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.
Chief Inspector Dobbs explained to Penelope that if he could use her assistance, he would let her know. Then he got off in a hurry.
“If I can only expiate-“
Striding away from Penelope’s house, Chief Inspector Dobbs wailed over his shoulder. “No need. Don’t get your knickers in a twist!”
Later that evening, as Penelope traipsed to the All Saints meeting, dozens of people peeked at her and murmured that it was her sister who had robbed Mr Styles. She bowed her head with the shame.
At the meeting, she took Olive’s sin on herself and prayed the police would catch Olive and that she would receive the blessed healing of punishment. Her brethren begged Penelope not to feel that she was guilty-was she not a member of the All Saints flock? In this wicked and perverse generation, God assured them alone of salvation?
On Thursday lunchtime, Saturday morning, Tuesday evening, and Friday afternoon, Penelope called on Mr Styles and Chief Inspector Dobbs. Twice Styles saw her, and her sermons infinitely bored him. The third time he sent word that he was out. The fourth time Penelope visited, he curtly explained that if she wanted to serve them, the best she could do was to stay away.
Chief Inspector Dobbs was “out” all four times.
Penelope smiled meekly and stopped trying to help them. Dust gathered on certain encyclopedias on the lower shelf of her bookcase, except for one of them, which she took out now and then. She extracted two hundred pounds a week, but even that trivial sum was more than an ascetic like Penelope needed.
By day, Penelope sometimes spent her cash at The Stables post office and convenience store. But usually, as had been her custom, she spent the money at her favourite grocery store in Chipwick when Bert gave her a lift in the evening.
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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