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 ThreeThe Stables’ occupants were familiar with Penelope’s occasional appearances, the eccentric recluse, and they snickered about her behind her back. On the Saturday following the robbery, Bert tagged along beside her as she trudged down to the convenience store on the village green.
“Any news of Olive?” asked Penelope.
“No, she’s not answering her phone, and she doesn’t ring.”
“Is that normal?”
A sullen look spread across Bert’s face, as grey and dull as the morning weather. “Yeah, says she’s having a spa, but really, she’s having a fling. It’s always the same. If I catch the bloke, I’ll tie a knot in his bollocks.”
“Oh, you disgusting man.” Penelope jerked away from him and quickened her pace, leaving him behind. She heard him chuckling and had to press a fist against her mouth to stop herself from laughing.
Safely inside the store, she bought a newspaper and said to the clerk: “You can have The Times delivered at my house every morning-number three, Flintstone Terrace.”
“Yes, I know where it is,” said the clerk pertly. “I thought you didn’t like newspapers and magazines.”
“Ah, did you indeed? The Times, every morning, please. I will pay a month in advance.” Penelope said no more, but she glared so fiercely at the clerk, he cringed.
Next evening, Penelope attended the Sunday meeting of the All Saints Brethren, but kept to her house for the next two and a half days.
There was no news of Olive’s disappearance till the following Wednesday, when the full affair came out in a violent, front-page story, headed:
Social Favourite Robs Employer and Makes Get-away.
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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