Saturday, 16 April 2016

Murder Most Foul! - N is for Nerves - 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

Having checked at the shop about the e-cigarette refills, Sergeant Williams meets up with DCI Barnwell. She send him off to the manor to find Dr Elves while she phones Whether's solicitors to arrange an appointment.

Dr Elves is in his office in the stable block just inside the manor gates. He is working on a laptop on a bench that looks like part of a mini chemistry lab when Williams walks in. He jumps when Williams greets him and slams shut the laptop.


On site interview with Dr Elves:
  DE: My god, you scared me, do you have to creep around like that?
Sorry, sir. I am Detective Sergeant Williams, investigating the death of Mr Whethers. Is there something wrong?
  DE: Apart from the dead body right across the road?
  ::laughs nervously and, wrapping cardigan around himself, goes over to a desk, sits down and indicates to a seat.::
  DE: My turn now is it Sergeant? I really don't know what I can tell you that the rest of village wouldn't know. I've only known Bill for a short time.
Since you came here to complete the environmental survey?
  DE: That's right, just a few weeks really.
And what does this survey entail?
  DE: My role is two-fold. I am here both to assess the impact of the proposed construction to wildlife and the local area, and I have special instructions to check the soil for persistent infectious microbes.
  DE: That was the initial concern, yes, but that point may be moot if my findings around the site of special scientific interest are realised. That would mean no building.
Special Scientific Interest, but isn't it an old farm yard?
  DE: Now, Sergeant, that place hasn't been used for ten years, not since the new yard was built further up the hill, and you would be surprised what wonders of nature have reclaimed that land. It will all be in my report, I hope to complete in a matter of days.
Did Bill Whethers have anything to do with the survey?
  DE: Only that he was a councilor, and it was the parish council who commissioned my study.
But you did socialise with Mr Whethers?
  DE: Yes.
When was the last time you saw him?
  DE:  The beginning of the week, I was there with Michael for a drink.
Did you discuss the survey?
  DE: No we did not discuss my work. I have to remain impartial!
I was at the vicarage for tea the other day, and Andrew Parthing, brings me coffee when I'm out on the land running tests, and they are for the housing estate, but that doesn't mean I am swayed by any of them!
Do you know of any reason someone would want to kill Bill Whethers?
  DE: What?! Why? I thought the man fell down the stairs?
This is now a murder enquiry Dr Elves.
  ::he looks upset::
  DE: No, that's not possible, not here.
Please, doctor, do you know anything that could help with our investigation.
  DE ::goes to say no again, but then he stops::
You should be talking to Parthing, he and Bill almost came to blows at a council consultation meeting last month.
What was the argument about?
  DE: Lord Michael introduced me to the councilors and told them about my work. Parthing was unhappy with the delay, he was very rude. Bill told him to sit down and shut up. If it hadn't been for the vicar getting between them, I am sure Parthing would have swung at Bill.

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.
He had a smoking pouch that he carried around with his refills and e-cigarette in it. He sometimes left it lying around, but mostly he kept it in his pocket.
Bill had a fight with Andrew Parthing about the environmental survey.
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.

Andrew Parthing
Age: 43
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: farmer
Other info: owns Court Farm and is unhappy about the delay of the sale of his land for building the affordable housing.
Had a fight with Bill Whethers about the environmental survey.

Dr Elves
Age: 29
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: Environment Scientist
Other info: he is performing the analysis of the Court Farm yard to see if it is appropriate for development; the village thinks he is 'in' with those who oppose the affordable housing development. He says he is impartial, but he has possible grounds for making the site one of Special Scientific Interest, which would mean the affordable housing could not go ahead.

Court Farm
Proposed location for the development of the affordable housing. The yard backs onto Court House, Bill Whether's property. The environmental study is suggesting the farm yard may be a site of scientific interest, which would mean no building could be done.

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
Andrew Parthing
None of the above, we haven't met them yet
Don't be silly, I don't know enough yet!
Do Riddles

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  1. I still think it has to do with business. I'm not sure it has to do with Lord Michael.

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    1. So I wonder what business Bill Whethers was into!!!! ;P

  2. The scientific study is a good twist. Environmental impact studies and certainly shut down building sites, which makes developers quite unhappy.

    Cheers - Ellen |

  3. They're all guilt of something...shady rural types ;-)

  4. I'm still counting on it being a woman. Just because, how's that for sluethy. :)

  5. This post makes me think the good doctor here did it!

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

  6. Extra angles all the time! Catching up since I was away this weekend :)

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People


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