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.
Part 17: The best cure for flu…
Mr Styles rubbed the back of his tired old neck. Olive wasn’t a saint, he’d admit that, but she wasn’t a murderer or a bank robber. Far from it, he thought he could rely on her one-hundred percent. He cackled. The idea was ludicrous. “Well, when you rob a bank, or us, I’ll look up Penelope. But try not to. I’d hate to have anything to do with a religious investigator in a flaring skirt.”
Both laughed, but then Olive broke off with a soft moan and stroked her forehead. “My head still hurts.”
Mr Styles barely held his irritation at bay, and his voice fostered a rough edge. “You’d better take the rest of the week off.”
“I don’t want to, Mr Styles. The difficulty is that I’m worn out. It’s almost as if I’m coming down with the flu. In fact, from the way my lungs ache and my ears fizz, it’s almost certain.”
“Rest is the best cure for flu.”
“Oh, you’re so sweet. I think I’ll drive north, to Harrogate, and take a spa.”
“I’ll make up Thursday’s pay packets before I leave and turn them over to the secretary.”
“I’d appreciate that if you can manage.” Mr Styles sniffed noisily and swallowed the phlegm. “A spa, eh? If I had the time, I’d join you.”
That Wednesday evening, Olive’s sister Penelope appeared at the All Saints service. Afterwards, when back in her house and transformed into Olive, she didn’t return Penelope's wig and garments to the bureau. Instead, she packed them into a suitcase, carried the suitcase to her own house, and locked it in her wardrobe.
To be continued…
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Like to know more about Alf, Bert and the rest of the gang? You can read their chaotic history in What on Earth.
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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