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.
“They sound like a firm of undertakers to me,” replied Barnes, “but presumably they’re the gardeners or the chauffeurs or one of each.”
Barnes phone rang and he listened intently for around a minute, while Knowles tried to work out why anyone would shape a box hedge into the shape of a box. “These people have too much leisure time and too much money,” he thought as Barnes finished his call and look at him with a smile on his face.
“That was PC Smythe – she has run some checks on Edward Morgan and guess where he used to work?”
“He was a knife-grinder,” said Knowles, not expecting to be right – he didn’t like it when Barnes smiled at him; he felt like Barnes enjoyed knowing things that he didn’t.
“He might have done something similar in his role as a sub-gardener here at Manton Rempville Hall.”
“When did he stop working as a knife-grinding sub-gardener here at Manton Rempville Hall?” enquired Knowles.
“Three months ago, yesterday. He was dismissed because some money went missing from the house.”
“Really, well I wonder whether he was ever given the opportunity to deny the allegations? I don’t suppose we shall ever know, now that he’s dead.”
As he spoke, Miss Newton returned with two 17-year old boys and a strikingly beautiful red-headed girl of about 19.
“Hello, I am Toby Johnson,” said one of the boys, shaking Barnes by the hand, “this is my friend from Harrow, Basil Fawcett, and his amazing sister Henry. She’s a stunner isn’t she? You must be the police who want to interview us.”
“We are Toby,” said Knowles, “I am Inspector Knowles and this is Detective Sergeant Barnes.”
“Anything of importance?” enquired Basil Fawcett, tossing his head slightly so that his brown hair fell in front of his eyes. He cleared it away with the back of his left hand.
“It’s very important I can assure you,” said Knowles, “and we will let you know in the fullness of time.”
“Come on Basil,” said Henry Fawcett, “Let’s leave the policeman to their own devices and go in to the lower library. By the way, Sergeant Barnes, my real name is Henrietta, not Henry. If you’d like to make a note of that.”
And with that the three walked into the hall followed at an appropriate distance by Miss Newton.
Barnes had turned slightly red. Knowles looked at him and shook his head.
“Have you made a note, Sergeant?”
“No sir, I haven’t – I had realized she was a girl.”
“I can tell, Sergeant Barnes, as I think she could too. Think of a nice cold shower and you’ll be fine.”
“I wonder who this?” said Barnes, pleased to be able to change the subject, “it’s probably the gardener judging by his gloves.”
“Afternoon, gentlemen, are you the police who require my presence in the lower library?”
“Indeed we are, I am Sergeant Barnes and this is Inspector Knowles.”
“Please to meet you both, I am the gardener, Jim Jenkins, I will see you in there in a few minutes; it’ll take me an age to take my boots off.”
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.