This is my second homage to the detective story. I’ve always loved mystery stories by Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L Sayers. I watched many DVDs of detective series from the UK and this was the spark to start the creative process. I have tried to add some humour into the book. The Manton Rempville Murders is the second in the Inspector Knowles Mysteries and reacquaints the reader with Knowles and his Detective Sergeant Rod Barnes, who were first introduced in The Goat Parva Murders.
“According to his credit cards, his name is Edward Pritchard; we are just running some computer checks to find out where he lives. It’s how he’s been killed that you will find interesting, sir.”
With his hands in his trench coat pockets, Knowles stood on the wall and looked down at the body lying on what would have been the refectory floor. Edward Pritchard had been run through with a sword and the handle was sticking out of his back on the left-hand side. Knowles smiled at Dr. Crabtree, the forensic doctor, who was examining the body.
“Dr. Crabtree, we have a real sword being used as a murder weapon?” Knowles would have rubbed his hands with glee if they hadn’t been warming up in his pockets.
“We do indeed, Colin, a very real sword. This is a heavy cavalry sword with a straight blade with one cutting edge whereas the other side has been thickened for greater strength. The blade is around three feet in length. It directly penetrated his heart and he would have died instantly.”
“Any prints on the handle?” Knowles looked hopeful when he said this.
“We’ll check back at the lab, Colin, can we move him now?”
“Yes, that will be all I think. We’ll be back at the station in an hour or so; could you have something by then in terms of fingerprints, time of death, and any ideas on a profile of who could have done it?”
“We’ll try, Colin – no promises, but we’ll try.”
“I presume the person who murdered Edward wasn’t aware of the type of sword they were using,” said Barnes, “because that’s a sword for slashing people with, not for running them through.”
“So, you would have expected a murderer who knew what he was using to have hit Edward here in the neck with the sharp side,” replied Knowles.
“Yes, sir, that’s correct.”
“So we’re looking for an ignorant murderer then? We show the suspects the sword and ask them how they would kill someone using the sword and those who opt for the neck slash are innocent?”
“They might be bluffing, sir, so we shouldn’t just use that as a method of elimination from our enquiries,” said Barnes, playing along with Knowles’ quite acerbic sense of humour.
“OK, we’ll just confine ourselves to telling the murderer, when we catch him, that he/she murdered Edward here in the wrong way. So where could the sword have come from? It’s not the sort of weapon you can easily conceal.”
“The nearest house is Manton Rempville Hall – you can see it just poking through the trees over there. That might be the best place to start.”
“Agreed – they probably maintain an assortment of weapons to keep the staff subdued and repel invasions by the local peasants in times of crisis. We should go there after visiting our oldest friend in Goat Parva, Mrs. Adelaide Hills, and her bundle of fun, Bingo.”
“It’s just like old times, sir.”
“Indeed it is, Barnesy. I just hope that this is the only body Bingo finds in this murder investigation.”
Bio: I am a writer. I love writing mysteries and thrillers, especially on topics close to my heart. A list of my books, both about travel and other subjects, can be found here.