The Plot Thickens – Snifty Clue Post 14/08/18
Inspector Kruseau cast his eye around the room, it suddenly occurred to him that the assembled gathering was not quite typical of a Torquay hotel. A media mogul, his wife and valet, an aristocratic elderly lady with a bad temper, a sultry temptress straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel, a young man who seemed to belong to a different time and place to the others and finally the hotel owner who, by her very demeanour should be running a prison not a guest house.
“What brought each of you to this place then?” the Inspector asked.
Patricia Maxwell-Murdock spoke first. She had a soft, unassuming way of speaking.
“My husband received a letter from a business acquaintance asking him to join him here. I studied Nursing in this part of the world, before I met my husband of course, I so wanted to see It again, so I decided to accompany him. Naturally he takes his valet everywhere he goes.”
“I don’t suppose you still have that letter, do you Mrs Maxwell-Murdoch? I should very much like to see it” said the Inspector.
“When we got to our room, when the whole thing seemed to be part of a practical joke, Charles threw the letter in the bin. It’s probably still there. I’ll go and fetch it.” She left the room and her footsteps could be heard crossing the hall and climbing the stairs.
“How about you Madam?” The Inspector asked Ms Lola Ginatonica.
Ms Lola puffed on her cigarette in its long holder and blew a steady stream of smoke into the Inspectors face making him cough.
“I had a letter from Charles asking me to join him for the weekend. I thought it odd that he hadn’t telephoned me, but sometimes he could be very secretive. I hadn’t heard from him for a few weeks. Naturally I didn’t believe he would bring his wife down here with him. I asked him why he sent me the letter and he denied it.”
“Do you still have that letter?” Asked the Inspector.
“No, I ripped it up and threw it into the fire” She pointed to the unlit fireplace.
“Well, it’s been too hot to light the fire, so the pieces are still there it seems.” The Inspector gathered up all the pieces and put them into his pocket.
“How about you, Mrs Van Schlumph? What brought you here?” Said the Inspector loudly so the old lady could hear.
“There’s no need to shout, I have my hearing aid turned up and I’m not Mrs I’m a Lady, please address me by my proper title Inspector. I came here because I received a letter telling me that if I came here this weekend I would find out the truth about my Sister. My poor Sister died ten years ago and I blame that man who’s now dead for it. I now think it was a hoax, but I am glad that I was here to witness his demise.” She opened her large alligator skin handbag and took out an envelope and letter and threw it down on the table in front of the Inspector.
Mrs Maxwell-Murdoch came back into the room holding a crumpled piece of paper. She handed it to the Inspector.
“So young man, why did you come here? You do not seem, if you don’t mind me saying so, the same class as the rest of the guests.” The Inspector asked Joseph Ingrams.
“I saw an advert in the newspaper that there was going to be a murder-mystery weekend here. It was going to be really authentic. I was intrigued so I signed up. When I arrived, it appeared that I was the only normal one here, everyone else looked like they had come straight out of an old Agatha Christie novel.” Several people round the table made indignant sounds at this rather rude comment.
Ms Cooper also seemed to be rather indignant at the suggestion. The Inspector asked her “Did you organise and advertise a Murder-Mystery weekend Ms Cooper?”
“The very idea seems the height of vulgarity Inspector, I did nothing of the sort.”
“I don’t suppose you have kept this article in the newspaper have you Mr Ingrams?”
“No, I’m sorry Inspector, I haven’t.”
The Inspector laid out the three letters, one intact, one crumpled and the third in several pieces which he laid out like a jigsaw puzzle.
It appeared that all three letters were written in the same hand.
The Inspector spoke again. “This is rather curious, look at the very steep angle of the handwriting and the distinctive loops and curls on the letter l’s and the p’s. I have examined the book in reception which each of you have written your names and addresses in. There are two people’s writing that match this. One is the dead man’s Charles Maxwell-Murdoch and the second is yours Mr. Joseph Ingrams.”
All eyes turned on the young man who was grinning at the end of the table.
Who Is The Victim?
Where Were They Found?
But Who Is Guilty?
How Did They Do It?
What Was Their Motive?
What Was Their Murder Weapon?