normally is, but on this occasion the lock hadn’t been turned properly and so whomever took it didn’t have to use any force.”
“I wonder where that sword has been in the past three months? It’s not the sort of item that can be easily hidden away,” continued Barnes.
“Perhaps the thief took it away from here when they left the premises, Sergeant,” said Bunny Johnson with a hint of hopefulness in her voice.
“Why would someone come into your home and steal a sword from a display cabinet on the upper floor? That doesn’t make any sense in my opinion,” said Knowles. “How could a thief know it’s there?”
“If they were collaborating with an ex-employee of my parents’,” said Cedric Johnson, speaking for the first time.
“Edward would never have collaborated with another person to harm or hurt any one of us,” said Gwendoline, “and it’s a real insult to his memory to suggest otherwise, Cedric.”