Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Murder Most Foul! - D is for Drunkard - Cozy Mystery #AtoZChallenge 2016

Welcome to my contribution to the A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is Murder Most Foul, which, for you, my blog visitors, means that you will be sharing in The Case of the Cursed House, or rather the bare bones of it. 

Everyday, I will be revealing more about my developing Cozy Mystery: descriptions of scenes; character details; locations; clues to the mystery. And, at the end of each post, you will have the chance to vote on whodunnit. So, without further ado, on with the case...

Previous parts:

Story Notes Additional Details
Barnwell and Williams walk down the manor drive and are welcomed by the butler. They are shown into a drawing room and shortly Lord Michael arrives.

On site interview with Lord Michael:
  LM - what terrible news about Bill, he was such an asset to the village.
And a good friend to you, Lord Michael.
  LM - yes, most certainly. Bill and I have often enjoyed a jovial brandy or a round of golf together.
But not last night?
  LM - ?
We have reports of an argument between you and Mr Whethers.
  LM - oh that, that was nothing, just Bill being Bill, He was drunk, and when Bill was drunk bloody anything could happen.
What was the argument about, Lord Michael?
  LM - Absolutely nothing. We were just discussing the upcoming environmental survey for the affordable housing site and Bill decided he was bored. He became obstreperous when I persisted and so I decided retreat was the most diplomatic thing to do.
We have reports that the affordable housing project was causing some friction in the village.
  LM - yes, and it's all such a shame. I have raised concerns about the suitability of the Court Farm site due to anthrax in the ground. There was an outbreak in my father's time and it's a nasty disease that sticks around. So before anything can be dug, a full survey needs completing. If you want to know more about the survey, talk to Dr Elves, the scientist performing it, he has an office in our stables.
Why is it a shame?
  LM - well we could have avoided all this delay if the council had taken my suggest and gone for a much safer site outside Trenterden, which is only a few miles away.
Mr Whethers objected for personal reasons as well, though.
  LM - yes, well, I don't blame him with those homes going up overlooking his swimming pool. He had every right to object, but the response has been disproportionate - fireworks in the middle of the night, mud all over Bill's car. It's those Walker children, totally out of control, everyone knows it.

Bill was a good man, he knew his responsibilities, even volunteered himself for the parish council. The only thing I could fault him for was the fact he wouldn't go to church. He knew when he bought the Court House that the tradition is for the resident to join the lord of the manor as churchwarden. Bill only mentioned after the sale that he was an atheist. Still, he keeps friendly with the Rev Sally, so I suppose I can't complain too much. Bill understood the importance of community, that we all rub along together in a small village like this, and he's been making sure to welcome the vicar's visits, especially of late.
Where did you go after leaving the pub?
  Lady Emma comes in.
  LE - Michael came home and spent the rest of the evening with me.
  Lord Michael introduces his wife.
And what was your opinion of Bill Whethers, Lady Emma?
  LM laughs lightly.
  LM - Bill was great fun. He was a good guest at a dinner party, but he smoked far too much. It seemed like he smoked even more now he has the e-cigarette contraption. He even puffs away on the tennis court when we play, I'd told him off about it more than once.

DCI Mags Barnwell
Age: 44
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: Detective Chief Inspector Kent Constabulary Serious Crime Office

DS Kevin Williams
Age: 27
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: Detective Sergeant Kent Constabulary Serious Crime Office
Other info: DCI Barnwell's bag man.

Lord Michael, Earl of Oxen
Age: 48
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: Lord of the Manor
Other info: He has been friends with Bill Whethers since Bill moved into the village, but they had a fight the night before Bill's death. Plays golf with Bill Whethers.

Lady Emma, Countess of Oxen
Age: 43
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: Lady of the Manor
Other info: married to Lord Michael; plays tennis with Bill Whethers.

Wittrenham Manor
Home of the Earl and Countess of Oxen.
Set back in grounds that front onto the main road through Wittrenham. The Court House and the Manor are almost opposite each other.

And now it's time to vote again - just take a punt - who do you think killed Bill Whethers (and yes, every character is listed - you never know ;P)?

Who dunnit?

Aisha Kakkar
Debbie Fincher
Dave Fincher
Jonathan Lee
Janice Walker
Lorri Walker
Hal Walker
Fred Walker
Alice Rigden
DS Kevin Williams
DCI Mags Barnwell
Lord Michael, Earl of Oxen
Lady Emma, Countess of Oxen
Dr Elves
None of the above, we haven't met them yet
Don't be silly, I don't know enough yet!

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  1. I love how you're introducing more and more into this, I haven't read a mystery for ages and I'm really enjoying this one!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. Thank you. I hope to build up the layers to keep it interesting and keep everyone guessing :)

  2. Well, then, I don't trust these two people. I mean, Lord Michael discussing business with a drunk man? I don't think so. The argument was about something else. And are they truly trying to make us believe that Mr Whethers was trying to get along with everyone? Fine, I don't know much about Mr Whethers yet, but what the publican revealed about him doens't suggest Mr Whethers was an agreeable man. Quite the contrary, if you ask me.
    So, again, I dont' trust these two people.
    Did they kill him? I still don't know, but they are hiding something in my opinion.

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    1. OO - nice bit of logical reasoning - I make no comment on your conclusions, though ;P

  3. I'm guessing there is still more to this story and we don't know yet who dunnit.

    Literary Gold - Free and Bargain priced books
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

  4. Enjoying this gradual unfolding...and confusing of knowledge. [Note that you are changing some of the places by adding an 'r' - clever.]

    1. Thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

      I wanted to keep the places recognizable, but acknowledge that I am taking considerable artistic licence with the layout ;P

  5. I'm not sure I trust that he stayed with his wife. She gave him an alibi, but should we believe her? Hmmmm.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  6. You've probably already explained this, but I was wondering what the ethnicity codes are in the character descriptions.

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.co.nz/2016/04/d-is-for-ditch-bag-nancy-drew.html

    1. They are a short hand UK police use to get witnesses etc to describe their ethnicity (I thought it would add a little touch of 'authenticity' ;P.

      Unlike IC1, IC2 etc, the codes cope with mixed race, and try to avoid assumptions based on mere description, although the other descriptions can still be used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_of_ethnicity_in_the_United_Kingdom#Police

  7. I knew I'd missed a session. Birthday's have no business in the middle ot the A to Z. LOL


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