Thursday, 28 April 2016

Murder Most Foul! - X is for eXplanantion? - 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

By mid-morning, the safe cracker has arrived with his tools and he makes short work of the sofa safe. Aisha, Barnwell and Williams are all there, and Jon Lee is there as the property owner.

Inside the safe there is, a notebook on top of a pile of papers. Williams passes Aisha the notebook and a read of the first few words tells her that it is a draft of the new will everyone has been talking about. She tells Jon and, since he is not allowed to touch it yet, visibly moved, he asks her to read it out.
This is the last will and testament of Bill Whethers.

I can't promise I'm of sound mind, but there are things I have to get down. Jonnie, sorry mate, I've been a real shit to you, and I'm sorry, but I know you'll do right by me and make this happen.

The flat in London, Beth should have that, since she was the only one who ever liked those cushions.
::Jon laughs, but there are tears in his eyes::
The rest of my estate, well, I've been thinking and I want to leave a legacy instead of the bad blood I'm so good at. So my estate and any future profits from my books, I want those put into a trust, I know you can sort that out, Jonnie, you always handled the figures. I want that trust to be used to turn Court House into a retreat for creative types. I want poets in the attic and actors in the garden, you know what I mean, mate. 
::Jon nods, he is crying silently now::
Everything but the swimming pool, that I want the village to have, to go with the new development, for everyone to use. And yeah, I've been a bastard about that as well, but not anymore, I'm withdrawing all my objections.

And, Jonnie, my friend, I know there's only one thing you want from me, and I can give it to you now, sorry it took me so long, but,v I love you.
::Jon sits down rapidly in the desk chair.::

Aisha hands the notebook back to Williams and goes to comfort Jon. Williams and Barnwell take the papers to the kitchen and spread them on the table. They are printouts of emails between Bill and Lord Michael and also Dr Elves. They clearly document discussions between Lord Michael and Bill on how to scupper the affordable housing, suggesting the environmental survey. Then later, there are discussions with Dr Elves on how to make sure the survey turns out against the development. A bribe for Elves is agreed, a significant sum. The final emails show that he is threatening both Lord Michael and Elves with exposure of the fraud if they do not do things honestly and let the development go ahead.

"This is it," Williams crows, "the motive. Oxen killed Whethers to stop him ruining his reputation and  Elves must have been gettting cold feet, like Whethers and Oxen killed him too."

Barnwell and Williams go to caution Lord Michael and take him in for questioning.

Aisha Kakkar
Age: 23
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: M3
Job: Police Constable - Weald & Marsh Liaison Officer - an officer working with local communities, especially villages, in the Weald of Kent and Romney Marsh areas. Her mum and step mum knew Lady Emma when she was an art student.

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.

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. 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.
Colluded with Lord Michael and Dr Elves to stop the affordable housing development by faking the environmental survey against it, but changed his mind and threatened his co-conspirators with exposure if they did not back off and do things honestly.

Jonathan (Jon) Lee
Age: 36
Gender: male
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.
Jon is looking for the new will, he says to do right by Bill.

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. According to Andrew Parthing, Michael wanted to buy back Court Farm for the manor.
Colluded with Bill Whethers and Dr Elves to stop the affordable housing development by faking the environmental survey against it.

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.
Colluded with Bill Whethers and Dr Elves to stop the affordable housing development by faking the environmental survey against it.

Bill Whether's and Jon Lee's Wills
Bill's will is a ratty old piece of paper with a note on it, leaving everything to Jon Lee. It was written 16 years ago and is signed and witnessed.
Bill said he was making a new will.
Bill Whether's estate was worth 15 to 20 million pounds.
Jon has a similar will. They were both written at university, leaving everything to each other.
Jon has been looking for the new will that Bill was writing, and it is found in Bill's safe. It asks that a trust be created to support the arts in Wittrenham, and it makes clear that Bill wants the affordable housing to go ahead, leaving his swimming pool to the village as well. And his final message is for Jon, he tells him that he loves him.

And now it's time to vote again - do you think the police are right? 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
Graham Turner
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!

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  1. Uhm... but would Lord Michael be so close to Bill to be able to poison his e-cigs and to know about the safe in the sofa?
    I don't think so.
    I think his wife would.

    But then, of course, Lord and Lady might be in in this together ;-)

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

  2. Argh I've been voting for Lord Oxen for a while now but now I think there's going to be a big twist, so I shall swtich to his wife for now and await the final two letters!

    By the way I really cared for Jon and the will reading so congrats on writing a character that I'm rooting for in such a short space of time, hope he doesn't turn out to be the surprise murderer!!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. A cynic, I like the way you think :)

      Now would I be so cruel as to make Jon the murderer? mwhahaha!

  3. nice twist, when does it stop? Can't wait, but I'm no longer sure if it's to see the end of the story or to have this whole A to Z thing go away. LOL

    1. I'm a little frazzled too - I will enjoy celebrating getting to the end of this marathon :)

  4. The police can't be right. Surely there's another twist to come.

  5. For a moment, I thought the twist might be Bill took his own life.

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

  6. Poor Jon. This is not looking good.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends


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