Murder/Mystery book for under $2

The second Inspector Knowles books is available for a reduced price on Kindle :

The Manton Rempville Murders  is $1.99

How many bodies can one dog find? Another day in the life of Detective Inspector Colin Knowles and another murder. Bingo the retriever has been finding bodies again. This time someone left a sword in the back of Edward Pritchard in the local monastery. Pritchard used to work at nearby Manton Rempville Hall as a gardener although all he seemed to cultivate was reasons for people not to like him.
As luck would have it there’s a house party at the hall so there are plenty of suspects. Knowles inspects the people, the libraries, the studies, and the not-so-secret passage of this old hall in an attempt to find out who murdered Pritchard. Bells, owls, and ironic topiary all play a part in his investigation.

Slowly Knowles weeds out the suspects until there can be only one person who did it.

The Manton Rempville Murders is the second in the Inspector Knowles Mysteries and reacquaints the reader with Knowles and his Detective Sergeant Rod Barnes, who were first introduced in The Goat Parva Murders.

This is my second homage to the detective story. I’ve always loved mystery stories by Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L Sayers. I have recently watched many DVDs of detective series from the UK and this was the spark to start the creative process. I have added some humour into the book.

The Frisby Waterless Murders

The third book in the Inspector Knowles series sees Knowles and Sergeant Barnes investigating why the wrong person died on a murder/mystery excursion on a steam train. It seems more than one person wanted the victim dead and the question is: who murdered Major Harkness in full view of 24 people without any of them noticing?

As with the Goat Parva Murders and the Manton Rempville Murders, Knowles and Barnes work tirelessly to see through the smokescreens placed in their path. The clues point this way and then that way. More than one person is disappointed to find out they didn’t kill the Major before Knowles and Barnes track down the real murderer.

Characters from previous books are reintroduced such as Carly Waferr, the magic mushroom lady, who was hired to provide the catering for the excursion train, and Adelaide Hills the owner of Bingo the retriever, who makes his usual significant contribution to the investigation.

The verbal sparring of Knowles and Barnes is once again to the fore in this fast-paced ride through the lovely, but dangerous English countryside.

The Frisby Waterless Murders

Coming soon to a website near you – the third Inspector Knowles book entitled The Frisby Waterless Murders.

The third book in the Inspector Knowles series sees Knowles and Sergeant Barnes investigating why the wrong person died on a murder/mystery excursion on a steam train.

It seems more than one person wanted the victim dead and the question is:
who murdered Major Harkness in full view of 24 people without any of them noticing?

As with the Goat Parva Murders and the Manton Rempville Murders, Knowles and Barnes work tirelessly to see through the smokescreens placed in their path. The clues point this way and then that way.

More than one person is disappointed to find out they didn’t kill the Major before Knowles and Barnes track down the real murderer.

Characters from previous books are reintroduced such as Carly Waferr, the magic mushroom lady, who was hired to provide the catering for the excursion train, and Adelaide Hills the owner of Bingo the retriever, who makes his usual significant contribution to the investigation.

The verbal sparring of Knowles and Barnes is once again to the fore in this fast-paced ride through the lovely, but dangerous English countryside.

 

The Manton Rempville Mystery – start of Chapter 1

Detective Sergeant Rod Barnes surveyed the remains of Manton Rempville monastery with incredulity. He’d heard that a hundred thousand pounds had been spent on preserving the ruins and he couldn’t understand why anyone would do such a thing. Ruins were ruins for a reason. The natural order of things, in Barnes’ mind at least, was gradual decay – preservation only delayed the inevitable, like applying skin cream to wrinkles or a new coat of paint to a rusting car. Besides, the ruins were open to anyone and there was no entry charge, so they were never going to get their money back.

Barnes stiffened slightly as he saw Detective Inspector Colin Knowles’ Land Rover chug into the car park and lurch to a halt too close to Barnes’ Morgan sports car for his comfort. He glanced down at the body and thought that Knowles, his boss, would find this crime scene interesting indeed. Barnes had heard that Knowles was on a new diet and that his latest culinary delight was vegetable kebabs cooked on his nearly new barbecue even in the depths of autumn.

Taking care not to get his highly polished shoes muddy, Barnes walked across the uneven grass as a low, cold wind whipped across the historical site, slightly disturbing his short, brown hair. He hadn’t seen much of Knowles in the past month as they’d both been away on holiday at separate times since the murders in Goat Parva. As he came towards him, Barnes noticed that even though the Inspector had lost weight, he still wasn’t able to tuck his Marks and Spencer shirt into his trousers.

“Good morning, sir, how are you today?”

“Fair to middling, Barnesy old son, the diet’s working well, nearly fifteen pounds lost.” Knowles gripped his much reduced stomach with some pride.

“How’s the gym going?”

“Gradually doing more on the treadmill, lifting a few weights, and getting some stretching done on those large blue balls they have. That’s not easy – those balls are bouncy as hell – I almost fell off the first few times I tried to lie on the thing. Anyway, not only can I see my toes now, but I can almost touch them too.”

“That’s good to hear, sir. The trick to keeping the weight off is by committing to a lifestyle change rather than thinking you’re on a diet.”

“Good point, Sergeant, lifestyle sounds very magazine-like though, very posh Sunday newspaper, but I know what you mean. Anyway, who do we have over there?” Knowles pointed in the direction of the photographer and Forensics team, who were investigating the crime scene.

The two men started to walk over to the eastern wall of the monastery’s refectory where the body had been found an hour earlier by Bingo the retriever, out on a long walk with his owner Adelaide Hills from Goat Parva. Both dog and owner were well known to the police from a few months before when Bingo had made a habit of finding bodies in the early morning.

“According to his credit cards, his name is Edward Pritchard; we are just running some computer checks to find out where he lives. It’s how he’s been killed that you will find interesting, sir.”

With his hands in his trench coat pockets, Knowles stood on the wall and looked down at the body lying on what would have been the refectory floor. Edward Pritchard had been run through with a sword and the handle was sticking out of his back on the left-hand side. Knowles smiled at Dr. Crabtree, the forensic doctor, who was examining the body.

“Dr. Crabtree, we have a real sword being used as a murder weapon?” Knowles would have rubbed his hands with glee if they hadn’t been warming up in his pockets.

“We do indeed, Colin, a very real sword. This is a heavy cavalry sword with a straight blade with one cutting edge whereas the other side has been thickened for greater strength. The blade is around three feet in length. It directly penetrated his heart and he would have died instantly.”

“Any prints on the handle?” Knowles looked hopeful when he said this.

“We’ll check back at the lab, Colin, can we move him now?”

“Yes, that will be all I think. We’ll be back at the station in an hour or so; could you have something by then in terms of fingerprints, time of death, and any ideas on a profile of who could have done it?”

“We’ll try, Colin – no promises, but we’ll try.”

“I presume the person who murdered Edward wasn’t aware of the type of sword they were using,” said Barnes, “because that’s a sword for slashing people with, not for running them through.”

“So, you would have expected a murderer who knew what he was using to have hit Edward here in the neck with the sharp side,” replied Knowles.

“Yes, sir, that’s correct.”

“So we’re looking for an ignorant murderer then? We show the suspects the sword and ask them how they would kill someone using the sword and those who opt for the neck slash are innocent?”

“They might be bluffing, sir, so we shouldn’t just use that as a method of elimination from our enquiries,” said Barnes, playing along with Knowles’ quite acerbic sense of humour.

“OK, we’ll just confine ourselves to telling the murderer, when we catch him, that he/she murdered Edward here in the wrong way. So where could the sword have come from? It’s not the sort of weapon you can easily conceal.”

“The nearest house is Manton Rempville Hall – you can see it just poking through the trees over there. That might be the best place to start.”

“Agreed – they probably maintain an assortment of weapons to keep the staff subdued and repel invasions by the local peasants in times of crisis. We should go there after visiting our oldest friend in Goat Parva, Mrs. Adelaide Hills, and her bundle of fun, Bingo.”

“It’s just like old times, sir.”

“Indeed it is, Barnesy. I just hope that this is the only body Bingo finds in this murder investigation.”