Poisoned Blue (Jamie Stanley Crime Scene Investigation Series Book 1)

BOOK: Poisoned Blue (Jamie Stanley Crime Scene Investigation Series Book 1)
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Poisoned Blue

 

Also by Katie L
Thompson

 

The Snowdon Sister
Series:

Daisy (Book One)

 

 

Dying to Live

 

Baggage

 

Sally’s Christmas
Cupid

 

Glass Half Full

 

Jamie Stanley Crime Scene

Investigation Series:

 

Poisoned Blue

 

By

 

Katie L Thompson

 

Text copyright © 2014
Katie L Thompson

All Rights Reserved

 

All characters are
fictitious and bear no resemblance to actual persons, alive or dead.

 

© 2014 Cover design
and tree image by Katie L Thompson

‘Blood on White Wall’
image courtesy of: mack2happy/freedigitalphotos.net

 

Prologue

 

 

She flinched the minute she heard
the song erupting from her mobile, on the coffee table beside her. Although she
was expecting the call the noise still made her nervous.

“Greg,” she
answered.

“Sara.”

It was no
hidden fact that they didn’t get on.

“Let’s get
this over with quickly. On your doorstep in fifteen minutes.”

He’d hung up
before she had a chance to reply.

She dreaded
his phone calls, they made her feel guilty. She knew what she was doing was
wrong, but it had been so long that she didn’t know a way out of it anymore.
There was no way out.

Sara hovered
around the house, moving things from one place to another – convincing herself
that she was tidying up although the house was already in tip-top condition –
anything to keep herself busy.

Although the
ringing had stopped, the song still remained in her ears. The ringtone
dedicated to Greg was different from everyone else. She’d changed it so that
without looking at the caller ID, she’d know who it was. Not that he was saved
in her phone as ‘Greg’. She’d hidden his number under the name ‘Rubbish Chinese
Takeaway’.

Sara shivered.
Greg always called when he was fifteen minutes away. They were the longest
fifteen minutes of her life.

She checked she
had money in her purse although she’d already checked at least five times that
day. A wad of twenty pound notes, fresh out of the cash machine the day before,
filled the back section. Even without looking inside, she knew the money was
there from the bulge it created. She was prepared, or as prepared as she ever
could be.

The doorbell
rang. Sara took in a large breath, letting it out as she reached the front
door. The metal of the door handle was cold against her sweaty palm. Her heart
beat quickened. She took in one more breath and let it go.

 

Chapter One

 

 

Jamie pulled her straight copper
hair into a high ponytail. Looking at her reflection in a window pane, she
tugged the hair band out again. She shook her head and ran her fingers through
her hair to neaten it up.

“That’s not
right,” Jamie said, taking the hair band back off her wrist. She was about to
attempt another ponytail but had a sudden change of mind and shoved the band
into her bag. Next she tried sweeping her hair all onto one side but that
didn’t work either.

“Just stop
it,” she said to her reflection. She shook her head so that her hair fell back
into its natural position. “It’ll be fine.”

Today was
Jamie’s first day at her new job. She’d flown to England, leaving her family
back in Canada, to take over the role of Detective Inspector at a small police
station in the middle of the British countryside.

“Open the
door,” she instructed herself. She obeyed. “Good, good. Oh … hello.”

Two men stared
at her from the far side of the room. Neither of them spoke as they took in her
appearance.

She brushed
her hands on her thighs, feeling self-conscious – maybe it wasn’t her best idea
to wear bright purple skinny jeans when she was trying to blend into the
background. Fed up with the scrutiny, she folded her arms across her chest.

“Can we help
you?” the older man asked. He had shaggy brown hair and sat with his glasses
perched on top of his head.

“I’m Detective
Inspector Jamie Stanley,” she said, sounding as though she was unsure of what
she was saying. She offered her hand to the man who stared at it as if he’d
never seen someone’s hand before.

“Detective Sergeant
Daniel Brookes,” he said eventually, taking her hand. “And he’s PC Carlton
Green,” he added as an afterthought.

Until that
point Jamie had been focusing all of her attention on Danny. Now she turned to
face Carl.

“We were
expecting a dude,” Carl said. Carl also had brown hair. It was darker than
Danny’s and it was cropped close to his head – much smarter.

“Oh, alright.”
Jamie was lost for words, what was she supposed to say to that? ‘Sorry I’m not
a ‘dude’, I’m a female?’

“Give her a
chance, Carl,” Danny said. He took his glasses off his head and ran his fingers
through his hair – it definitely needed cutting.

Before any of
them could say anything else the phone rang, and Danny stretched to answer it.

“Alright miss,
please calm down … Uh … Yes, ok … I see … We’ll be right there.”

Danny hung up
the phone and grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair. “There’s been a
murder on the street next to the new housing estate.” He spoke as they headed
for the car.

Jamie felt
excitement shoot through her. This was her first case as Detective Inspector at
her new job. For the first time that day, she felt confident.

Carl climbed
into the driver’s seat and climbed over the handbrake.

“What are you
doing?” Jamie asked, hesitating as Danny hurried her into the car.

“The only way
to fit into the space is to park right up against the wall,” Danny explained.

“Is this the
only place you can park?” Jamie’s eyebrows knitted together.

“Yes, unless
you want a half mile trek to the station.” Danny climbed into the driver’s
seat, ending the conversation.

Jamie sat in
the back, staring at the rear of Danny’s seat. What had she let herself in for?
A place so small they couldn’t allow the police station to have a decent car
parking space, let alone a whole car park.

“What do we
know so far?” Carl asked as the car lurched forward.

“Not a lot.
Just that a cleaner let herself into her client’s house and found her employer
lying dead on the floor.”

Carl nodded
and scribbled in his notebook.

“Apparently the
husband’s been on a business trip all weekend, so she could have been there for
a couple of days, since the cleaner only works on weekdays.”

“So, I’m
assuming the cleaner has her own key.” Carl turned to his notebook again. “Does
anyone have a pencil sharpener or a spare pencil?”

Danny rolled
his eyes.

“Here,” Jamie
produced a pencil from the little pocket at the front of her shirt.

 

Danny pulled the car up in front
of a two story, white brick house. The street of almost identical houses had
been the most expensive place to live in the area until they’d built the new
estate behind it. Although the houses were near enough identical, this one
stood out from the others – and not in a good way. The front garden looked as
though it had been used as a rubbish heap, and in the spaces around the rubbish
the grass was at least a foot high. All of the other houses had neatly mown
gardens with flower beds bordering their perimeters – most of the occupants
hired a full time professional gardener.

A lady dressed
in white was standing beside the front door, she walked towards them as they
got out of the car. She had greying hair and must have been in her late
fifties/early sixties. Jamie assumed that this was the lady Danny had spoken to
on the phone.

“I got here at
half past eight. I knew something wasn’t right because the car was in the
drive, and she’s usually at work by the time I get here.”

“And, what
were you doing at the house?” Danny asked.

“I work here.
I clean on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while the Longacres are at work. The
wife used to do the cleaning, but she recently got promoted and so doesn’t have
as much spare time as she used to, that’s why they hired me.”

“And what’s
the wife’s name?”

“Sara Longacre.”
Her feet were constantly moving while she spoke, and her eyes flickered between
them and the house.

“Is that her
full name?”

“I don’t
know.” She bit her lip.

“How old is
she?”

“I don’t know.
Oh, I’m really not any help at all, am I?” Her bottom lip quivered.

“Carl, take a
full statement from Miss … um.”

“Dewater, but
call me Marion.”

“Of course, Marion. Jamie, stay with me.”

“And, see if
you can get a number for the husband, we need to inform him as soon as
possible,” Jamie added before following Danny.

Marion’s pale skin was almost the same colour as the clothes she was wearing.

“She’s behind
the door,” she called after them as they went into the house. She turned to
face Carl. “As I said the husband’s been away all weekend, so I don’t know how
long she’s been lying there. I barely know the couple. I’ve only been working
for them for a couple of months. The husband’s started spending more time away
from home on business and with the wife’s promotion they needed someone to help
out around the house. From what I could see they seemed like a happy couple,
been married about a year.”

Carl jotted
some bits down in his notebook, although she really wasn’t telling them
anything that they didn’t already know.

“I’ve never
seen a dead body before.” She looked as though she was about to cry.

“Not many
people have. It must have been a shock.” Carl tried to put on a soothing voice,
but it was hard. He never knew how to react in front of emotional people. He
was more interested in finding out information that could help them solve the
case. Danny was better at dealing with people – living people anyway.

 

Jamie looked at the body that was
lying face up on the floor. The lady’s lips were white and swollen, tinged with
blue. All signs pointed towards poisoning. “So the murderer must have known
she’d be alone all weekend and let themselves into the house, that or she let
them in. Then, when she had her back turned, they slipped something into her
drink.” Jamie looked uncertain.

“And, I’m
assuming this is the glass they put it in.” Danny pulled a pair of gloves over
his hands and plopped an empty glass into a plastic zip-up bag.

“So let’s see
what we’ve got.”

“A lady, home
alone all weekend, most likely to have been poisoned. We know that the husband
has been away on a business trip all weekend, the backdoor is bolted from the
inside, so there doesn’t seem to be any way into the house other than the front
door, which means that either the murderer had a key, or Sara let them in.” He
handed the bag to Jamie.

Jamie flipped
the glass in the bag over in her hands. There was a small amount of orange
fluid in the bottom of it – most likely orange squash. She said nothing.

Danny walked
over to the coffee table and, using a different pair of gloves, picked up a mobile
and dropped it into another zip-up bag.

“Is that her
phone?” Jamie stopped what she was doing to look at Danny.

“I’m assuming
so.”

“Check it and
see.”

“Can’t that
wait till we get back to the station?”

“No. Check it
now.”

Danny sighed.
This new woman was going to be a lot of work. He missed DI Bode and his laid
back nature.

“The
background’s of a man at the beach. The same man that’s in all of the
photographs in this room. I assume it’s the husband, so I assume this must be
Sara’s phone.”

“I don’t like
how many times you used the word assume in those sentences. This is a murder
investigation, we can’t assume anything.”

Danny rolled
his eyes at the wall.

“Continue photographing
the scene,” Jamie instructed. She turned her back on Danny to assess the rest
of the room. Before he’d picked up the mobile she’d noticed that it had been
placed exactly square to the edge of the table. Now she looked around it seemed
that most things were in the same kind of order. All the books on the bookshelf
had been brought forward so that they were in a line, about a centimetre away
from the front of the shelf. Did the people in this family have Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder, or was there another reason?

“What are you
looking at?” Danny had the camera strap around his neck.

“These books.
Why are they all in a straight line?”

“Because the
people who live here like everything to be neat and tidy. Look at the cushions
on the sofa.”

Jamie looked
at the sofa. There were four cushions spread equal distances apart, each of
them had been plumped up and placed diagonally, so they looked like diamonds.
“It doesn’t look like anyone lives here.”

Danny turned
his attention back to the camera. “What does it matter anyway?”

She shrugged.
It probably didn’t mean anything, but it bothered her. “I’m going to go outside,
see if Carl’s got any more information.”

“I’ll just
finish up in here, then I’ll join you.” Danny started taking more shots of the
body, some of his previous shots weren’t as clear as he wanted them to be.

Outside Carl
leaned against a wall listening to the lady repeat herself time and time again.
“Is there anything else we should know?”

“Not that I
can think of. As I said, I didn’t really know them. I just come here to clean
three times a week. Everything seemed fine when I left on Friday.”

“Well, if you
think of anything else give me a call.” Carl handed her a card.

He was
relieved to see Jamie. Hopefully they would be leaving soon.

Danny came
outside a few minutes after Jamie. “There’s been a burglary at the McDougal’s. The
guys from the morgue will be here to take the body away in a few minutes, but
we better go.” He turned to Marion. “We’ll let you know as soon as we know
anything. Don’t worry, everything will be okay.”

BOOK: Poisoned Blue (Jamie Stanley Crime Scene Investigation Series Book 1)
9.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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