Thursday 7 – Friday 8 June 2012
Simon James’ home said little about the man’s career, but a lot about the man. At his rustic cottage on the outskirts of Blackfriar’s Dell, surrounded by nature with unspoilt views of the Dell, James’ was most comfortable sitting out in the back garden enjoying the view. Joined by his sister, and his colleague, the three discussed the latest addition to Rebecca’s morgue.
‘Urgh, Simon, you are terrible at making coffee. Don’t ever do it again,’ she liked to taunt him, despite his coffee making skills being amongst the best she had witnessed. ‘I’m kidding,’ she continued when she saw the confused look on Harris’ face, ‘anyway, on to Lady Emma.’
‘No, no, before we talk about her, what have you got for us on Alan Willits?’ Simon asked.
She nodded slowly.
‘Poison, my good man, poison. I would go into the technical name for the type, but you two laymen would have no idea what I’m talking about. So, we’ll just stick with poison for now,’ she mocked. Simon cast his eye beyond the small hedge that marked the boundary of his property to the village in the distance. It had been a quiet and uneventful place for so many years, and now it was home to at least one murderer.
‘Two head wounds, one with a torching, a poisoning, and a suicide? What is this place coming to? Not to mention the journalist in London.’ Harris was thinking out loud.
‘What makes you think that Lady Emma was a suicide?’ Rebecca asked.
‘Deduction. There was an empty liquor bottle on the bedside table, with an empty packet of sleeping pills; she had knowledge of all of the previous murder victims, and a recent link with the dead journalist. Am I wrong?’ Harris replied.
‘Not at all. It’s conclusive. Lady Emma Carlisle committed suicide. The daughter discovered the body, apparently she was practically hysterical,’ stated Rebecca.
‘Practically hysterical,’ said Simon, ‘does not mean that she wasn’t involved in this somehow.’
Rebecca and David looked at each other, her right eyebrow raised.
‘Oh, don’t look at him like that, Rebecca. You only ever do that when you don’t agree with something I’ve said.’
‘Crap. You’ve worked that out?’ she mocked.
‘Harris, what do you think?’
David shifted uncomfortably in his chair, unsure of how exactly to respond to the question asked by his boss.
‘What do I think about Helen being involved, that your sister only looks at you like that when she disagrees with you, or the fact that you worked out she only looks at you like that when she disagrees with you?’ Harris replied. Simon threw David a look that told him he was an idiot.
‘About Helen Carlisle being involved in these murders,’ Simon said slowly.
‘Ah, that. I think you’re right. I think Helen is in it up to her eyeballs, but I’m not sure how. I don’t however, think that she was involved in her mother’s death.’
Simon drummed his fingers on his leg. Harris and Rebecca were right; Helen was not involved with her mother’s death, but the stench of murder was all over her where the others were concerned.
‘And now how to prove it?’ Simon asked more of himself than of his sister or colleague.
‘Good cop, bad cop?’ replied Rebecca sarcastically.
‘Not such a bad idea, Becca,’ Simon replied. ‘Harris, in the morning, get her back into the station for questioning.’
‘Yes, Guv.’ An expression of confusion spread across Harris’ face. ‘Who, Guv? Helen or your sister?’
This time it was Simon who raised an eyebrow at the words coming from David Harris.
. . . To be continued . . .