Murder in the Village: A Lady Margaret Turnbull Cozy Mystery Book (International Cozy Mysteries 2) (3 page)

BOOK: Murder in the Village: A Lady Margaret Turnbull Cozy Mystery Book (International Cozy Mysteries 2)
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About The Author

C T Mitchell was born in Cairns but now lives in Brisbane
Australia. He trained as an accountant and put his knowledge firstly into being
a share broker during the mining boom of the roaring 1980’s before venturing
off to the grey side of real estate sales. For a brief four year stretch he
slipped into the dark side of car sales before seeing the light and returning
to real estate and finance.

He writes the Cabarita Crimes series books featuring
Australian Detective Jack Creed – a detective from the school of hard knocks
where protocol is not a priority in his ‘get the crime solved at any cost’ demeanor.
The first short story in the series, REJECTION, sees Jack Creed up against a
sick, demented Nicholas Weatherby who plans to carry out Australia’s first mass
University shooting. Rejection, like other novellas in the series, have been
best sellers in their categories on Amazon, particularly in the US, UK and
Australia. “Murder on the Beach” – #1 Amazon UK #1 Amazon US.

The Lady Margaret Turnbull Cozy Mysteries is another series
featuring the amateur sleuth Lady Margaret Turnbull whose uncanny knack of
solving crimes is the envy of the local police Detective Tom Sullivan.

C T lives with his wife and four nearby adult children;
splitting their time between Brisbane and Cabarita Beach, NSW, Australia.

Find out about C T’s latest books and how you can get them
at low prices by joining his newsletter at:

 

http://www.CTMitchell.com

 

And don’t forget
to connect on:

 

http://www.twitter.com/ctmitchellbooks

http://www.facebook.com/ctmitchellauthor

 

More Books by
C T Mitchell

 

Detective
Jack Creed

 

Rejection

Shattered

The Secret of Barnesdale Manor

Murder on the Beach

Detective Jack Creed Box Set

High Stakes

 

Lady Margaret
Turnbull Cozy Mysteries

Murder at the Fete

Excerpt from Murder at the Fete

It was nearly lunchtime when the winner of the sponge cake
was declared, and it was well-deserved.  Mrs. Davies would take home first
prize and the five hundred dollars and, much to the dismay of Mrs. Grant and
Maggie, Mrs. Neddles took the honor of best scones.  Apparently they were
“smoother to the palate” than Mrs. Grant’s, which Maggie highly disagreed
with. 

As for the fruit tarts, Melissa Shepherd had actually
entered and won in that category.  The look on Constable Greenaway’s face when
she was announced the winner was the only consolation Maggie had after Mrs.
Grant scones were snubbed.  The boy looked positively in love.

****

As he had taken to doing every year, Simon walked Maggie to
the restaurant tent to have lunch with her.  It was Maggie’s favorite part of
the day, because she could catch up on the gossip from Simon’s small town,
which wasn’t too far away.  She filed this information away systematically, to
be retrieved later if needed. 

Usually, the two of them would have hamburgers and chips,
but today Maggie caught her nephew drooling over the Bangalow pork belly with
plum sauce, so she suggested they each get a plate of that instead.  Between
that, the roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli and tea, the two of them were
perched happily under the tent for the better part of an hour.  For dessert,
they each had a slice of fruit tart from Melissa’s award winning tray. Maggie
knew she would have to do a few extra laps of her ten acre property tomorrow to
wear off the extra calories she devoured today.

As Maggie was scooping the sauce from her last bite of pie,
there was a commotion near the back of the tent.  Someone was choking, and
apparently no one knew what to do anything besides sit and stare.  That is,
until Mrs. Davies stood up and knocked her chair over, causing Jane Neddles to
scream at the sight of her friend writhing on the ground for breath.  At that
point, people started clamoring around her, unsure what to do.

“Someone find Detective Sullivan!!  Or a doctor!” Jane
screamed, trying to pry Mrs. Davies hands from her face so she could help. 
Soon, though, the woman stopped thrashing, and relaxed her hands, then relaxed
her whole body into Jane’s arms.

“Oh my God!” Jane cradled her friend, pushing the hair back
on the top of her head as if she were petting a cat.  “No no no…..”

“How can that be?”  Mrs. Grant whispered as Maggie trotted
up behind the crowd.

****

Tom Sullivan rushed through the front of the tent.  He’d
been visiting the fete with his family, just like everyone else, but was happy
to help.  Frantically, he searched for the choking victim.  All he’d been told
was to get to the food tent immediately because someone was choking.  Pushing
through the crowd, he knelt down next to Jane and lovingly helped her stand up
and passed her off to a nearby onlooker.

“You there!”  He pointed to an older woman who looked as
though she could speak well enough.  “Which table was she at?”

The old woman pointed to her right with a shaky hand.

Tom spoke loud enough for the entire tent to hear. “No one
touches that table, you understand?  Don’t even pick up your purse.  Leave it
there; I don’t care if it’s inconvenient.  Don’t touch it.”  There were a few
grumbles, but everyone stayed away from it.

Constable Greenaway trotted into the tent, and Tom gave him
some sort of signal to manage the crowd, which he did. 

“Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen,” he said only loud enough
to be heard.  “You heard the man. Stay back.”

Tom opened his mobile phone and dialed the only funeral
parlor driver in town. Carmichael’s Funerals had been a part of Bangalow since
1949, a family run business now in its third generation.  Since the town was
small, it didn’t have its own autopsy facility or morgue, so Mrs. Davies would
have to be transported to Lismore, some thirty kilometers away, for evaluation.
Tom was pretty certain he was dealing with an elderly woman that had choked on
her food but needed to be sure. 

It was very sad, but hardly the reason to make people wait
any longer than they had to.  He would take some snapshots and get a few
statements and let everyone get back to the event if that’s what they wanted. 
The crowd was already growing restless.

****

It wasn’t twenty seconds before Tom’s eye was twitching. 
The body had only been gone a few minutes, and already he saw Maggie set into
motion.  The woman was a dear soul, but nothing irked him more than having her
know things first. Tom didn’t want to be shown up again by Lady Margaret
Turnbull, Bangalow’s would be amateur sleuth, over a highly trained, academy
graduated detective.

“Stay here if you want, dear.  I’m going to talk to Mrs.
Grant.  That woman’s up to something.”  Maggie patted her nephew on the
shoulder and rushed away, but not before the Detective Inspector grabbed her
gently by the forearm.

“Leave it alone, Maggie.  It’s nothing.”

“It’s Lady Margaret Turnbull to you, Detective.  And I’m
just going to talk to someone.  It’s nothing.”  She winked at him and hurried
away. Detective Sullivan sighed in frustration knowing that anything involving
Lady Maggie wasn’t just about nothing. She was acting on one of her hunches again
and they are usually right, much to the displeasure of the Detective.

“Aunt Maggie!”  It was Simon, trotting toward her, looking
as though he was saddling up to say something brave.  “Don’t go,” he suggested,
taking her by the hand.  “I know you like to help the police, but can’t you
just sit this one out?”  Simon knew his aunt had a reputation for getting
caught up in police matters, and it didn’t matter if she figured things out
first or not, she was still a bit of a nuisance to the police force.

Maggie kissed him on the nose and walked briskly to the
other side of the food tent, sliding in and out of mini crowds that had formed
and making her way through them easily.  She was in pretty good shape for being
in her fifties; he had to hand it to her.  Simon watched her briskly stride out
from under the tent; she really was cut out for her favorite hobby.

Mrs. Grant was startled when Maggie sat forcefully into the
chair next to her.  “Hey there!” Maggie said loudly, patting the woman on the
leg.  I heard what you said back there, why was that?  What made you say “This
can’t be?”

The color drained from Mrs. Grant’s round face.  “I have no
idea…did I say that?  Probably something I mumbled from shock.”

Maggie didn’t buy it.  There was still plenty of time left
in the day to have a cup of tea with the woman and sort things out, so she
suggested just that, recommending a little trip home to Mrs. Grant’s house to
help her deal with her shock.  Surprisingly, Mrs. Grant agreed, and the two
women walked arm in arm right past Tom Sullivan on their way to the parking
lot. 

He stood up and looked at them, eyeing his nemesis as though
it would change the fact that she was taking a witness home with her.  If he
tried to stop her, she would only cause enough of a fuss to delay his entire
day, so he let her go and returned to questioning witnesses at the table
closest to the crime scene.  It didn’t seem to be going well; all the people at
the table could say was how shocked they were that anyone would want to kill Mrs.
Davies.

 

To read all of
Murder
at the Fete
, please go to:

 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

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