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...
|Story Notes||Additional Details|
Barnwell and Williams go to see Whethers' solicitor, H H Ramsdown, in Trenterden.
On site interview with Marcus Ramsdown:
Thank you for fitting us in at such short notice, Mr Ramsdown.
MR: Marcus, please, my father was always Mr Ramsdown. Such terrible news about Bill.
Did you have many dealings with Mr Whethers?
MR: Bill engaged the services of this firm when he bought Court House. I am happy to say that he was so satisfied with our service that he transferred most of his business to our office here. He had a specialist solicitor for his literary contracts, but anything local came through us. As of late, that has been quite a lot.
What would that be?
MR: well he had us examining land deeds going back two centuries to see what the terms of his part ownership to the access road to Court Farm actually meant. It's archaic stuff, to do with the land all once being owned by the manor, but technically he did have the right to object to it being made into a public highway, which would have been necessary for the development work on Court Farm to go ahead.
And that's what he was doing?
MR: Yes. He phoned only the other day to book an appointment to see me to discuss the objection.
Do you know what about it he wanted to discuss?
MR: No, but he did say it was important and asked me not to do any more work on it before our meeting.
You also handle Mr Whethers' estate?
MR: Yes, we hold his last will and testament such as it is.
Can you share the contents with us?
MR: Since I have already informed the beneficiary, then I suppose so.
And who is that?
MR: Bill left everything to Jon Lee.
And how much was that?
MR: well, there's Court House and a property in London, plus the income from Bill's books and other related ventures, I believe he had sold the film rights on several of them. Without the full audit, which will happen in time, I would put the estimate at 15 to 20 million pounds.
Did Mr Lee know about this?
MR: He did not seem surprised about the bequest when I told him, only asked if there had been any additions made to the will. I told him no, but that I was aware Bill was working on a new will.
You have seen this will?
MR: No, but Bill mentioned it when he spoke to me about the appointment, said he'd have that for me in a few days as well.
Was Mr Lee upset, or surprised when you mentioned a new will?
MR: Mr Lee sounded generally upset throughout our conversation, so I wouldn't be able to tell you, I'm afraid.
May we see the will?
:: finds the document and hands it over::
The will is one piece of rather tatty note paper. On it in a scrawl is written: 'I Bill Whethers, being of sound mind and body, leave all my worldly goods to my best mate, Jonnie Lee.'
There are three signatures at the bottom, Bill's and 2 others, and a date of 16 years ago.
MR: it may look dreadful, but it is all legal, I can assure you and up until he mentioned writing a new will, Bill refused to let me make any changes to it, insisted that it stay just as it is.
DCI Mags Barnwell
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: Detective Chief Inspector Kent Constabulary Serious Crime Office
DS Kevin Williams
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: Detective Sergeant Kent Constabulary Serious Crime Office
Other info: DCI Barnwell's bag man.
William (Bill) Whethers
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. But according to Andrew, Bill came to see him the day of his death and promised to withdraw all his objections and help the affordable housing project along. This was not confirmed by his solicitor, but Bill did want to talk to the solicitor about his objection to the access road being made into a public highway just before his death.
Bill left everything to Jon Lee in his will. However, he did say he was writing a new will.
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.
Jonathan (Jon) Lee
Ethnicity Code: O1
Job: literary agent
Other info: best friend to Bill Whethers; found Bill's body; didn't tell the police he had a fight with Bill the night before Bill died. Was in love with Bill. He appears not to have known that Bill had cancer. Bill left his estate to Jon and Jon knew this.
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)?
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