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The Bluebell Informant – Chapter Four

If you’re not up to speed on The Bluebell Informant so far, the first three chapters can be found here.

Chapter Three

God is in the detail…’

It had been a cool, summer’s night – one of those evenings when you could smell the freshness of the air and feel the warmth of the setting sun’s last gasping rays long after the city had been enclosed by darkness. The apartment was clean enough as well – not what the young Detective Constable Giles had expected from her first murder scene. Every item had its place and nothing sinister seemed to grab her as she stepped in through the front door.

Nothing – that is – save for the body of the young woman lying in the middle of the room – blood from a large head wound soaking the white carpet.

Detective Inspector Bolton had been there from the very beginning – guiding her along the way. As Giles stepped into the room, he stopped what he was doing and strode straight over to her. He grasped her by the shoulder and walked her through the apartment, avoiding the body as much as possible.

‘What do you see, Eve?’

Giles’ eyes darted towards the body.

‘No, no, no,’ Bolton said, his hand reaching up and directing her face back away from the body. ‘What do you see?’

It took Giles a while to formulate an answer. She didn’t know if it was the shock of being assigned to her first murder case or the obliqueness of Bolton’s question, but she could find little response apart from a few poorly chosen, muttered words:

‘An apartment,’ she replied. ‘It’s clean. Tidy. Nothing else really…’

Bolton smiled, shaking his head. Her mentor then gestured around the apartment, pointing at almost anything and everything other than the blood-soaked body in the middle of the living room.

‘Everything,’ he whispered. ‘Anything in this room – anything than you can see, you can taste, you can touch or you can hear – any of it could be evidence. Any scrap of paper or flicker of ash, any humming from a ventilation shaft or the smell of deodorant or talcum powder could be a vital clue. But vital clues don’t lead you to your killer – hard and diligent work does that part – but they do open up the possibilities…’

He grabbed hold of Giles and gently manoeuvred her so that she was square in front of him.

‘Vital clues open vital doors,’ he said. ‘Anything can be important. But not everything is. The trick is learning how to pull the vital facts from the world of static irrelevancies around you – find the right keys to the right doors…

‘God is in the detail…’

 

Harris led Giles back towards the forensics table, his head low as he tried to ignore the quizzical stares from his colleagues. Giles knew what he was feeling right now – part of her even felt sorry for him. It was one thing for Harris to demonstrate his authority by throwing Giles off his crime scene – it was quite another for him to admit he was wrong and allow her back again. He was embarrassed and vulnerable – Giles could see it in his body language. But that couldn’t be helped. There was something more important to think about right now.

And yet, in the back of her mind, a small ounce of respect began to flourish for the skinny, little man who stopped by the evidence table. Even as she watched him stroll up to it, Giles felt a newfound fondness for the man she had pegged as a racist only a few minutes before.

A good man…

Flawed.

But good.

‘All right, Giles,’ Harris said, stopping by the collected evidence and gesturing to the bags lining the table. ‘What do you see?’

Giles felt the pang of a long forgotten memory. She didn’t look down at the evidence bags – she could remember every detail.

‘I can tell you what isn’t there that should be,’ she replied, shrugging her shoulders. ‘No wallet. No keys. No identification cards or phone. It’s almost like our John Doe walked into this field like a shadow or an idea. Almost as if he didn’t want anyone to know who he is.’

Harris’ right eye flickered.

‘But what do you see?’

Giles hesitated, her eyes swooping down to the evidence bags.

‘I see a man covered in blood,’ she replied. ‘I see the shadow of a figure stood on a platform in London Bridge, dressed ready to walk his dog in a field with a gun in his pocket. I see a dozen answers to questions we’re not asking and a hundred questions that haven’t been asked yet – and it doesn’t make sense to me…’

‘You’re expanding,’ Harris said calmly, taking a step or two closer. ‘You’re telling me what you think. I just want to know what you see.’

Giles looked for a moment longer. She shook her head, turned back towards the DI and said:

‘I don’t understand.’

Harris considered her thoughtfully. Slowly, and with expert precision, he took his right hand and plunged it in amongst the evidence bags, pulling out a small one that he held out for Giles to take.

Giles recognised it straight away and shrugged.

‘A piece of paper?’ she asked, watching Harris’ eyes closely. ‘I don’t understand.’

‘You know what this is?’

Giles glanced down at the small scrap of paper and described it.

‘A piece of torn off paper. It has a blue and white chequered pattern – it’s probably from an envelope.’

‘Do you know where it was found?’

‘On the ground nearby, I guess?’

Harris shook his head. ‘In the victim’s pocket along with the train ticket.’

Giles shrugged. ‘So, he hadn’t cleaned out his pockets for a while…’

Harris smiled. ‘Did you look at the other side?’ he asked. ‘On the front part of the envelope?’

He held out the bag even closer to Giles his eyes glimmering with an emotion that Giles couldn’t quite place. She glanced down at the translucent evidence bag and looked hard at the envelope.

No, I didn’t look.

 

Tentatively she reached out and grabbed it, holding the evidence bag up into the air and slowly turning it in her hands to reveal the other side of the scrap. It took less than a second, but to Giles it felt like a lifetime. It always seemed the discovery of every vital clue took its own time – like everything would stop so that she could fully appreciate the moment.

She felt a familiar excitement buzz through her veins. Her breathing seemed to all but stop and heart began to pound hard in her chest, threatening to break out of her ribcage and through her skin. Her eyes felt dry and her lips wet with anticipation as she looked down and saw…

‘Nothing,’ she said, curiously staring up at Harris. ‘There’s nothing on there.’

‘Precisely,’ Harris replied, his face flickering with enjoyment as he reached across for another evidence bag.

‘DI Harris, if this is some sort of game…’

‘There is nothing written on that scrap of paper,’ he continued, selecting an evidence bag and holding it close to his chest. ‘No words, no doodles – nothing. It’s just as you said – almost like our John Doe hadn’t cleaned out his pockets for a while – and yet that scrap of paper is perfectly useable, right? I mean – as a last resort – you would use it to write something brief down if you needed to, do you agree?’

Giles glanced back down at scrap. It was a little mottled and frayed around the edges, but otherwise it was still useful as a piece of paper. She turned her eyes up to the bag that Harris had wrapped tightly in his hands.

‘What’s in the other bag?’

Harris’ face beamed with contentment as he handed it over to her.

‘This is what brought you here.’

Giles looked down in her hands. The little, orange train ticket sat in the evidence bag was a little creased around the edges but otherwise in perfect condition.

‘Turn it over.’

Giles did as Harris requested, turning the ticket gently around to look at the opposite side. It took her a moment to see it – her eye was instantly drawn to the large, black magnetic strip that ran the full width – and it was only with her third or fourth glance that she noticed the unfamiliar writing hastily scrawled in the endorsements section.

A queer feeling rippled through her body – starting in her stomach and spreading quickly to her neck. Her scars began to throb beneath her silk scarf and a strong, vile taste of metal began to linger on the back of her tongue.

Her eyes narrowed on Harris.

‘He left me a message.’

Harris shrugged. ‘If you can call a name on a ticket a message. Though why he chose to ignore a fresh scrap of paper is a little curious, wouldn’t you say?’

Giles stared down at the ticket again. The writing was untidy and very small, but the words written there were unmistakeable.

Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles.

In that instant, Giles thought she understood.

‘That’s why you brought me here,’ she muttered. ‘Because he wrote my name.’

Harris nodded. ‘It looked to me like a call for help – ‘Find Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles if anything happens to me.’’

‘Now who’s expanding,’ Giles shot back, allowing herself to smile up at the DI. She turned her attention back to the writing, examining it closely. ‘So, you thought John Doe was one of my informants…’

‘We did,’ Harris replied, taking the evidence bags from her and depositing them back on the table. ‘Or at least someone who knew you personally and trusted you enough to help them if needed. Then something else happened that made the whole thing untenable.’

‘Untenable?’

Harris nodded. ‘Daniel Barker mentioned your name. ‘Find DS Giles,’ he kept saying. He seemed very adamant that you would want to speak with him.’

‘I have nothing to say to that man…’

‘Those were my thoughts the moment I set eyes on you,’ Harris continued, leading Giles away from the evidence table. ‘And that’s why you shouldn’t be here.’

Giles shook her head violently.

‘If anything that ticket is precisely the reason why I should…’

‘Technically speaking, you are now a part of this case. You could be a vital witness or – and I hope you don’t take offence – even a suspect. I shouldn’t even allow you on the crime scene…’

Giles didn’t reply. She wasn’t even listening to Harris’ muttered misgivings. Her attention was drawn to the far field where, once again, Barker was talking with a couple of the police officers holding large evidence bags.

A cigarette was dangling from his mouth and he laughed jovially as he slowly unbuttoned his shirt and placed it inside the bag. He didn’t stop to put on the new shirt the officer was holding out for him, but continued straight on to unbuckling his belt and removing his trousers.

Giles had to hand it to him – beneath the suited exterior, Barker kept reasonable good care of his body. He wasn’t exactly brimming with muscles, but he had the makings of a good six-pack and his chest was flat and broad.

He flung his trousers into the evidence bag and exchanged another joke with the police officer before taking the spare trousers and slowly pulling them up his legs. When they were nearly at his crotch, he seemed to stop and glance around his surroundings – almost as though he were checking to see who was watching. A small smile crossed his face as he caught sight of two, young female officers – who were risking a sneaky glance – before hoisting the trousers up to his waist and buttoning them up.

It was then that he made eye contact with Giles. He froze for a few seconds, staring deep into her eyes even from the distance of the next field, a strange look plastered across his face that made her back shudder uncontrollably. He took his time putting the shirt on, flexing his stomach muscles in her direction as he made the most of putting each arm into the correct sleeve.

There was something familiar about him – about the way he held himself.

Something that reminded her of…

Jason.

She turned her head away, back towards Harris. Her face flushed with embarrassment, but the DI didn’t seem to notice.

‘So,’ he said, staring around the crime scene. ‘Where do you think the bullet casing is?’

‘Sorry?’

Harris’ eyes narrowed. ‘The bullet casing? You said you knew where it was.’

‘Oh, I do,’ she replied, gesturing towards the police officer coming back towards them with two large evidence bags. ‘Can I examine his clothes?’

Harris sounded more irritated as he spoke again:

‘Giles. The bullet casing…’

‘Even if SOCO just go through them. I want to know what’s in his pockets…’

‘Fine,’ Harris growled. ‘But the bullet casing, Giles. Where is it?’

Giles turned back towards him. ‘Hmmm?’

‘The bullet casing? You can’t have a bullet without the casing so where is it?’

It took Giles a moment to understand.

‘Oh, yes,’ she said, the realisation suddenly dawning on her. ‘The bullet casing – sorry, yes, I know where it is.’

With that she span on her heels and marched off across the crime scene, gesturing for Harris to come with her. She couldn’t put her finger on what put a spring in her step but, as they approached the pillbox, Giles definitely began to feel happier – almost as though a moment of pure contentment was just around the corner.

‘You didn’t find it before because you were looking in the wrong place,’ she said animatedly. ‘But, if Barker isn’t a murderer, then it must be there somewhere. If you haven’t found it yet, there is only one place it can be.’ She flashed Harris a comforting smile. ‘It’s like you said, ‘you can’t have a bullet without its casing…’’

She came to a stop not far away from where the body lay crumpled against the pillbox. Her eyes lingered on the dead man, flickering from his clothing up to his cold, lifeless face.

You can’t have one without the other…

‘God is in the detail…’ she whispered.

‘Sorry?’

Giles turned towards Harris. Somewhere in the dark recesses of her mind, a light bulb had been switched on. A flurry of thoughts and ideas cascaded through her mind leaving her overwhelmed for a short time until the images began to mould and form an idea. An idea that she was surprised she hadn’t thought of before…

A brilliant idea…

‘The ticket,’ she said quickly.

Harris sighed despondently. ‘Giles, the casing?’

‘No, no, you don’t understand.’ She glanced down at the body at her feet. ‘The ticket – it had my name on it – a name scrawled on a part of a ticket where no one would think to look…’

‘Yes, I get that…’

‘But you don’t,’ Giles replied, before hastily adding, ‘No offence, but you don’t get it. The ticket was found in John Doe’s pocket, implying that he came down from London, right?’

Harris thought about arguing, but the excitement in Giles’ voice was somewhat infectious and he satisfied himself with collapsing against the pillbox wall, arms folded and with a look of pure surrender on his face.

‘Go on.’

‘He didn’t have a wallet. No phone. No keys. Nothing to identify him. But he does have a ticket on him – a regular, outbound part of a return ticket from London to Edenbridge. And on that ticket, he wrote my name – not on the scrap piece of paper in his pocket, but on the ticket – a valid ticket that he was using that day.’

Giles stared expectantly at Harris, her eyes dancing with excitement. In return, Harris let out a long sigh, kicked himself off the wall of the pillbox and stared around the crime scene with the suggestion of a man pushed beyond his limits. When he finally turned back to Giles, his face was heavy and grey with resignation as he slowly shook his head.

‘Do you even know where the casing is?’ he asked sombrely. ‘Or was this just a clever blind to get back on my crime scene?’

‘Hmmm?’

Harris raised an eyebrow, his eyes almost vacant as they looked her up and down. Giles’ excitement subsided and she felt an echo of resentment as she examined Harris’ face. Her excitement had gotten the better of her – the flicker of an idea had whisked her mind down a tangent and now she was faced with a look of bitter disappointment.

Always the show off, Eve…

She straightened herself upright, pulling her coat down and straightening her scarf as she attempted to regain her professional veneer. Then, with a quick nod to the building behind Harris, she said:

‘The bullet casing is in the pillbox, probably somewhere near one of the openings – get your SOCO guys in there and they’ll probably find it in two seconds flat.’ She flashed a confident – but not cocky – smile towards him. ‘There’s nowhere else it could be.’

Giles hadn’t expected any praise for her deduction, but she had at least anticipated some sort of recognition for her logic – a dropping of his jaw, a widening of his eyes, a shortness of breath. She certainly hadn’t expected the wave of exasperation that shot across his face. The stance he adopted was far more aggressive than grateful and, as he scowled down at the ground, his body resonated with exuded bitterness.

He couldn’t even hide the resentment in his voice.

‘There’s no way of getting in, Giles,’ he said. ‘You didn’t really think we hadn’t already thought of that, did you?’

Giles opened her mouth to reply but something in Harris’ posture warned her away from debating the point further. Instead she glanced down at the cold corpse on the ground and cleared her throat.

‘You’re still missing the point,’ she said abruptly. ‘John Doe bought a return ticket from London Bridge. On the ticket to Edenbridge, he wrote my name.’

‘So?’

‘So, where’s the other ticket? And more to the point…’

‘What might be written on it?’

The bitterness vanished in an instant. Harris’ face filled with colour, his eyes staring down at the dead body in wonder as his mind opened itself up to what was obvious now that Giles had pointed it out.

‘We have to find that ticket,’ he muttered, his eyes dancing back up to meet Giles’. ‘If Barker has it…’

‘I’m on it,’ Giles replied, spinning on her feet and marching off across the crime scene.

It took a good few steps before either one of them remembered that Giles wasn’t supposed to be there. It was Giles who remembered it first, but she didn’t stay her step, hoping that her input had been enough – at least for a little while. It only took Harris a few seconds longer.

‘Giles,’ he called out, waiting for her to stop and turn around. ‘I still can’t have you helping this investigation. It breaks every rule in the book.’

Giles smiled, staring absently down at the ground in search for inspiration.

‘Even the best rules have to be broken every once in a while, sir,’ she said, starting to turn around again.

‘And the casing? Was that just a bluff or did you really think you’d found it where we failed?’

Giles considered her answer carefully before replying.

‘I meant what I said,’ she said defiantly. ‘The bullet casing is in the pillbox. There is no other explanation.’

‘And I meant what I said,’ Harris shot back, taking a step closer to her. ‘The entrance is bricked up. There is no way of getting inside that pillbox.’

‘No way in?’ Giles repeated, a smile spreading cheerfully across her face. ‘So how do the homeless guys get in, I wonder?’

She didn’t wait to see his reaction.

With a new spring in her step, she turned away from him and marched over to the evidence table. As she waited patiently for the officers to start searching Barker’s clothing, she watched with interest as Harris called his sergeant and another SOCO over. He talked frantically with them for a few minutes before the SOCO reluctantly walked up to the pillbox and, with Harris and his sergeant helping to lift him up, scrambled through one of the openings and disappeared inside.

nick1Nick R B Tingley is a crime writer from the UK. After several years working as a ghostwriter, Nick released his debut novel The Bluebell Informant– the first in his DS Evelyn Giles series. He is currently working on the second in the series – The Court of Obsessions – as well as a Victorian-era mystery novella called The Butcher of Barclay’s Hollow. 

To stay up to date with Nick’s latest releases, subscribe to his newsletter now. They’ll be no spamming – I promise!

Win a Free Paperback Copy of The Bluebell Informant – Entries close in 12 hours!

A very brief one this time.

For those of you who may have missed the initial announcement, I am in the process of putting together a paperback version of The Bluebell Informant. To celebrate the end of the first week since launching The Bluebell Informant for downloads, I am offering one lucky person a paperback copy of the book.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of getting a free copy is to subscribe to my New Releases mailing list before Midnight on Friday 14th April (GMT). That is in twelve hours time!

The winning name will be drawn over the weekend and announced at some point next week.

So get subscribing! 

How do you catch a killer who is already dead?

One year ago, the Bluebell Killer killed his last victim. He was shot and killed, leaving behind a legacy of twenty corpses and a name that people will fear for years to come…

A year later, a man is shot in the back of the head and left in a field of bluebells.
Is it a mugging gone wrong? A copycat killer? Or is the Bluebell Killer still out there, waiting to pounce on his next victim?

For DS Evelyn Giles the solution is simple – it’s just another dirty politician caught committing an unforgiveable crime. But with the evidence stacking up against him, Giles’ suspect has one more surprise in store for her…
And his words will throw everything she knows into question…

‘It’s not over yet.’

The past is coming back to haunt DS Giles. She’s already sacrificed much for the lie. The only question is how much more will she suffer for the truth?

An ingeniously, gripping thriller, The Bluebell Informant is a dark, unexpected and emotionally charged debut.

Competition: The Cheating Jeweller Update

A quick update for you. The first #GilesCase – The Cheating Jeweller is will close for contest entries on Friday at midnight!

This is your chance to pit those detective loving skills of yours against Detective Sergeant Giles and see if you can crack the case before I reveal the solution next week. To enter, all you need to do is tell me who you think the murderer of John Maxwell was, and what his/her/their motive. Entries are completely free – just head here and within a few minutes your entry will be submitted to win some great crime fiction prizes.

If you haven’t caught up with the case yet, you can find all five days’ update here:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

The winning entry will be drawn at random next week and one lucky winner will win a selection of nifty prizes including:

  • A signed copy of my short story, Dressed to Deceive
  • A selection of books from some awesome crime fiction writers from my personal library
  • A special mystery prize

And – to add to that – I am also working on releasing physical copies of The Bluebell Informant in the near future, so I will chuck one of those in for good measure.

So, what are you waiting for? Enter Now!

Competition: The Cheating Jeweller – Day Five

Finally, Day Five is here – Welcome to the fifth and final daily round up for the first every Giles Case. The solution to the crime is just around the corner – the only question is: will you be able to solve the case?

As of now the competition page is now up and running right here. I will be asking two questions:

Who killed John Maxwell?

And what was the motive?

Give me those answers and you enter yourself in for a chance to win some cool crime fiction prizes.

What if you haven’t seen the tweets for the last four days? Not to worry, you can catch up everything right here:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

But, without further ado, I hand you over to Giles for the final day of this curious murder case.

The story so far:

John Maxwell has been found dead in his apartment, his head bashed in by a blunt instrument. The doors were locked and so far the evidence is pointing in a very specific direction. We have a suspect and a motive. But is it really that easy?

07.45 – Interview with Jake Bachelor.

07.46 – ‘I didn’t do it. I didn’t kill John, I swear. My wife will give me an alibi…’

07.47 – ‘She’s away on a modelling shoot in Ireland, but when she gets back she’ll tell you.’

07.48 – ‘We go out most nights. If you tell me what day he died, I’ll tell you where we were…’

07.49 – Why was the wedding ring in your study?

07.50 – ‘I don’t know. I’ve never seen that before.’

08.15 – I take the ring back to Gareth Edwards. He confirms it is the missing ring.

08.16 – ‘I will be going over to Europe for a few days for a business meeting.’

08.17 – ‘Please email me if you recover the necklace.’

08.18 – I ask him when he’s due to leave.

08.19 – ‘I’ll be flying out of Gatwick at 19.42 to Rotterdam.’

10.34 – Forensics call. They have another match for Maxwell’s fingerprint.

10.35 – Not only is it linked to a drugs bust, but it also seems to belong to another person…

10.36 – A Leslie Dowager. It looks like Maxwell was more than just a casual user.

10.37 – According to reports, Leslie Dowager is big-time crook: not only a drug baron but also an expert cat burglar…

10.38 – I begin to feel uneasy. Something about this doesn’t make sense.

10.39 – If Maxwell was secretly a big time crook, how was Jake able to get the drop on him so easily.

10.40 – Forensics also report the hammer from Jake’s apartment does not have any traces of Maxwell’s blood on it.

10.41 – I let Jake go, but tell him to stay in the country.

11.05 – I sit down with Scutter and go through the evidence.

11.06 – Maxwell was murdered by someone in his bedroom – it suggests it was someone he knew…

11.07 – A lover perhaps? Was Jake right? Was his wife having an affair with Maxwell?

11.08 – The person then locked the doors behind them, so they must have had a key…

11.09 – The sister, Lia Maxwell? But why would she want to murder her brother…?

11.10 – The suspect also knew about the jewellery, or else how would they know to look for it?

11.11 – Gareth Edwards? But why kill his business partner? And how did he get the ring into Jake’s apartment?

11.12 – Did someone else have access to both apartments? Ms Jasmine Kinkade, the landlady, for instance…?

11.15 – I think I know who did it. But there’s only one way to prove it.

15.56 – I print out a picture of my suspect and head round to see Marjory Becker.

15.57 – I ask her about Maxwell. Did he say anything to her?

15.58 – ‘No. He seemed shocked at first, but then he just nodded and chatted with me for a minute or so.’

15.59 – And this happened about three weeks ago?

16.00 – ‘That’s right, dear.’

16.01 – I show her a picture of my suspect.

16.02 – ‘That’s right. That’s him. Isn’t he handsome?’

16.03 – I now know who killed John Maxwell. I just need the proof.

End of Day Five

So, there you have it. That’s all for this investigation.

Do you know who killed John Maxwell? Do you know why they did it?

Remember to submit your solution here for a chance to win some cool crime fiction goodies.

The competition will be open for entries to be submitted until Midnight (GMT) on Friday 14th April . After that, the correct answers will be entered into the prize draw and the winner will be announced shortly after through Giles’ Twitter account.

Remember, entry is absolutely free so you have nothing to lose.

Good luck, good hunting. See you on the other side.

Competition: The Cheating Jeweller – Day Four

Welcome to the third daily round up of the first Giles Case –  and the case is really beginning to hot up now.

If you haven’t caught up on the evidence from the previous three days, you can find them through the following links:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Remember, if you solve the crime and submit your entry you will be in with a chance to win some cool crime fiction goodies.

Best of luck and remember to keep track of all that evidence. It might be crucial.

The story so far:

John Maxwell has been found dead in his apartment, his head bashed in by a blunt instrument. The doors were locked and no one seemed to notice that he was even missing, but everyone seems to think he was suspicious of one person in particular…

Over to you, Giles.

08.47 – Gareth Edwards, Maxwell’s business partner, seems as surprised as I am.

08.48 – ‘I don’t understand. He took some items to the bank, I swear it.’

08.49 – ‘A rare diamond and gold necklace and jewel encrusted wedding ring.’

08.50 – I advise him to make an insurance claim…

08.51 – ‘They won’t accept it if the jewels never made it to the bank. Not unless we can prove they were stolen.’

08.52 – Maybe Maxwell was keeping the jewels at home for safe keeping. Robbery may be the motive.

10.20 – I obtain a warrant to search Jake Batchelor’s apartment. He isn’t happy about it.

10.21 – ‘I had nothing to do with John’s murder, you have to believe me.’

10.22 – ‘You want to speak to that Kinkade woman. She’s who’s to blame for all this.’

10.23 – ‘When John received his eviction notice through the post, he flipped.’

10.24 – ‘He kept saying he was going to confront her, but she kept hiding from him.’

10.25 – I tell him that others have been reporting that he and Maxwell had been heard arguing.

10.26 – ‘Well, yeah, once or twice. But who doesn’t argue, right? Doesn’t mean I killed him.’

10.32 – In Jake’s study we find a wedding ring hidden down the back of his desk.

10.33 – It looks like the ring described by Gareth Edwards.

10.34 – On some of the walls, there are small drill holes that break right through to Maxwell’s apartment.

10.35 – ‘I thought my wife was having an affair with him. I just wanted to be sure it wasn’t true.’

10.36 -‘I used to play loud music to cover that I was doing it, but John realised what I was doing.’

10.37 – ‘He confronted me a few months back. I stopped doing it after that.’

10.38 – We also find a hammer and a hand drill in a cupboard under the kitchen sink.

10.39 – I take it to forensics for testing.

10.40 – Before I leave, I check the wife’s jewellery box.

10.41 – There isn’t anything of value in there…

10.42 – But there are several pictures of her wearing expensive looking jewellery.

10.43 – I ask Jake what she does for a living.

10.44 – ‘She’s a model. Nothing smutty, just high-end commercial stuff.’

10.45 – I arrest Jake for the murder of John Maxwell.

End of Day Four

That’s all for today. Remember, if you want to keep up with the entries as they come in, you can always follow DS Giles on Twitter here, or follow the hashtag #GilesCase to keep up to date.

Think you know who did it yet?

Competition: The Cheating Jeweller – Day Three

Welcome to the third of five daily roundups for the first DS Giles Case, ‘The Lamentable Jeweller’ – a chance for you the readers to solve a crime fiction case written by myself for delivery through Twitter.

Solve the crime and be in with a chance to win some cool crime fiction prizes. No entry fee – just your logic is required.

If you missed what happened in the first two days, don’t worry because you can find Day One here and Day Two here.

The story so far.

John Maxwell has been found dead in his apartment, his head bashed in by a blunt instrument. The doors were locked and no one seemed to notice that he was even missing…

We take up the third day from DS Giles herself…

11.00 – Forensics called. Two of the unidentified fingerprints belong to Jake and Molly Batchelor.

11.01 – Two are still unidentified. But one certainly belongs to Maxwell. No match possible due to decomposition.

11.02 – Curiously, the set we think belong to Maxwell have matched those recovered from a drug’s bust a year ago.

11.03 – Looks like the sister was right. He was in to his drugs…

11.22 – I pay a visit to Maxwell’s landlady, Jasmine Kinkade.

11.23 – I ask if there were ever any problems between Maxwell and the neighbours, Jake and Molly.

11.24 – ‘Not that John reported. But then again he kept himself to himself a lot of the time.’

11.25 – What does she mean, ‘That John reported’?

11.26 – ‘Well, they never bothered John. But other people complained about them.’

11.27 – ‘A few months ago, I had to give an official warning letter.’

11.28 – ‘Jake kept playing loud music at all hours of the night.’

11.29 – ‘The neighbour on the other side thought it was so loud that it felt like they were drilling through the wall.’

11.30 – Did this stop after the letter?

11.31 – ‘As far as I know. I didn’t received any more complaints after that.’

11.32 – What’s the name of the other neighbour.

11.33 – ‘Marjory Becker. She’s a sweet, old lady. But a bit too nosy for her own good.’

11.34 – I decide to pay her a call.

12.08 – Marjory Becker makes me a nice pot of tea. I hate tea. But I drink it anyway.

12.09 – ‘Mr Maxwell was such a nice, young man. I saw him occasional but only talked to him once. He was nice to me.’

12.10 – When was this?

12.11 – ‘About three weeks ago. He was leaving his flat and walking into town.’

12.12 – Must have been not long before he was killed…

12.13 – How did he seem?

12.14 – ‘He was alright. He looked a bit flustered but other than that…’

12.15 – Did you ever know of Maxwell having problems with Jake Batchelor?

12.16 – ‘I thought I heard them arguing once – quite a while ago now…’

12.17 – ‘It sounded like John was accusing Jake of spying on him.’

12.18 – ‘I don’t put it past Jake – his eyes are too shifty…’

12.32 – I get a call from Scutter. The judge has granted the warrant to retrieve the deposit box at the bank.

13.15 – Ms Lindsay takes me down to the vault and retrieves the deposit box.

13.16 – ‘It’s funny. I don’t remember seeing Mr Maxwell for a long time.’

13.17 – How long?

13.18 – ‘It must’ve been at least three or four months now.’

13.19 – We open the box…

13.20 – It’s empty.

End of Day Three

That’s all for today. Remember, if you want to keep up with the entries as they come in, you can always follow DS Giles on Twitter here, or follow the hashtag #GilesCase to keep up to date.

Think you know who did it yet?

Competition: The Cheating Jeweller – Day Two

Welcome to the second daily round up of the first DS Giles Case – a chance for you the readers to solve a crime fiction case written by myself for delivery through Twitter.

For five days, the Twitter account of DS Evelyn Giles will be tweeting her progress through the case, detailing the evidence as she finds it. On the last day, there will be a chance for you to submit your solution to the crime – every correct solution gets entered for a chance to win some great crime fiction goodies.

If you missed what happened in Day One, don’t panic because you can check out yesterday’s daily round up right here. Remember to keep your eyes peeled. Any evidence could be vital!

10.04 – Forensics comes back on the wound to Maxwell’s head – ‘Injury caused by a blunt instrument, possibly a hammer.’

10.05 – Several prints were recovered from the bedroom where he was found belonging to five individuals.

10.06 – One set belong to Maxwell; one to Jasmine Kinkade; the others are not yet identified.

10.07 – Blood splatters on the wall indicate Maxwell was facing the door when he was hit. The killer was inside the bedroom.

10.45 – Maxwell’s sister, Lia, has come to the station to identify his body.

10.47 – Interview with Lia Maxwell:

10.48 – ‘John was a good man. He was a hard worker and a dedicated husband to his wife…’

10.49 – ‘That is until he started taking drugs.’

10.50 – ‘It started off with marijuana. But he soon started getting hooked on cocaine. His marriage broke down as a result.’

10.51 – ‘His drug abuse became public gossip. He started to lose clients over it.

10.52 – ‘I don’t know who let it slip, but John wasn’t happy about it. He said he’d kill whoever it was.’

10.53 – ‘I haven’t spoken to John in a good couple of months because he was getting paranoid.’

10.54 – ‘He was convinced his neighbour was spying on him…’

12.05 – I visit Maxwell’s jewellery store. The co-owner, Gareth Edwards, is more than happy to show me the accounts.

12.06 – It’s strange. The store has been selling more stock in the last year, but the accounts look very weak.

12.10 – Interview with Mr Edwards:

12.11 – ‘John was always paranoid. He was always convinced that someone was going to steal the stock.’

12.12 – ‘He wouldn’t leave any of the priceless pieces in the safe if he could help it.’

12.13 – ‘He would always make sure they were taken to the bank before closing time for safe keeping.’

14.16 – Visit to the bank where the jewellery store keep a deposit box.

14.17 – The manager, Ms Sarah Lindsay, won’t allow me access to the box without written approval.

14.18 – I’m going to need a warrant.

End of Day Two

That’s all for today. Remember, if you want to keep up with the entries as they come in, you can always follow DS Giles on Twitter here, or follow the hashtag #GilesCase to keep up to date.

Think you know who did it yet?