Excerpt from the book called The Frisby Waterless Murders. The third book in the Inspector Knowles series sees Knowles and Sergeant Barnes investigating why the wrong person died on a murder/mystery excursion on a steam train. It seems more than one person wanted the victim dead and the question is: who murdered Major Harkness in full view of 24 people without any of them noticing?
“Yes, Inspector, a man – one of the people from the Round Table.”
“He wasn’t going to the toilet at the back of the train?”
Mr Davis smiled – “Well, if he did, he was the only person to close the door quietly during the whole trip and put the lock on without a sound. Most people let the door close itself and then ram the bolt across. It hints at desperation in my mind.”
Knowles laughed and said his goodbyes. It would soon be getting dark and he had to go to Goat Magna to see Ellie Hammond, who lived on the Manchester Road. Knowles wondered why it was called the Manchester Road as after Goat Magna it headed towards Norwich via Peterborough. He wished he worked as a street namer for the local councils as it must be an easier job than the one he was doing now.
Knowles drove out of Scoresby and within fifteen minutes was parked outside Ellie’s semi-detached former council house. The bricks were light brown, almost yellow in fact, and some of the mortar was in need of repair. The garden was neatly displayed with heathers and rose bushes to the fore and a large rhododendron providing some privacy from the neighbours garden. The rickety brown fence had seen better days. A small Fiat was parked in the driveway.
Knowles pressed the bell and took a step back to look at the curtains upstairs. Seeing no twitching he waited patiently and then heard someone shout something from within the house. He saw some blurred movement through the glass and then the door was opened on the chain.
“Who is it?” asked an elderly voice .
“I am Detective Inspector Knowles from Scoresby CID and I would like to speak to Ms Ellie Hammond please.” Knowles placed his warrant card into the gap so that the person could read it.
“What is your visit about?” asked the voice.
“Well it’s about the murder on the train – is Ellie around?”
The door closed tight and then opened fully to reveal Ellie Hammond.
“Where did the elderly person go?” asked Knowles in a semi-serious tone.
“That was me all along, Inspector, fooled you didn’t I? I am practising for a voiceover in an advert next Monday in London.”
“Which product will you be advertising?”
“It is a well-known brand of washing up liquid, which some people have used for over 50 years and is still ever so gentle on your hands.”