Sunday, 5 March 2017

28 - Picking up the pieces

Wednesday, August 24

Fresh from their night of nostalgia and other delights, Cleo and Gary were eager to get the rest of the Frint-on-Sea cases closed.
“Our biggest conundrum is that we have two confessions for the killing of Mrs Grant, Cleo.”
“Do you suppose that they both thought they had killed her?” said Cleo.
“Let’s do one of Dorothy’s checklists,” said Gary.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

27 - The nitty-gritty of crime

Tuesday cont.


Before the next interview could take place, Cleo and Gary needed to confer about what had already transpired, whereby Gary was curious about Cleo’s strategy.
“I’m all agog for what’s to come, Cleo,” said Gary. “I can’t believe you got Murphy to the point of a confession.”

26 - Candidates

Tuesday August 23

Breakfast at the hotel was mercifully minus the crowd of senior citizens who had presumably got up at the crack of dawn to watch the tide coming in or were off on some other early morning adventure. Cleo and Gary set off in good time to walk from the hotel to the police station, but stopped to look at the incoming tide for a few minutes and were not surprised to see a line of senior citizens watching the water.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

25 - Mata Hari

Monday August 22


It was too early to get up, but Cleo had spent most of the night thinking about what they knew about the murder of Mrs Grant and was anxious to discuss with Gary what she thought must have happened. She tended to call this kind of brain-storming ‘doing a Dorothy’ because Dorothy came up with all sorts of theories seemingly out of the blue that usually contained at least some element of truth on which to base further inquiries, even if they did not provide a solution there and then.
“I’m all ears,” said Gary, yawning widely and turning over.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

24 - Weekending

Weekend August 20-21

On Saturday morning Gary got up hungry. He had not done justice to the barbeque, he decided.  He sat on Cleo’s side of the bed and whispered
“We need to react to Wetherby’s news.”
“Not before breakfast,” she replied and turned over for another hour of slumber.
“I’ll join you then,” said Gary. "Breakfast can wait."

23 - The BBQ

Friday cont.

Cleo had received a confirmation from Edith that the BBQ would go ahead and there would be plenty of steaks
Gary drove Dorothy to her cottage to rest before going to the vicarage. Cleo thought a short siesta would make all the difference to a long day. There was still time for a shower and a short siesta, so Cleo and Gary relaxed for a while before setting off on foot for the vicarage carrying bottles of wine they thought would make an appropriate contribution to the party.


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

22 - Questions

Friday August 19

At breakfast, eaten almost at the crack of dawn; Cleo told Gary that on reflection she had also been glad to have him as a friend, not least because she had not lost as much sleep in those days.
“You took my detective agency seriously.  I’m thankful for that, too,” she said.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

21 - Macpherson

Thursday cont.

Gary and Cleo arrived at Frint-on-Sea police station late on Thursday afternoon. Brass was about to leave. O’Reilly was going to be at the station for a couple more hours. He said it was so that Brass could stop working round the clock.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

20 - Snow

Thursday cont.


While Cleo and Gary were driving to Frint-on-Sea, Dorothy had decided to sort out the case of Miss Snow’s dog. The email contained a phone number. She would call and make an appointment to see the anxious dog owner.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

19 - Courting

Thursday August 18


Charlie Hurley was going to stay at the vicarage with Edith at least until Friday, it was arranged. Cleo would take anything the little girl needed there when she took PeggySue to stay. Edith was overjoyed that she would have the two little girls to care for even if Frederick resented them. Edith was getting bolder these days. She was no longer asking her husband for permission to do things.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

18 - Rita

Wednesday August 17


Cleo knew from personal experience that it was sometimes hard to distinguish between the positive and negative consequences of a situation. At the moment everything seemed positive, but was it really? There were still many hurdles to take, and one of them was arriving at Heathrow that very day.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

17 -

Tuesday August 16


Gary did not get back to Upper Grumpsfield until the early hours of Tuesday morning, so discussions about what he been able to achieve in North Wales were left till after breakfast.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

16 - Hens

Monday cont.

“I’m glad we are going ot carry on, Cleo, not just because Gary needs us.”
“We need us too, Dorothy.”
“So where do we start?”
 “I have an email on my screen. Someone at last saw my ad in the Chronicle, but it isn’t much of a case.”

Monday, 31 August 2015

15 - After Robert

Monday September 15

Being in love is like being drunk, Cleo decided, though she had never been drunk in her life; a social worker surrounded by alcoholics and drug addicts thinks twice about joining the fray.
Cleo had misjudged her first husband Jay’s character; he had turned out to be a cruel, sadistic bully. Marriage to Robert had been a cosy, friendly sort of arrangement with only a modicum of passion early on; they had looked after one another.

Friday, 28 August 2015

14 - Robert's decision

Sunday cont.

Before they could drive back to Upper Grumpsfield,  Jake would have to be questioned even if he refused to cooperate. Cleo accompanied Gary. Despite Gary’s fear that Jake would be rude to Cleo, she insisted on being there.  She would also talk to Pat O’Reilly and try to help him work through his grief and shock since no one else seemed to have taken much notice.

13 - Pat O'Reilly

Sunday August 14


Gary cancelled his room at the Grand Hotel and registered himself as Cleo’s partner. It no longer mattered if Robert tried to find out where Cleo was and she had made it crystal clear to Gary that she was no longer considering upholding a failed marriage. Robert would have to admit that it was time to move on.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

12 - Ivy's joint

Saturday cont.

Gary parked his car round the corner from Ivy’s establishment and Cleo stepped out on her own to walk the to the house. She had no idea what kind of an encounter awaited her. Gary would have to give her time to deal with the situation.

11 - Angie


Saturday August 13

Sleep did not exactly evade the lovers, but they did avoid it until they were both exhausted, if delirious from the freedom of knowing that they had come to a sea-change and were more determined than ever to make their nights together a permanent fixture.

Friday, 24 July 2015

10 - Business as usual?


Friday August 12

Cleo and Gary drove to North Wales to the accompaniment of Beethoven turned up loud. Cleo was quite glad not to have to talk. She had slept alone the previous night. The message Robert sent out by moving to the sofa was clear: It’s me or him. Cleo knew he had wanted to ask and hadn’t.

9 - Reunion


Thursday August 11
Needless to say, Gary was delighted to have his daughter back again an. In no time at all Charlie had conquered Gary’s revolving office chair and was whizzing around on it.
“Why didn’t you tell me last night or even before you went to collect her?” Gary wanted to know. “I would have dropped everything to be there.”

8 - Charlie

Wednesday August 10


After a sleepless night spent wondering why Robert would accept her rather insolent confession about her relationship with Gary, Cleo phoned her lover next morning for an update on the Susan Smart murder case.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

7 - Confessional

Tuesday August 9

The two sleuths drove back to Upper Grumpsfield as planned, taking in Tinturn Abbey as a point of interest even though it meant a detour and a soaking in the rain. Cleo remembered quite a good restaurant opposite the Abbey, so they ordered the menu of the day and sat on wooden seats near a window to watch the rain falling out of heavy clouds that shrouded the abbey spires. Dorothy thought the cooking was good. Cleo could hardly taste anything. Conversation was stilted and sparse. Dorothy had  all but destroyed the friendship between them.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

6 - The Autopsy

Monday August 8

The night spent as a ‘grown-up’ twosome in a single bunk bed was declared to be more comfortable than the heath-rug from the previous night, but it had not been condusive to sleep, so Cleo and Gary were correspondingly rather tired as they walked briskly to the General Hospital where Susie Sweet’s earthly remains were to be examined.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

5 - Love is in the air

Sunday cont.

Cleo and Gary walked briskly to the promenade. The air was bracing and stimulated Gary into saying something he had promised himself not to say as long as Cleo was upholding her marriage. He stood facing her with his hands in hers.

4 - Ivy

Sunday August 7

Lucy amused everyone with a riotous account of Daddy chasing the sheep on the bridge. Bill said the truck driver was not sure that they had rounded up all of them had because they kept moving as he counted them.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Chapter 3 - Susie Sweet

Saturday September 6

Although Dorothy thought it highly unlikely that Sergeant Loo would want to spend his Saturday afternoon trying to think of leading questions to ask her and Vera, she left Upper Grumpsfield early with Cleo, their main mission being to rescue Vera. They were relieved to find Vera unscathed and in control. She was anxious to get her second interview over as soon as possible.
“Sergeant Loo is obnoxious,” she told Cleo and her sister.
“He was pretty awful at the beachhut,” said Dorothy.

Chapter 2 - Facing the music

Friday September 5

Dorothy decided to return to Upper Grumpsfield the following day as planned, despite Sergeant Loo’s expectation. Leaving her walking shoes at Vera’s, she made sure she was at the station in good time for the early train to Crewe; she had things to do at home and was even less enamoured of the idea that she should troop to the police station.

Chapter 1 - The rose tattoo

Thursday September 4

It was a blustery day. The rain had come down sideways for most of it and it was after six when Dorothy Price and her sister Vera went for their daily constitutional along the prom.
“We don’t have weather like this in Upper Grumpsfield,” Dorothy remarked.
”You don’t have the ocean on your doorstep, either,” said Vera.