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: wearing a dressing gown and slippers, Chief Inspector Dobbs took control of the murder scene...
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 31
Chief Inspector Dobbs gazed at the scaffolding-clad terrace house. Tall shrubs and clinging ivy covered most of the building's jagged stone walls. New slates crowned the roof with the assurance of another century of shelter. Short, well-groomed gardens fronted each of the three dwellings. A powerful scent of honeysuckle filled the morning air, and fluffy bees already droned their busy song while flitting among rose bushes bordering the lawns.
The semi-retired policeman gave a bitter smile. Tragic circumstances ruined the idyllic scene: in his expert opinion, criminals occupied all three houses. Big fat Bert in the end house was a previously convicted robber who now worked at The Cloud Estate as a security guard. Olive, in the centre house, was a previously convicted con artist, who now worked at The Stables as a bookkeeper. And young Dick Charmer, in the house at the other end, was a suspected pickpocket who covered his crime by working as a roofing contractor.
Right now, the morning's wicked drama made him want to spit. Either Bert or Dick Charmer had hung a scarecrow outside Olive’s front door, making it look like an execution. Both had denied it was their doing. Why? Was it a sick joke, or something more sinister? And why was his identity card hanging around Bert's neck?
He needed time to think. He'd already handcuffed the ruffled Bert to a scaffolding pole, and Dick Charmer, smarmy innocence plastered all over his face, would soon follow.
Displaying his fiercest scowl, Chief Inspector Dobbs flapped his arms at the small gathering of early morning spectators. “Go on, get out of here, the show’s over.”
Reluctantly, they shuffled away, gazing back over their shoulders and giggling.
"Hurry along or I'll have the riot squad here and the lot of you locked up."
Satisfied he was now master of the predicament, Chief Inspector Dobbs set his jaw and whirled about to Bert and Dick Charmer. His voice grated, steady and low-pitched. “I don’t know what your game is, but I’m sure as heck going to find out.”
To be continued…
The real world:
Rather than miss an instalment, it’s easy to follow my blog on bloglovin’. They’ll give you a friendly nudge as I release new parts.
Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
Image by István Mihály from Pixabay
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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.
View all my reviews