Saturday, 9 April 2016

Murder Most Foul! - H is for Hidden Killer - 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

As she is leaving Alice Rigden, Aisha gets a phone call from DCI Barnwell telling her that Barnwell and Williams are heading to the morgue for the autopsy, so she should head on home; they'll regroup tomorrow morning in the car park.


Pathologist report:
Bill Whethers died from the fall down the stairs, but if he hadn't broken his neck, he would have been dead in minutes anyway, because the reason he fell down the stairs was poison. He inhaled it through his e-cigarette, a very concentrated dose of arsenic which caused convulsions and he was unlucky to be at the top of the stairs at the time.

Could the e-cigarette have been poisoned at source, industrial espionage?
White marks on his fingernails suggested it wasn't the first dose of arsenic he'd been given, and tests on his hair suggest Bill had been poisoned over the last couple of months, it is unlikely no-one else in the country had shown symptoms by now.

And there's something else, whoever was poisoning Bill was just being impatient, the man had lung cancer, pretty advanced, he probably only had a matter of months left to live.


Aisha goes home. Her step-mum, Jamini, is in the front garden of their suburban semi carving a large hunk of tree with a chainsaw. Her dad, Saaz, is in the kitchen, window open and there are wonderful smells drifting out and mixing with the smell of wood shavings.

Jamini stops her carving and greets Aisha with a hug, then telling her she looks pale, what's the matter. Aisha asks her if she's heard about the sudden death in Wittrenham on the news. She shakes her head. They go inside where her dad has mugs of tea ready.

Aisha tells them about Bill and that she is part of the investigative team...

Saaz: Isn't that where your friend, Emma Hayford, lives?

Jamini: She's Lady Emma, Countess of Oxen, now.

Aisha: You know Lady Emma?

Jamini: Not really, me and your mum were at the same art college in London as she was, but we didn't mix much. She was the Honourable Emma Hayford even then. She was such a sweet girl, as I remember, polite and bubbly, but mainly she mixed with a very different crowd. And after all the stuff with her dad and her mum dying, she dropped out, but she landed on her feet, I suppose, with Lord Michael.

It's such a shame with this death, Wittrenham is such a nice little place.

Aisha: Yup, never thought I'd be helping investigate something like this down there, it's so quiet that most villagers live to be 100 and die in their beds.

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. 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.

Lady Emma, Countess of Oxen
Age: 43
Gender: female
Ethnicity Code: W1
Job: Lady of the Manor
Other info: married to Lord Michael; plays tennis with Bill Whethers. Was an art student in London, but dropped out after an incident with her father, and her mother dying. Soon afterwards, she married Lord Michael.

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
Vic Walker
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. Poison, hmm, someone close, most likely a woman? Interesting puzzle! Love it!

    1. Poison is traditionally a woman's weapon, I'll agree with you there, but then maybe it was also a weapon of opportunity for a man as well? ;P

  2. Still got no real idea but obviously someone who has access to his personal stuff, but who didn't know about his health? Hmmm, head scratching time, as Yolanda says, love it!!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  3. The autopsy is very intersting and quite unexpected.
    So, if Bill has been poisoned for a few months, the culprit must be someone near him. Maybe someone living with him?
    Yeah, yeah. But what about the rumours of him being involved with witches and the devil worship? There may be someone clos eenough to him in that environment too.

    Still not enough elements, though.

    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    1. Could he have been poisoned by a witch? hmmm :)

  4. Arsenic...reaches for his poison book. Old lace?

  5. Death through an e-cigarette - now, that's an interesting way to kill someone! Fascinating to find that he already had lung cancer. Hmmm...this is a puzzler!

    Cheers - Ellen |

    1. I thought it would make an interesting murder weapon :)

  6. Arsenic? Come on, killer, that is an easily traceable poison. Now you're just asking to be found. ;)

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

    1. Maybe they didn't care about traceability, just opportunity ;P


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