Bert felt jealous, cheated on, and blue. Then he discovered he could morph into a giant nightmarish slug...
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On Wednesdays and Sundays I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ novellas. You can check in regularly and read them bit for bit, or leave a message in my 'contact' page, and I'll send the entire digital story to you for free when published.
Life in the Clouds #6: Take a Slug ® James Field.
In the last post: Olive knew she'd broken her fiance's heart, but hadn't expected him to commit suicide...
Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them for free, or wait to buy the entire story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 26
At the sound of Olive’s screams, Bert cracked his eyes open and squinted at his surroundings. The rising sun shone beneath the lip of a thin cloud and crows screeched above his head.
For a moment, he couldn't figure out why he was sleeping on the scaffolding above his fiancé’s front door, but then the memory struck him like a clash of symbols. In a fit of blind jealousy, he’d planned to drop a noose over Dick Charmer's neck and hang him to death. But Olive had come home alone in the middle of the night, and while waiting for her lover to sneak in later, he’d fallen asleep.
The falling asleep part hadn’t been part of his plan, but then again nothing had gone to plan. Olive's screams certainly weren't part of it, and they'd come from right below him. He peeked between the scaffolding floorboards and his heart froze. Someone was hanging by the neck in his noose.
From the clothing, it looked frightfully like Lance, The Cloud Estate’s gardener. Only just yesterday he'd said he felt like committing suicide. Bert asked himself if the stupid sod had found the noose and taken the opportunity, or whether it had been an accident in the dark. Either way, it was Bert's fault and the shock made him gulp air like a dead fish. During the night, Lance had perished, making Bert an executioner.
“What in damnation is going on here?” The voice belonged to Chief Inspector Dobbs and Bert wondered if it were possible to creep away over the roof and down the other side unnoticed? But as he clambered to his feet, the scaffolding groaned and creaked under his weight.
“Who’s up there?”
A foul taste in Bert’s mouth made him swallow hard. He scrubbed his face with his hands, strove to appear as virtuous as an innocent baby angel, and leaned over the scaffolding’s railing. “Morning, Inspector," he stammered. "Anything wrong?"
To be continued…
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The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
There’s a lot to like and a lot to dislike in this story. I like that it’s cosy, funny, and heart-warming. The plot, however, is a tragedy. There are two murders, and every character in the book, of which there are many, has a motif. With so many twists, turns, and red herrings throughout the narrative, it lost me in a virtual maze.
But the author commits the gravest crime: he introduces a new, guilty character right at the end of the story. Tut, tut, naughty.
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