In Strident Tones – The Murder Mystery Continues

I started writing a murder mystery some time ago, we are almost at the end now. This is the penultimate instalment before the final reveal (and possibly an epilogue). I know I said that last time, but this time I mean it. 🙂

If you want to read this story from the beginning click on this link:


In Strident Tones

Audrey Patterson walked out of the Scotland Yard building, headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, and headed in the general direction of Whitehall. She could see the clocktower, commonly known as Big Ben, in the distance and the spires of the Palace of Westminster. Despite the fact she had lived in London for most of her life the sight of the Houses of Parliament always took her breath away slightly.

She was a swift walker; her Mother had always told her off for taking large strides. “A Lady always takes small steps. You walk like a man, Audrey” Her mother would chastise her in strident tones. Well she was impatient to get to her destination.

In fifteen minutes, she arrived at a block of flats. They were service flats, which meant that there was a resident cleaning staff that maintained the individual apartments, a cafeteria which provided simple sustenance to those residents who were not able to cook themselves and an office to report any issues. She went directly to the office and knocked on the door. The manager of the block of flats was chatting to the head cleaner. She was known to them and they obligingly let her into the flat she had indicated to them.

Walking in, her senses were assaulted by the sight of such untidiness that could only have been made by a young person of the male species. She turned to the Cleaner and said “I thought these were service flats” rather accusatory.

The woman had the decency to blush slightly, “The apartments on this floor get cleaned every Monday. This one is always one of the most challenging” she responded defensively.

Audrey went into the bedroom, several smart suits, both for business and evening wear were thrown over the backs of chairs and two were on the floor. She picked them up, checked that the pockets were empty, folded them and placed them neatly on the bed. Several of the pockets were not empty. She found some loose change, a pen lid, a spare latchkey, a packet of cigarettes, two lighters and a crumpled piece of paper. She placed the items on the table, except for the scrap of paper which she decided to keep.

She walked into main living area, which was stylishly decorated but mainly in monochromatic white. She began to look about for some writing paper and a pen to leave a message. She could only find some rather inferior notepaper and a pencil that was by the telephone.

She wrote,

“I would appreciate it if you would come around for tea, 4:30.

I have something of the utmost importance to tell you.”

She underlined the words ‘utmost importance’ then signed the note and placed it in a prominent position then she departed.

She set out walking again at her usual brisk pace, until coming to a main road, she managed to hail a Cab.

She gave a rather prestigious address in Mayfair, which she suspected would have a remarkably inflationary effect on the eventual price of the fare.

It was still early on Thursday afternoon and so most people were in work. Not that the streets of London were deserted, they never were that, not at any time of day. She saw several people walking along the streets as they drove past Hyde Park. Couples walking along hand in hand under the tall Plane trees, laughing. One of the ladies they passed reminded her of Elsie, she had the same coloured hair, and she felt that overwhelming sense of sadness. That poor girl had so much to live for, yet some swine had decided they had the right to kill her, to take her life away, with no more consideration that you’d give to a fly. Now was not the time for crying over it, she told herself, wiping away a small tear. She would postpone the tears until she had managed to bring the killer to justice, then she would weep.

The Cab pulled up outside a smart Mayfair residence. She paid the driver and got out. It had been some time since she had last been here. This had been the home of a dear friend. She rarely visited her, they normally met at other places, at her house or had tea the Ritz or Browns Hotel. Her friend always seemed to be escaping something. There was something in this house that she was desperate to get away from.

Audrey reached out her white-gloved hand and pushed the doorbell. She could hear it ringing inside, and in moments the door was opened by a Butler.

“Can I help you Madam?” came the time-honoured questioned, delivered in supercilious tones that seemed to put everyone in their place.

How Audrey detested butlers, but she summoned up her strength and with some brio enquired “I would like to see Lord Halifax.”

The End…..For Now.

chatting, crying, laughing

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People are far too complicated to be able to describe in a few words so I am not even going to try.

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