Friday, 24 February 2017

Mystery deceit and a school Inspector - Chapter One

Mystery deceit and a school Inspector | Fiction: Mystery | 
by Bryony Allen | 


…Flicking through her jotter at parent's evening was also a top tip from teacher training college – possibly the only one. Looking for that one elusive anecdote that Mr. and Mrs. Jackson really must hear about Gemma was a fabulous way of killing at least one whole minute. That left only nine minutes in which she had to listen to their complaints about how her teaching had failed to ignite Gemma’s true spark – how do you recreate fizz in a flat bottle of Coke?
It was 12.21 - thirty nine minutes before the next bout commenced. Luckily, another spell of laryngitis had put paid to Katie's choral speaking club, which her cherubs attended every Wednesday lunchtime with glee. Choral speaking was 'a success of the school', if you believed the prospectus.  Indeed the children loved the lunchtime club; spoke with enthusiasm, beautifully clear diction and with as close to a genuine love of learning as they were ever likely to experience at Beaver's Brook Primary School.  If only she could bottle that passion and turn it into an aromatherapy essence, Katie’s year sixes would not only achieve level four but sneer at its ease.

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Bones of Murder - Chapter Four

The Bones of Murder | Fiction: Crime Detective Mystery |
by Julius Falconer |

... ‘And there’s the anonymous letter!’ interjected Grace.
‘Oh, what anonymous letter is that?’ asked Wickfield. ‘Perhaps you’d better start at the beginning and tell us all about it.’
Benjamin cleared his throat. ‘Inspector, sergeant, it’s like this. Grace and I bought this house in May of 1970, ready for our retirement. It had been uninhabited for twenty-five years and was neglected before that, so everything had to be done to make it habitable. When we retired in April 1971, we bought a second-hand caravan to live in and put it in a small field behind the barn. We lived there while the major work was done on the house. Finally, last October, we were able to move into the house, and then work began almost immediately on the chapel. The floor of the chapel was beaten earth, centuries old, and it was too high to allow a modern floor simply to be placed on top of it. Grace and I began the tedious work of lowering the floor by ourselves, before the workmen moved in, and as we dug down, we discovered three skeletons buried side by side two feet down.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Two Little Dicky Birds - Wednesday 7th April 1976

Two Little Dicky Birds | FICTION/Crime Detective
by Neal James

It had been over five months since the police had found the body in Leicester, and the trail seemed to have run cold. He had kept up to date with all of the newspaper and other reports surrounding the killing, but with the passage of time they were drying up. It had been a topic of conversation down at the pub and at work, but he had taken extreme care to avoid becoming involved in any discussions on the subject, and when pressed had always made some non-committal remark on the topic of policing.
He was, however, becoming agitated and anxious for the next step in his ‘campaign’. It certainly seemed that the time was right for another expedition, but on this occasion he would need to be more careful after a near miss with witnesses in the East Midlands. There was an opportunity coming up in Birmingham next week, and it would be a shame to miss out now that all the signs were set fair. Perhaps a trip up there to reconnoitre the area would be a good idea, and looking at his shift rota he wasn’t due on again at the weekend for another month.

Friday, 4 November 2016

To Go Boldly by Ron Palmer - DAY THREE

His risings fogs prevail upon the day
MacFlecknoe (1682)

I woke up at 0530 cursing under my breath, as I’m on my own there is no point to saying it out loud, to a beautiful day of thick fog. Thick as a hedge again, with visibility down to almost nil, no matter as by now I was beginning to accept that I wasn’t going to have much in the way of sightseeing on this trip. So I decided to first have breakfast, do my chores then push off in the hope that the fog would eventually clear. With the GPS and the now fully operational radar there should be no problem feeling my way to Bamfield.
Regardless of my concerns about the fog I did remember to take something out of the freezer for the evening meal. A nice Forfar Bridie would do very nicely, garnished with mashed potato and the ubiquitous peas and carrots, a dollop of HP sauce would go nicely too, just to give the meal that extra bit of zest. And a little smearing of margarine on the veggies rather than gravy to smooth the way just for a change, after all one needs variety to enhance the enjoyment of a meal. Which, the reader might ask, ‘why peas and carrots’ with every meal? Well, carrots are, or the carotene they contain are well known to be an anti cancer element. And as for peas, don’t they go with carrots? Like love and marriage, bacon and eggs, that sort of thing one might say. Once again a meal fit for a king. While on the subject of food I decided to make a sandwich for lunch just in case the fog situation prevented so doing at the appointed hour, seems as though my memory was improving to remember all these tasks.

Friday, 14 October 2016

An ardent reader's review of the Julius Falconer’s detective mystery novels.



FIVE STAR Review by Samuel Aina*
As a river springs from a mountainside, the author Julius Falconer – himself a fountain of knowledge – spurts out amazing stories which keep his reader spellbound. And like a meandering river finding its way through uneven landscapes, the chronicler appears to ramble through intricately woven cases without overlooking even the tinniest detail. Quite often he is able to show that a tiny speck of information which the un-initiated investigator would happily have discarded turns out to be the key to unravelling a case.
The chronicler has a penchant for information gathering which is the greatest tool in investigating any crime as evidenced by cases handled in all of Julius Falconer’s novels. Hence, with an incredibly high degree of perseverance, resilience, and patience he squeezes out information ‘in dribs and drabs' from reluctant informants. With these bits and pieces, he believes he will in the end get to the root of the matter.
Like a river is fed by its tributaries the chronicler pays due respect to the contribution made by his assistants in achieving the overall objective. The investigator gives a pride of place to his professional assistant with whom he converses day by day. His cliché ‘be firm but not hectoring’ was one way of training his professional assistant. Anyone being interviewed in connection with a crime must be firmly handled but not tortured.
In all the cases handled, he pays due respect to his wife Beth who was always there to chip in an advice when analyses became difficult. Thus he said in one case, “Beth’s late hint salvaged the investigation.” Beth herself once said, “what you need is a woman’s guidance.” How true!

*Samuel Aina is a Chemical Engineer with a degree from the University of Leeds. A life long reader, now retired after decades of work in academia and the engineering industry.


Friday, 1 April 2016

An Anthology of Christmas Murders - Terror, Tinsel and Turkey edited by Jeremy Moiser

Terror, tinsel and turkey - Contribution by Harry Riley

Alan Weywent was an overweight flamboyant fraudster, whose cut-price double-glazing company of A-Wey-Went-Windows went bust. He had had full order books when the firm closed down, but his suppliers had pulled the plug because of too many unpaid bills. He was faced with litigation from customers who’d forked out in advance for replacement windows and conservatories that would never get built. Also there were building-contractors owed tens of thousands of pounds for unpaid work and materials. This crooked businessman moved from town to town around the Midlands, setting up bogus companies, preying on elderly vulnerable customers and then vanishing with their hard-earned savings. His double-glazing scam had proved incredibly profitable, and he was sorry to see it go, but a very healthy portfolio of virtually untraceable offshore-accounts had softened the blow. Now he would have to lie low until the heat cooled. 

Moving to the small town of Tillon on Trent in Staffordshire, he had rented a large house in a decent area and attempted to bury his past, adopting a new persona, with a splendid new name: Eugene O’Brady-Smith: a wealthy book-loving bachelor, studying creative writing. He looked for a local group of writers and quickly struck gold. Because he was smooth-tongued and used to getting his own way, it was not long before he was appointed chairman of the Tillon and District Writing Group. It was at one of their weekly group meetings that he made his announcement: