Thursday, 7 April 2016

Murder Most Foul! - F is for Fear - 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
On leaving Jon's cottage, Aisha finds no-one in the car park, but she sees Alice heading into the church, so she decides to follow her in and talk to her again, since the talk of curses from Alice has been weighing on Aisha's mind.

On site interview with Alice Rigden:
Earlier, you mentioned something about a cursed house, what did you mean?
  AR - You won't believe me, but I've lived here all my life, and I've seen things.
Try me.
  AR - No good has ever come to anyone that lived in that Court House. If you ask me, Lord Michael was glad to sell it to Mr Whethers, since no tenant stayed more than six months. That place is cursed and it's all because of the ghost.
The place is haunted?
  AR - by Lady Elizabeth Ryeman, nee Oxen. She was the sister of Lord Edward, 3rd Earl of Oxen. She was a proper regency lady, but she made the mistake of marrying Edward's best friend, the Honourable George Ryeman. They moved into Court House on their marriage funded by Edward. George and Edward were gambling friends, for them it was all about wine, women and song and George was not a good husband. He beat his wife regularly when drunk, had strings of mistresses and left her penniless most of the time, scratching to feed herself and her household. In the end, he threw her down the stairs because, while pregnant, she spurned his drunken advances. She did not die immediately, but her back broken, she begged the doctor to save her child and she lasted long enough for him to be born, but he was born dead. With her dying breath, she cursed her husband and her brother and promised to haunt them to their graves. Her ghost, known as the Grey Mother (since she always appears supporting her swollen belly), haunts Court House, where she is said to push unfaithful lovers down the stairs, and is also seen walking and crying in the Manor grounds opposite. George died of sclerosis of the liver less than a year after Elizabeth’s death and Edward shot himself after gambling away the family fortune a year after that.
So why would Elizabeth want to hurt Mr Whethers?
  AR - Elizabeth doesn't like loose morals, and Mr Whethers had a reputation round here as a lover of other men's and women's partners. There was talk of the publican's wife, Mrs Fincher. And the way he treated poor Mr Lee was terrible. I've given him a piece of her mind on more than one occasion, but he didn't listen, he just laughed it off. I warned him about Elizabeth, but he wouldn't have it. Told me once his witch would save him.
His witch.
 AR - Mr Whethers was into some dark things. There have been rumours since he arrived, he writes godless horror novels and there is talk of black masses as he tries out what he puts into his books. She visited this week, his witch, Ms Mortby, late at night, and the next morning there were strange smelling things in my bin.
Do you still have the items?
Of course not, I disposed of them instantly, by fire!

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.

William (Bill) Whethers
Age: 36
Gender: male
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: horror author
Other info: death in unknown circumstances; he opposes a new housing development providing affordable housing to local people. he's a drunk. Suspected of taking part in black masses by Alice Rigden and half the village.

Alice Rigden
Age: 59
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: housekeeper at Court House; was in the house with Bill Whether's body for some time before Jon Lee found it. She thinks the Grey Mother killed Bill Whethers for his unfaithfulness.

Bethany Mortby
Age: 30
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: W2
Job: witch
Other info: she was Bill Whether's partner for nearly 3 years.Suspected of performing black masses for Bill Whethers by Alice Rigden.

Lady Elizabeth Ryeman (nee Oxen)
Age: N/A
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: ghost
Other info: killed by her husband, she haunts unfaithful lovers.

Court House
A regency era house.
Home of Bill Whethers.
A few doors down from the shop and the church.
Other information: Alice Rigden called it 'cursed'. It is haunted by the Grey Mother.

St John the Baptist Church
At the centre of the village.

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
Bethany Mortby
Lady Elizabeth Ryeman
None of the above, we haven't met them yet
Don't be silly, I don't know enough yet!
Poll Maker

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  1. Replies
    1. I am having a lot of fun, and yes, I did just suggest a ghost might be the murderer! ;P

  2. Story is still going strong!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  3. Oh, man! I can't resist a story of ghosts and witches!
    Told you Mr Whethers didn't get along with anyone. I'm wondering which feet did he step on.

    By the way, I'm really enjoying to see the process you use to write a mystery. I've always wondered about how it's done. I don't think I have the skills to write a mystery, but I love reading them. I've always known there must be a methode to it. Very interesting to see yours :-)

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    1. Thanks, I'm glad my odd notes about people and the bits of plot are proving interesting. I'm a planner rather than a pantser when it comes to writing, so I think that lends itself to mysteries (although this is only really my second one).

  4. it's like we get a new character every day. I bet the ghost did it!

    #AtoZChallenge F is for Fitzgerald

    1. We will eventually get to the end of the characters, I promise :) And the ghost is a good suspect at the moment!

  5. I've gone back to my first there is no butler, yet.

    1. :) - maybe one day I will try writing that trope!

  6. What a cool idea for the Challenge! I'm writing my first cozy this summer, so I'm looking forward to learning a lot.

    But who would kill a horror writer? We're such nice people. :)

  7. Disposed of the evidence by fire - how convenient. I'll take a guess, just for the heck of it.

    1. Yay - a guesser - I like guessing all the way through mysteries :)

  8. I am no good at guessing whodunnits. The story though is great.

    1. Depends on the whodunnit for me, sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it is completely opaque to me :)

  9. I SO got the idea of the ghost being the possible murderer! LOVE that! Most excellent!

    NOTE: Enelinwen is my BLOGGER ID. I'm doing the A to Z from wordpress:


Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)