The Frisby Waterless Murders – 1

Excerpt from the book called The Frisby Waterless Murders

“You’re telling me people pay to investigate the murder of someone who’s not actually dead? People pay to play at being us? For fun?”

Detective Sergeant Rod Barnes smiled at the incredulity in the voice of his boss, Colin Knowles. Barnes thought Knowles must have led a sheltered life if he’d never heard of murder/mystery parties. Barnes had often wanted to take part in such an event, but had reasoned that it would have to be somewhere far away, where nobody knew his occupation otherwise it would be embarrassing if he picked the wrong murder suspect and someone leaked this information to the newspapers. He’d have to resign in shame from the force and take up gardening. No more expensive suits for him, no more holidays in The Maldives, just because he’d picked the wrong actor in a fabricated situation. He’d never won at Cluedo either, but explained that away by telling his friends he didn’t want to show off. Today represented a first though; a real murder during a murder/mystery event on a moving train and it was his job to find out who did it.

Detective Inspector Knowles was staring at him. “Barnesy, are you looking forward to going on the choo-choo train?”

“I do like steam trains, sir, in fact I would say it’s my favourite mode of transportation. The Flying Scotsman, The Duchess of Hamilton, Mallard – great names.”

“Why would you name a train after a duck?”

“Because of the grace they exhibit when paddling through the water?”

“Ducks aren’t graceful, they waddle from side to side and quack. I would have thought they’d have chosen a name that portrayed speed and elegance, such as Cheetah or Swift.”

“You should enter those suggestions in the next competition for naming the next batch of High-Speed Trains.”

“I will do Barnesy, but I am sure I wouldn’t win as they will choose the name of one of the wealthy landowners across whose land the new line has been built.”

“You’re probably right – so the winning name will be something like Lord Flixton or Lady Sarah Ravenscroft.”

“Almost certainly, anyway what was the name of the train where our murder took place?”

“Toby Jug, sir, running from the depot at Little Flixton to Frisby Waterless and back again. Pulling just the kitchen/dining car and the carriage containing the murder/mystery party.”


“Right and there were 25 of them in the party.” Knowles looked around at the trees and hedgerows speeding by and hoped Barnes didn’t brake too hard on the slippery road, covered with the first brown leaves of autumn. This road was the opposite of a roman road as there were 90 degree bends every few hundred yards, indicating the boundaries of the farmer’s fields. The Romans clearly didn’t bother to find out who owned the land when building their highways. Or was everything in common ownership at that time?

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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