The Day in the life of Tony Cliffe

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Who Killed Mr Archer? Part Five: a murder solved, another case closed

Mr Archer

Part Five – a murder solved, another case closed

“…shall I email or call you Alec?” McBride asked on the phone as Alec drove out of the Bradshaw’s gate.
“Text me if I’m right, I look forward to seeing you and the boys here. Another case solved” he hung up. He always loved this part in any case and he had his assistant to thank for it.

Eleanor had gathered the three suspects into the stateroom as Detective Locke appeared. He clasped his hands as he spoke, his footsteps echoing around the room, each footsteps like the tick of a clock, getting closer to the truth. “We were called to this Estate this morning to solve the death of poor Mr Archer.” He let his words hang in the air before continuing. “At first…like the police it seemed like an accidental death. No signs of trauma, no evidence of foul play. The perfect crime. Of course…if this was a murder all suspects had a perfect alibi.” He rubbed his chin as he turned to them all. “So who did it and how? That’s been the question I’ve been trying to answer. Who? Why? and How?

Of course the three main suspects turned out to be you three, oh and the Bradshaw’s I guess. Clear motive and stood to gain a lot from Mr Archer’s death. At first I thought they were the prime suspects but how would they kill him? That was the killers first mistake, a classic misdirect”

All three looked at each other in disbelief before Sarah spoke “You honestly don’t think any of us killed him do you!?” he raised a smile. “Yes. Yes I do.”

His phone beeped. A text from McBride. He was right.

He pulled up a chair and sat down facing them all, folding his leg over and placing his hands behind his head. He was going to enjoy this. Eleanor’s phone rang and she walked into the corner to take it, it was McBride. Alec spoke with confidence as he worked to explain just who, why and how Mr Archer died.

“You see I have one very useful thing in my detective work and it’s not my intellectual ability. It’s her…” he turned to nod towards Eleanor in the corner “I pick my assistants very well indeed. She like me writes very detailed notes down that tell me a lot about each of you”. He opened the notebook and scanned her notes. Her notes were the final pieces of the puzzle. She had done well.

“So who killed him?” he scanned the room, his eyes resting on the young blonde woman. “Sarah Rosedale”. She took a step back in disbelief “I didn’t kill him!” she pleaded. Detective Locke got up out of his chair and walked up and down the hall, his hands moving as he spoke “You were my initial prime suspect. The outsider. Why would a family member kill him? It had to be you. You had no credible alibi. You were his assistant. Rumour of an affair…what was it? He wouldn’t leave his wife for you?”

“I’d never kill him! I loved him!” her shout plunged the room into silence as Eleanor finished her phone call with McBride, she gave Alec the nod. With a clap of his hands he spoke “Ah-ha! You see the rumours were true. Motive and opportunity and a terrible alibi!”

“I swear I didn’t do it!” she demanded through her newly formed tears. He pointed at the two remaining suspects. “You see…people talk and last night’s fight got out and Eleanor here, well such a gift she has. You let slip how your father used to beat you as a child and how much your mother means to you. I can only imagine your rage when you saw the two of them exiting a bedroom together. Your father cheating on the only thing that means anything to you. Oh how that must have made your blood boil.”

“I didn’t kill him! How could I? This is absurd! I was here, there are witnesses! I was here when he was killed! You’ve proved nothing but my hatred for him!” he defended himself in anger. Alec was enjoying this, suspects could run but the truth always caught up to them in the end.

“Oh Michael. The who? I got that. The why? I think I nailed it. But the how? I’ve spent most of today racking my brains. How did any of you kill him? Perfectly alibi I agree. You were here and his blood levels had very high concentrates of alcohol in them. Even if you were discovered to have killed him, in a court of law evidence still suggests he drank too much and drowned.” Alec smiled as he spoke, reeling them in “except the toxicology report, while high, was not enough to make a man of this size paralytic and guess what? No water in his lungs. He was dead before he went under the water but you knew that already didn’t you?”

“You have no proof and I have witnesses that I was here! She doesn’t have one. She’s the slut who slept with him and killed him when he wouldn’t leave mother for her!” he spat the words out in anger.

“What about you Mrs Archer? Did you kill him?”

“How dare yo-“she went to slap Detective Locke as Eleanor jumped in to grab her arm. “I loved my husband! Like Michael I was here the whole time!”

“Eleanor my dear…I’ll let you take it from here”

Eleanor pushed a strand of red hair behind her ear as she took hold of her notebook back from Alec, this was her time to shine. “Correct. You were here at the time of the murder between 8.30 and 9.30pm. Numerous witnesses put you both here, except Sarah. All the chefs and the cleaners and the groundsman all agree. Cast iron alibi. But Sarah was ‘ill’ in her room with no one to say otherwise. Surely that was her right? She had the opportunity and you didn’t. How can you kill him? You can’t be at two places at once…but you can hide in plain sight. You see and I must commend you” she clapped as she spoke “it’s a very, very ingenious plan and I really do commend you for it”.

“What are you on about?” Catherine Archer commanded.

Eleanor just raised a sly smile and turned towards the giant clock face on the stateroom wall and pointed as Alec took over to explain. “Hidden in plain sight as Eleanor said. She came up with the idea. He was indeed murdered around 9pm but you were here then weren’t you? The staff meeting started at 8.30…but from what clock?

You see it was looking at us in the face in the entire time. None of your work staff are allowed watches or mobile phones on duty and everything in this house runs off that clock. Not so hard to adjust it by half an hour. Multiple witness put you here at the time of death because you altered the clock. What an excellent idea. Perfect!” Alec was impressed. It was an ingenious tactic and if it wasn’t for Eleanor he may never have figured it out. Time went so quickly. That’s what Maxwell had said to her, she had a theory and she was right.

“Even if we did kill that bastard, how? It’s her. We have proof we were here, she doesn’t!” Mrs Catherine Archer had now changed her tune. Eleanor spoke this time “It was a very clever plan…let me take you back to last night…”

“That son will be the death of me I tell you!” he pushed his chair back as he stood up “I don’t know where we went wrong Catherine. I’ll be in the study there are few admin things to sort out for tomorrow.”

“Good idea darling. I’ll do the staff meeting, you go and relax.” they shared an embrace before departing. Mr Archer walked up to his study and sat down, slumped in his chair. He watched as he poured a glass of Whiskey before knocking it back down the hatch, the feel of the burn complimenting his anger towards his son. He tried to push the feelings to one side, tomorrow was a big day, an important one. The Bradshaw’s were on side, Jim had even agreed to give a speech about supporting the windfarm and Mr Archer had prepared a speech about giving back to the community. He reread his speech and licked the ten envelopes that had prizes in that were to be given out tomorrow. In his alcohol infused state he noticed the strange smell and taste of the envelopes but his brain couldn’t process it, those alarm bells to stop buried deep behind a haze of whiskey.

“You see” Eleanor spoke bringing their mind back from yesterday as she recalled what had happened “that was the first part of your plan. You needed him compliant or at least unconscious for your second part of the plan to work didn’t you?”

Alec interjected “you see Eleanor has a keen eye for detail and spotted this under his desk” he held up the lone smelling pure white petal. He held it close to each one of them to see, “Why would a petal be there? There are no flowers inside the house so how did it get there? What is it?” he paused to look at their reactions before continuing “luckily I was in the right place at the right time when Eleanor sent me a picture. I showed the picture to Mrs Bradshaw and you see Mrs Bradshaw, as you well know Catherine, cultivates a lot of flowers. One particular one she’s fond of is a pretty white flower called the Valerian. Of course you knew that.  The Bradshaw’s told me how two days ago you came around as a ‘peace offering’ asking about flower arrangements for the opening of the estate. You knew she had Valerian there so you used the opportunity behind her back to cut one from the greenhouse.”

“Valerian? I have no idea what you mean?” she protested.

“The flower Valerian Mrs Archer is used to sedate people, sure the smell of the flower can make people feel sleepy, a more potent camomile for example. However when the pollen and elements of the stem are ingested can introduce a deep state of sedation. You placed the pollen on the envelopes. Within minutes he was dizzy, dazed and confused and already slipping into his final sleep.”

“You have proved nothing here Detective!” Michael tried to defend “even if that was true, he went asleep. A flower isn’t a murder weapon!” he laughed deeply. The killer thought they were home and dry.

“Well as good as Eleanor is and she is good she took a picture of the flower and sent it to me. Except, she still has a little way to go…here let me show you the picture”. Alec zoomed in on the picture of the petal “Do you see it yet?” In the far distance there was a grey pixel, almost looked like a spec of dirt but Alec had saw that shape before, the grey almost Mexican hat style plastic cover. When Sarah had left him to take her insulin this morning he watched as she pulled the cap of her needle off before injecting herself. The cap of an insulin needle was bedded deep into the carpet. The murder weapon.

“See! I told you Sarah had killed him!” Michael shouted in her face, a brief smile crossing his lips after he finished.

“Wrong” Eleanor smiled.

“You see nice work trying to frame Miss Rosedale here for your crime. You almost and I mean almost had us believing it was her. She had motive, while Mr Archer enjoyed fooling around with her he would never leave his childhood sweetheart for her. Too much bad reputation if an affair got out. She had the murder weapon. One to two vials of insulin injected into a healthy person is enough to kill them, overload their pancreas as they slip into a coma and organs fail. Peaceful. Perfect weapon too. The insulin levels are broken down by the body and never show up in a toxicology. If you inject it in the tongue then no puncture marks would show up on the skin.  So it had to be her right? The perfect crime. Well no.

You see your perfect plan nearly came off if it wasn’t for Sarah’s lie. She didn’t go to her room last night because she felt ill. She didn’t go off to see Mr Archer. Instead she was over at the Bradshaw’s finalising a deal that Mr Archer had struck with them about the windfarm, you didn’t know about that deal did you? She didn’t do it. But you both did. You changed the clocks to cover your backs and make her look like she had done it, when she said she was ill I bet you couldn’t believe your luck! Your plan coming together so well.

You started the argument that night Michael because you knew it would make him drink more, further aiding your plan of drunk man falls asleep in the bath and dies. You injected him and you and your mother placed him in the bath and set the scene. At first you were content with murdering your cheating husband and you Michael, a father who never approved and used to beat you but no. You got greedy. You tried to frame Sarah. That’s why you were so adamant Mrs Archer that he was murdered. You believed your plan to be watertight. He’s dead and she’s going to jail for a murder she didn’t commit. Two bird’s one stone. A perfect plan and very nearly executed. I must say. This was a close one for us. You very nearly got away with it.” Alec sat back in his chair and high fived Eleanor. Case solved.

Both Michael and Catherine Archer clapped their hands “Bravo famous Detective Locke and his doting underling. So we did kill him, that bastard and bitch deserved it! But last time I checked you’re not a police officer just a Private Investigator. You can’t arrest us!” her smile was as wide as the corridor above their heads.

“Correct sadly…” Alec replied, lowering his eyes to the floor.

“…But I can.” Detective McBride appeared in the doorway flanked by two police officers. “I have the whole thing on tape and I have your confessions. Mrs Catherine Archer and Mr Michael Archer I am arresting you for the murder of Mr Archer.”

The two police men handcuffed the pair and read them their rights. Now the case was solved but not before the final blow that Alec had been waiting for. He stopped the pair just before they were placed into the two police cars as the staff watched on in disbelief.

Alec smiled as he spoke “you know the funny thing about all of this? I asked Eleanor to check up on his will, turns out on the event of his death he left everything to her” he looked over in the direction of a tearful Sarah. “You got your wish Michael. He left you nothing. The person you killed and the woman you both tried to frame now has all his money and this entire estate”. Mrs Archer burst into tears while Michael fought against the handcuffs as the police officer pushed him into the back of the car. “Enjoy prison!” Eleanor added as the door was shut and the police cars sped off into the distance leaving nothing but dust.

“Well, well, well Alec. I am glad I called you in on this” McBride and Locke held a firm handshake as he patted him on the back, “Just like the good old days Dan!” he chuckled. “Let me buy you that drink and bring your assistant along too!”

He watched as McBride got into his black BMW to go back to the station to fill in the paperwork before coming back to have that overdue pint. Eleanor joined Alec at his side, “better than a one year old party?” he asked with a warm smile.

“Ha-Yes…but only just” nudging him with her arm.

Alec turned to her, “you did a great job today Eleanor. I really mean that.”

She blushed slightly “stop it. I still missed the insulin pen!”

“You’ll get there. I missed the clock so call it even! Seriously though, I don’t know what your plans are post PhD…Dr Edgecroft do I really have to call you that?” he scrunched up his face.

“It has a ring to it” she chirped.

He continued to speak, a warmth in his voice like the sun that had just appeared behind the overcast sky “I’d really like you to stay. Not just as my assistant though…but as a partner in the business. You’re too valuable to lose Eleanor. Locke and Edgecroft Investigations Services, LEIS for short?”

She bit the inside of her lip and pondered it for a moment “hmmm I’m not sure. My mum keeps telling me I should focus on the PhD and find a new job”.

Alec looked down trying to hide his disappointment “I understand.”

“But at 28 who listens to their mum anyway right? Of course I’ll stay but on one condition”

“Name it!”

“Ironic you should say that…I think Edgecroft and Locke sounds better” she grinned as he put an arm around her. “Oh is that how it is, is it?” he laughed. “We’ll see Detective Edgecroft…we’ll see.”

“To the next case then!”

“To the next case indeed!”

They both pulled out their notebooks and wrote…

Another case closed


Who Killed Mr Archer? Part Three: Secrets in these four walls

Mr Archer

Part: Three – secrets in these four walls

“How can I be a part of the investigation” she questioned through the tears. Eleanor spoke first, a softly calm voice to Mrs Archer “we can’t rule anyone out Mrs Archer. We have to speak to everyone who was in this house on the night of his death and we have to eliminate each of you in turn.” She turned to look at Sarah “can you write down a list of all the people who were on this estate yesterday evening? We’re going to need to question them all.”

“Sure, that shouldn’t be a problem” she tried to force a smile as she pulled out her own notebook and started to scribble down names as Mrs Archer began to tell her version of events to Detective Locke.

“I was giving a staff meeting about today’s event… I guess that’s not happening now is it” more tears flowed as her son put a tight arm around her. She spoke through the soft tears “The staff meeting started at around 8.30ish”

“Yeah it was 8.30 I remember” her son interjected.

“I don’t think we’ve been introduced” Alec stated rather than questioned.

“I’m Michael, his son” he didn’t hold out a hand to shake he just kept his arm around his mother. Alec noticed his small body language shift when he answered his question. Micro gestures they were called. A subconscious giveaway. Without realising it he had pushed his tongue against his bottom lip before he spoke, it only lasted for a nanosecond but Alec saw it. A clear sign of someone distancing themselves from the question that was asked. Instantly Alec suspected that his lack of tears for his father and his annoyance at being his son was evident. Something he made a note of to follow up in his notebook for when he questioned him.

“Your husband seemed to have been drinking when in the bath. Is this normal?” now the probing began.

“Unfortunately yes lately. He’s been drinking more and more. He’s been very stressed lately and I don’t know why” her voice trailed off. Another note was made in his notebook.

Mr Archer increasingly stressed over something? What could that be?

Eleanor spoke as Detective Locke got up off the seat and paced around the sitting room, eyeing all three suspects as she took the lead in the questioning. “If he drank so much is it not plausible that he may have had too much to drink and did accidentally drown?”

“Not at all!” this was the first time clear anger was shown from Mrs Archer’s voice “he was murdered! He was perfectly content yesterday evening. He was going to open the estate up tomorrow that was very important to him! He wouldn’t have gone that far.”

Locke continued to write notes in his book as he gazed out of the window onto the sprawling lawn of the estate as Eleanor continued to question her. “Can you think of anyone who would want to do harm to him?” she enquired.

“He had a lot of enemies. You’ve read the paper I’m sure. This stupid windfarm idea of his had caused a lot of trouble in the village. No more so than them two” she spat that out with clear venom.

“What two?” Alec butted in as he turned to face the room again.

“Jim and Julie Bradshaw!”

Sarah spoke looking up from her compiled list of names “They live in the estate next to us. They’ve been strongly opposed to George’s idea of building a windfarm on the estate. They have an aviary on their estate and they look after wildlife, particularly birds and cultivate a lot of wild flowers. They were adamant that the windfarm would disrupt the migrating patterns of their birds and stop people coming to visit their estate”.

“Enough to kill him over?”

“You tell me Detective. You most definitely would want to speak to them. Ask anyone, at the last town council meeting over the windfarm Jim threatened to kill him if he went ahead with it”

Jim and Julie Bradshaw possible suspect? Where were they on the night?
Motive: Disruption of their livelihood and profits

Jim threatened to kill Mr Archer-

“Is there anyone else you can think of who would want to do harm to your husband Mrs Archer?”

Michael the son spoke for her “look Detective. My mother has been through a terrible ordeal this morning. Can we please reconvene this later?”

Before he could rebuff the idea Michael was already lifting his mother out of her chair and walking her to towards the door “thank you for understanding” he smiled at them warmly on the way out.

“We’ll most certainly pick this up later” Alec glanced towards Eleanor and with a nod she followed them of the door.

“The list you wanted” Sarah handed a piece of paper over to Alec. His eyes scanned the names with their job titles.


Cheree D’blon (Chef)
Sharon Jackson (Cleaner)
Maxwell Partridge (Cleaner)
Archie Bucannon (Grounds keeper)
Gerrard Neil (Server)
Paula Renshaw (Server)

He placed the names into his notebook as he took a seat again in the room. “So where were you last night?”

She took a seat opposite him and pondered last night’s events before speaking, a sadness evident in her voice. “Yesterday I didn’t see much of George I must admit. I’d spent all day in around the grounds and the house making sure everything was just right for today. Making sure the extra caterers and staff were going to be coming, making sure a hundred and one things were done.”

“When did you see him last?”

She took a moment to remember “ah yes. Well I suppose it was at dinner. It was meant to be a celebration of today. Finally coming into the 21st century and opening up this place…”

“What time?” Alec was always to the point.

Sarah was taken aback by his abrupt attitude and reciprocated it in the way she directed her answer “We always eat around 8pm.”

“And you were close? His assistant right?”

“Correct” a pang of annoyance evident in her words. Alec continued to scribble down notes as she explained how she had come to work at the estate and how she got to the position she was in now. He looked up from his notebook as she finished speaking “and while he did have enemies I don’t think they wanted him dead. Sure Jim and Julie hated George but I don’t see them as killers.”

Alec reflected on her words as she spoke and delved further in “If not them – then who?”

She shifted uneasily in her seat with conflicting voices in her head as to what to say next “I don…I don’t really know”. Alec knew that was a lie as he made another scribble in his notebook. McBride was right, there was something odd with this case. From the small conversations so far he didn’t believe a single word anyone had to say. His brain began to work overdrive trying to place motives and get to the bottom of what the three of them are hiding.

Three of them hiding something what happened last night?

While Detective Locke was interviewing, Eleanor Edgecroft had made her way up the grand staircase and found herself on a long narrow corridor. Portraits of unknown men and women peered at her as she walked, her footsteps muffled by the sounds of the thick red carpet. What have you seen? She thought to herself, if only paintings could talk. She had been at a murder scene before and it always had that feeling of foreboding. She had got an instant feeling that Alec had got too, she was getting good at trusting her gut, the same as McBride. All was not as it seemed in this house. Down the end of the corridor was the bathroom where Mr Archer had died. She recalled the pictures that had been sent by McBride on the way over here. A peaceful body under the water with a bottle of one of Speysides finest whiskies. How did anyone do it?

She heard the sounds of footsteps behind her and jumped with the surprise as a voice cracked the silence behind her “Who are you and what are you doing in here?”

She turned to face a short stocky built older man, his hands were worn and his slight stoop didn’t do his height any favours. He was clutching a large bag in one hand and a brush in the other. Eleanor pulled out her P.I badge as she laughed “blimey – You made me jump. Don’t you know you’re not supposed to creep up on young women in weird manor houses?” He just starred at her in bewilderment, who was she? “I’m Eleanor, Eleanor Edgecroft I’m part of Locke Investigative Services, I’m here as part of the investigation into Mr Archers death. You are?”

Instantly he began to relax “Sorry my love. I was not expecting anyone in here and after the sad news of this morning I’m sure we’re all on edge” he looked on with sadness into the large bathroom.

“I’m sorry for your loss” she offered a compassionate smile to him.

“Forgive me. I’m Maxwell I’m one of the cleaners on the estate. Great shame, he had his enemies and his flaws but I never had a bad word to say about him”

“Where were you last night Max if I can ask between 8 and 10pm?” she had to ask, although she already suspected he wasn’t strong enough to kill someone of Mr Archers stature, plus he seemed too cute in her eyes to do it.

He didn’t hesitate to answer “Staff meeting my love.”

“Can anyone confirm that?”

“Sure. We were all there. I had just cleaned the dinner table after their meal. I was in a rush Mr Archer wanted a long staff meeting at 8.30. We have a bell that rings to start the meetings, we have a big old clock in the stateroom you see, when that rings we know the staff meeting is about to begin. I must admit the staff meeting did creep up on me, the time seemed to go so quick. Mr Archer hated people being late so I quickly finished and went over to the stateroom. We were all there”

Eleanor jotted this down in her own notebook, a tip she’d picked up from Alec. “Sorry to probe but can you tell me who is everyone?”

“You’re just doing your job” he responded with a warm smile “all the staff members so me, Sharon oh poor Sharon. She’s only young she’s only been here a month! Cheree the chef, Archie who looks after the grounds and Gerrard and Paula the kitchen servers. Oh and Mrs Archer and Michael.”

A confused look shot across Eleanor’s face as she finished jotting down the names he had mentioned, “So no Sarah or Mr Archer?”

He raised an eyebrow “No but that doesn’t surprise me”. He continued due to the quizzical look on her face “I don’t like saying a bad word about Mr Archer, he’s been very good to his staff unlike her, his Mrs. Off the record Mr Archer and Sarah were very close and I mean very close.”

“Are you implying an affair?”

He held up his hands as he spoke “I’m not implying anything…I’m just saying they were very close. I’d often see them leaving rooms together or in deep conversation. All the staff suspect it. We’d never say anything, none of us particularly like Mrs Archer she can be very degrading and demanding to her staff so if he was having an affair, I wouldn’t blame him…”

More notes were made in her notebook, Alec had to hear this. “What was the staff meeting about?” she enquired.

He sighed as he spoke “About today. This was our grand opening. He’d been planning it for weeks now. He wanted everything to be perfect. He’s been very worried about the Windfarm deal, not many people like him for that you know. So he wanted today to go off without a hitch, a good will gesture to the community. I guess that didn’t pan out for him.”

“So who did the staff meeting when Mr Archer and Sarah weren’t there?”

“The dragon”

She laughed “the what now!?”

“Sorry – The Dragon is what the staff refer to as Mrs Archer.” He sniggered “she said he was busy prepping for tomorrow but he liked to drink so wouldn’t surprise me if he’d had a bit too much and couldn’t be trusted to give a staff meeting. Then again I’m not surprised he skipped it, she went on for ages!”

Eleanor had gathered as much information as she could and thanked him for his time “if you need anything else let me know love!” She may well take him up on that offer. She started her walk back down towards the stateroom.

“…and where were you at the time of 8.30 and 9.30 Sarah?” Alec continued his interview “where you at the staff meeting too?”

She looked at him and sighed, she had grown tired of the questions although she appreciated that he was just trying to do his job. She just wished he would hurry up with it. “I was in my room, I was feeling unwell after dinner, I was having a Hypo” she finished, clasping her hands together on her knees.

“A Hypo? You’re a diabetic?” Alec added this new information in his head, any and every detail was always useful in these cases.

“Yes. I have been all my life. It’s a curse! In fact I don’t feel too great at the moment to be honest. I haven’t taken my morning insulin or eaten yet.”

“Don’t worry” Alec tried to offer some crumb of comfort “I’m nearly done with my questions. Can anyone confirm your whereabouts at that time?”

Another sigh, she knew how this looked “Well no. However I did call Paula at 9.30 to bring me up some more orange juice. She gave me the glass just after so I was in the house the entire time.”

“Alone when he died…interesting” he deliberated.

“I know how that looks Detective but I didn’t kill him. Why would i?” she defended her alibi, that was her story and she was going to stick to it. “Look, unless you want another death on this estate I really need to have some food and my insulin.”

Alec got up and opened the door as Sarah followed close behind, “Do not leave the estate Miss Rosedale, I still have some questions”

“I gathered” she muttered under her breath as she disappeared down the corridor. Alec had walked into the main hall as Eleanor was walking down the grand staircase. He watched as she elegantly made her way towards him. All the questions were running through his head and Eleanor was just about to add a whole lot more for him. “I’ve just had a very interesting chat with Maxwell the cleaner. I think you need to hear this”

Eleanor recited what the diminutive figure of Maxwell had told her, using prompts in her trusty notebook. Something Alec saw and kept the beaming pride within himself. “Good work Ms Edgecroft, I’ll make a detective out of you yet!” that was about as much praise as she was going to get from her tough mentor, “stay here and have a look around, dig a little deeper, I’m off to talk to the Bradshaw’s.”

  • End of part three