Death of a Celebrity | Chapter 16 of 18 - Part: 1 of 7

Author: M.C. Beaton | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 4046 Views | Add a Review

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THIRTEEN

Ok, thievish Night,

Why shouldst thou, but for some felonious end,

In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars,

That nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps

With everlasting oil, to give due light

To the misled and lonely traveller?

—John Milton

Any impetus there had been in solving the murder of Felicity Pearson had ebbed away. Hamish covered his local beat, attended to his crofting chores, and occasionally went over and over his notes, looking to see if there was anything he might have missed.

On his day off, two weeks after the funeral, on impulse he phoned Grace Witherington and asked if he could have another chat with her. She told him to come over for coffee at three in the afternoon.

He took Lugs with him, telling the dog to be on his best behaviour. The mobile van had gone from outside the flats. What the police in Strathbane were doing about solving the murder, Hamish did not know. Jimmy had been avoiding his phone calls and Carson had not made another visit to the police station in Lochdubh.

“Come in,” said Grace, opening the door of the flats to him. “I’m upstairs.”

“Is it all right if I bring my dog?”

“Certainly. I like dogs. I don’t have one myself anymore,” she said, mounting the stairs. “My old dog, Queenie, died ten years ago and I couldn’t bear to get another. They need such a lot of love and attention and I wasn’t free to travel. Of course, I could have put Queenie in kennels like everyone else who goes abroad, but then, I knew I wouldn’t enjoy my holiday. I’d always have been worrying about how she was getting on. Here we are.”

She led the way through a small hall and into a book-lined living room. “Make yourself comfortable and I’ll get the coffee.”

Lugs stretched out in front of the fire. Hamish suddenly found he was fumbling in his pocket for a cigarette packet. How odd that after all this time, he should still automatically go through the motions of looking for a cigarette.

Grace came in carrying a laden tray, which she set down on a low table in front of him. “Help yourself to sugar and milk and tell me why you have come. I’m intrigued.”

“It’s Felicity Pearson,” said Hamish. “I get a picture of a vain, weak, not likeable woman, and yet you were a friend of hers. I’m trying to get a better picture of her.”

“Now you’re making me feel guilty,” said Grace. “I wasn’t ever a friend of hers, I told you that. The fact is that the television programme she produced brought me in some welcome money. I wanted to keep her on my side. I am afraid she was in fact all the things you said about her. But I began to think even the television programme wasn’t worth the hours I spent listening to her talk about herself. Have you heard the actor’s joke? That’s enough about me. Let’s talk about my performance.”

“So there was no one she was really close to?”

“Have you tried Rory MacBain?”

“I think that one didn’t care what she was like and what she looked like. All he was after was a quickie on the office floor when it suited him.”

“Dear me. I should feel sorry for her but I can’t. I had really begun to dislike her so much, you see. I read in the papers this morning that she has been found guilty of the murder of Crystal French.”

“So they’ve released that bit of news at last. How did you feel when you read it?” asked Hamish.

“Do you know, I wasn’t surprised, and yet I should be. I mean, when she was here talking to me, I didn’t think, oh, here’s a murderer. But if that murder’s solved, why do you want to know about her?”

“Because her own murder isn’t solved.”

“She was killed down at the old docks. No one saw or heard anything?”

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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