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?
“And you found out about my uncle, Roger Davis, who was in Iraq at the same time as Major Harkness?”
“Well, firstly my uncle and the Major did know each other over in Iraq. The Major was in some kind of intelligence liaison role out there for the MoD. I think this was the time before he was shot and so he was able to move about with ease. My uncle came across him in Baghdad during the course of his work as the Major used to go out on patrol with them. The Major’s role was to meet some of the locals in their own neighbourhoods and talk to them about their views on the occupation by the coalition forces. My uncle accompanied the Major several times and spoke very highly of him. This lasted on and off for about two years, but then my uncle was invalided out of the country as he was in an armoured vehicle blown up by an IED. The Major came to see him in hospital and also visited him back in this country. They became quite close especially after the Major was shot.”
“What does your uncle do now?”
“Well, he has retired from the army and is enjoying life. He worked in the recruiting department for the army after he’d convalesced. He enjoyed speaking to younger people about the life they could expect in the army and helping them understand what it could offer them in terms of personal growth and experience of other cultures.”
“It sounds as though your uncle had a great career.”
“He did and as you might have gathered I have no animosity towards either the Major or the army in general.”
“Fair enough – did any of the other actors you know have a grudge against the Major or the military?”
“I think Ellie’s father was in the MoD and Daisy’s brother, Vince, is a current soldier away on duty somewhere, but I am not sure whether they bore any resentment towards the Major.”
“Thank you, Mr Davis, I think I have received all the answers I have been looking for, so I will bid you a fond farewell.”
With that Knowles stood up and allowed Mr Davis to escort him to the front door. As Knowles was crossing the threshold, he had a sudden thought.
“Mr Davis, when you were about to be served coffee, did you notice whether anyone was walking around the carriage?”
“The girl served me, I think her name was Bridie, and someone came past her and said ‘Excuse Me’ – he was heading to the rear of the train. I think she needs to work on the parking of her trolley.”