Tuesday, 28 February 2017

22 - Finale

Apart from Dorothy’s phone call late on Saturday evening, when Robert had told her that he was now resigned to Cleo’s never-ending energy and had to be satisfied with Dorothy’s information that there had been a lot to discuss and meetings at HQ, Cleo and Dorothy had no contact until Dorothy walked down to Cleo’s cottage early on Sunday morning to drive in with her to HQ.

Friday, 24 February 2017

21 - Assignation

Gary phoned Cleo early and, told her for the hundredth time that he loved her and was looking forward to seeing her at the bistro when Dorothy met her old flame. Presuming that something would happen but not knowing what, Gary had organized a plain car staffed with a plain-clothes armed squad team to park nearby and was himself armed.
Greg Winter, retiring head of squad cars and ongoing detective, would be at the bistro. Greg understood that this was an extra mission in aid of the Hartley Agency and possibly dangerous. Sergeant Barbara Fielding would accompany him, also in mufti. Gary wanted her to get experience of such situations.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

20 - Sylvie

On Thursday morning, Cleo and Dorothy made a very early start, intending to get to Brighton, talk to Mrs Riddle and return all in one day.
Dorothy knew Brighton from her London days. Trips to the seaside had often taken her there and over the years she had visited all the monuments and been blown over many times on the pier. Cleo had never been to Brighton.

19 - Kelly's questioning

Wednesday July 19

Dorothy met Cleo at her office for breakfast and a review of the previous week’s cases. They would plan the next items on the agenda, assess progress and generally exchange ideas as to how to go forward. This week their breakfast pow-wow did not take place at Cleo’s office until early on Wednesday morning. Before they had bitten into the first of Dorothy’s inimitable bagels. Gary phoned with the news that the Baines questioning was postponed until the afternoon so that Kelly could be questioned.

Friday, 27 November 2015

18 - Harry's questioning

Tuesday July 18

Cleo drove to HQ in good time to meet Harry. She had read Chris’s report; there were almost no fingerprints on the stove; a tea-cloth hanging over the rail had probably been used to open the oven door and the wheel controlling the gas was old. It even had a serrated edge for better gripping, which was not receptive for fingerprints.

17 - Captured

Monday cont.

Harry Marble was located less than an hour after the Metropolitan Police had been asked to trace him. Marble had recently been arrested for theft, but released after the robbed lady had said the jewels had reappeared. That incident rather dampened Harry’s enthusiasm for being a toy-boy although the lady who hired him had done him a good turn.

16 - Treading water

As usual on a Monday, Robert was up at four and boasted that he would get through the day without yawning. Robert cursed the day when he had encouraged Cleo to solve mysteries – it could be said that he cursed the day Cleo had started working regularly with Gary.
Cleo was hung over from sleeplessness. She would call Dorothy and get her to come to the cottage for a coffee later and discuss everything that had happened the previous day, but Cleo wanted to be at HQ by 10, an arrangement that she confirmed to Gary in a text since Robert had appeared for his fried breakfast before going to the shop. Gloria would have opened up, he hoped.
Dorothy arrived as Robert left.
Gary phoned soon after.

15 - Jessie

Sleep was, however, something that even Robert was going to have to postpone.
Shortly after that squabble, an extremely agitated Mrs Riddle phoned.
“Someone’s trying to get in, Miss Hartley. What shall I do?”
“Have you called the police, Mrs Riddle?”
“Not yet.”
“Well, please do that. I’ll be over as soon as I can.”

14 - The Blakes

Cleo knew she would have to approach the Blakes carefully. A phone call to Dorothy secured her support. They would meet at Cleo’s cottage and take in a bagel and coffee for lunch, much to Robert’s disgust, since Sunday lunch was traditionally roast day and his menu would be ignored until evening.
Dorothy would tell the Blakes her tale about writing up the history of the village and they would go on from there.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

13 - Mrs Riddle

Since Robert thought it inappropriate for Cleo to go off sleuthing on a Sunday morning that was supposed to prelude a day of rest, Cleo was forced to emphasize the necessity of finding Dr Marble’s killer as soon as possible to avoid further bloodshed. Working on a Sunday was part of her job.
“I expect you’ll be glad to see Hurley again,” he said.

12 - Cupid

Saturday July 15

Since it was a matter of urgency to talk to Dr Marble again, Cleo and Dorothy decided to pay him another visit, this time without asking for an appointment. They parked well away from the house and walked up the drive to the front door. It was ajar.
“This looks suspicious,” said Dorothy. “Surely Dr Marble doesn’t normally leave his door open.”
Cleo was worried. Open front doors in private houses were an alarm signal.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

11 - Tanner

It was quite early when they got to Tanner’s lodgings. In view of everything they had to deal with before the weekend, it was a good thing that the guy was prepared to see them so early.

10 - An evening out

Cleo’s still found time to visit Delilah at the bistro later that evening, though her little chat turned into a family outing in the end.. Delilah had lived in Upper Grumpsfield for most of her life and her former boss, Jim Tanner, who had retired from running the pub when it started to lose money, but still owned the building, might remember something. It was worth trying to get in touch with him.

9 - Marble Hall

Thursday cont.

Cleo phoned Dr Marble and was dealt with by a female who said she was his housekeeper, but kept the appointment book. Cleo made an appointment for the later that day.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

8 - Looking for the truth

Thursday July 14

From being at a loose end in her office, Cleo was now facing a lot of work. She was anxious to exonerate Jessie, though there were serious doubts about her innocence. Cleo could not believe that the girl had escaped from that institution to find and kill her mother. On the other hand, Kelly could have stage-managed the whole nasty business without any trouble and was using Jessie as a scapegoat.

7 - Ticking over

Wednesday cont.

As promised, Gary organized a search of the crypt in the evening, when it was thought that Jessie was most likely to seek shelter there.

6 - An uninvited guest

Wednesday afternoon

It was as if some kind of trouble was due.
When she got back to her cottage, Dorothy was horrified to see that her front door was wide open and the door key was in the lock! She was almost sure that she hadn’t forgotten to lock up pull the key out. She had.  She had been nervous when she left and preoccupied with her appearance. What would Gary say?

5 - Back from the dead


Wednesday cont.

At about midday Cleo drove to the bistro. She would put Delilah and Mitch in the picture about Jack Cooper, and ask them to let Dorothy get on with it. None of them could imagine the meeting getting out of control, and they were all curious. Gary also wanted to take a look at the guy who had ditched Dorothy half a century ago.

Monday, 16 November 2015

4 - Morning has broken

Wednesday July 13

Wednesday morning started at the Hartley cottage with a phone call from Gary. Robert had just extricated himself from his duvet and taken a cold shower to wake up.
“It’s seven o’clock in the morning,” Robert shouted down the phone. “Couldn’t you at least wait till after breakfast?”

Sunday, 15 November 2015

3 - Jack Cooper is back

Tuesday July 12

When Gary left Cleo’s cottage several hours later, Cleo was left wondering how she had had the nerve to indulge her passion for Gary in her cottage. Would Robert even notice that Gary had been there?

2 - Kelly

Monday cont.

Cleo and Dorothy drove to Kelly’s farm, inevitably passing Hilda Bone’s house on the way. Dorothy could not help looking at Hilda’s front window and was not surprised to see the net curtain move.
“Hilda is controlling the road again,” Dorothy announced. “She’s hoping for exotic animals in baskets, perhaps.”

1 - Overture

Monday July 11

Business was slack at the Hartley Agency. Cleo wondered how long she could afford the luxury of a detective agency that scraped a living from wayward husbands, wives leading double lives, household pets disappearing and other cases that barely qualified as such, even if Dorothy Price was enjoying herself tremendously.