The Frisby Waterless Murders – 18

Excerpt from the book called The Frisby Waterless Murders

Knowles wrinkled his nose – “what did you give them to write with? Please answer pencils.”


“Oh no, we just bought a small box of those bic biros.”


“We used those as pea-shooters when I was at school.”


“That dates you, Inspector.”


“Yes and it’s not the only thing that does. Oh dear, so everyone had the use of a bic biro did they?”


“They did, but I’m sure that no one had chance to use the biro because the event hadn’t really started.”


“My fear is that someone did use their biro, but not in the way you were expecting. Anyway, was there anything else planned that was going to be slightly different this time?”


“Not that I am aware of; Madge was going to be poisoned by a mushroom vol-au-vent that had been impregnated with strychnine by the murderer.”


“How would the murderer do that without making it obvious?”


“Using a slight distraction to place a few droplets of the poison onto the vol-au-vent via a phial placed between forefinger and thumb.”


“A phial not a biro?”


“A biro would be better wouldn’t it because it looks so normal to be holding a pen?”


“Indeed it does, which is why someone holding a pen as they walk around the railway carriage wouldn’t cause anyone to look twice. If you are fiddling with the biro as you walk past someone’s food or drink no one would be in the least bit suspicious.”


“I see what you’re getting at – but does this mean that the murderer is one of us? We’re the only ones who would have known we were going to hand out biros.”


“Right, thank you for this important information, Desmond, I think we, the police that is, should take this on from here. I am not sure the murderer used a biro, but it’s a possibility isn’t it?”

Knowles stood up and left Desmond Stellen looking slightly crestfallen. Stellen placed his hands in his jacket pockets and rose to see where his wife was. Knowles walked quickly away and phoned Sergeant Roberts whose team was going to be searching the track.


“Sarge, yes it’s me, I want you to look for biros too…yes biros. The disposable ones and, if you find one, place it in a plastic evidence bag; it might be a vital piece of evidence… Why? Well the victim was poisoned and it’s possible the poison was administered either by a dart or shaken on to the food…Yes, the dart could have been delivered by a blowpipe and if the dart is small then it could have been delivered by a biro. You’re laughing…this is a possibility that has to be eliminated from our enquiries…thank you, Sergeant, do let me know what you find.”

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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