Thursday, 14 April 2016

Murder Most Foul! - L is for Look-in - 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
Williams goes into the shop to talk to the Walkers, Janice is serving.

On site interview with Janice Walker:
Do you sell refills for e-cigarettes?
  JW: Yes, they're becoming quite popular.
How about this brand? ::shows Mrs Walker a refill of Bill Whether's brand::
  JW: Yes, we got that one in specially for Mr Whethers, it's too expensive for anyone else.
If you had problems with Mr Whethers, why did you provide a special service for him?
  ::Janice smiles grimly.::
  JW: We're running a business here and like I said, those are expensive, and Mr Whethers requested them. He was willing to pay, and the markup was good. We couldn't afford to turn up a chance to make some profit.
How do the refills arrive?
  JW: In boxes of sixteen of mixed flavours.
Did Mr Whethers buy them in bulk like that?
  JW: No, he'd come in and pick a couple of flavours he fancied every few days, and buy a few bottles of wine, too. We keep the rest in the storeroom.
And has anyone else bought any of them recently?
  JW: No. As I said, they're too expensive. We used to keep a few out front, but they were just taking up shelf-space, so we only get them out when Mr Whethers comes in.
Who has access to the store room?
  JW: We don't keep it locked, but anyone in the shop has to get past this counter to get to it.
And from upstairs?
  JW: As I said, it's not locked. Sometimes the kids go in there for crisps, or sweets, or I'll get some cans, but anyone taking anything has to mark it on the store sheet, I'm very strict about that.
So you haven't noticed any of the refills going missing?
  JW: No, and they're on a high shelf, so the little ones can't reach them anyhow.
And you'd notice if any had been tampered with?
  JW: Of course! We don't sell damaged goods in this shop.

What is going on? Was there something wrong with Mr Whethers' e-cigs? Is there something my customers need to know?
I must request that you had over any remaining refills of this brand, but we don't anticipate there will be any further problems.


When Williams examines them, none of the seals on the refill bottles have been broken. He takes them for forensics anyway.

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.

William (Bill) Whethers
Age: 36
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: horror author
Other info: he opposes a new housing development providing affordable housing to local people. As well as an environmental survey, was also using the private access road to Court Farm, which he part owned, as leverage in the issue of the affordable house. he's a drunk. Suspected of taking part in black masses by Alice Rigden and half the village.
Death: broken neck from falling down stairs, but was being poisoned by his e-cigarette with arsenic, and it was convulsions that caused him to fall down the stairs. He was dying of lung cancer.

Janice Walker
Age: 52
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: B1
Job: shopkeeper, Wittrenham Stores
Other info: mother to Lorri, Hal and Fred. Janice's family have been shopkeepers in the area since 1803. Had access to Bill Whethers e-cigarette refills in the store.

Vic Walker
Age: 54
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: shopkeeper; married to Janice Walker. Currently not in the village. Had access to Bill Whethers e-cigarette refills in the store.

Fred Walker
Age: 22
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: M1
Job: apprentice builder working at the manor, long hours, not at home a lot. Had access to Bill Whethers e-cigarette refills in the store.

Lorri Walker
Age: 10
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: M1
Other info: set off fireworks and shows her intelligence talking about Mary Shelley. Had access to Bill Whethers e-cigarette refills in the store.

Hal Walker
Age: 15
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: M1
Other info: set off fireworks behind Bill Whethers' house. Had access to Bill Whethers e-cigarette refills in the store.

Bill Whethers was the only person to be sold that brand of e-cigarette refill in the village. He always got his refills from Walker Stores. The extra refills were kept in the storeroom behind the shop counter. They appear not to have been tampered with.

Walker Stores
Established 1803 as a seed and tool merchants.
Next to the car park just in front of the church.
The whole family has access to the storeroom at the stores, but are expected to sign out any items they take from the record book.
Anyone wanting to access the storeroom from the shop itself has to come past the counter.

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
Rev Sally Tawks
Bethany Mortby
Lady Elizabeth Ryeman
Vic Walker
None of the above, we haven't met them yet
Don't be silly, I don't know enough yet!
iq test

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  1. Looks like a dead end.

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

  2. Oh wow this is terrific. I'm incredibly bummed out that I'm just now discovering your blog theme for the A to Z challenge. I love mysteries. I did an interactive murder mystery challenge for my theme last year. Well, I'm glad I finally found your blog and that at least we aren't over half way into the challenge. There's still time for me to go back and read all of your previous posts and play catch up and find the e-cig culprit. You've really put a lot of work into your cozy mystery. I'm so excited and can't wait to read the earlier posts so I can figure out exactly what's going on and who knows what and who was where and all of the other relevant info.
    Arsenic poison by way of an e-cig. Clever . Hope none of my enemies get any ideas and tamper with my e-cig. I will be back after I've caught up on all the details of the crime.

  3. Hmmmm, dead end or an extra clue... I think I'm still plumping for it to have been added at the house after he'd opened them!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  4. It has to be the ex wife. She'd know all his habits, and they were still friendly. But what's her motive? Hmmm....

  5. This is proving to be very tricky, right? Bill was poisoned with the e-cig, but by what Mrs Walker says (provided we can trust her) what she sold was intact and she only sold a few at a time. So I suppose only someone near Bill could do that.
    Maybe the poison wasn't in the refill but in the e-cig itself?

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz


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