The Pearly Knife – Part II [A Lucy Lore Mystery] – (Story by R.C. Peris)

It was strange. A small town in rural England and no one liked the veterinarian. In the morning, before I took my morning swim in the community pool, Maureen, the veterinarian in Heath on the Hampshire, was found dead in the pool with a pearly knife sticking from her chest. The constable made me an honorary constable. I was a refugee from Scotland Yard in London. Sleuthing had been my life until I moved to Heath on the Hampshire. All the witnesses were scuttled into the room with ping pong tables. Most were wearing bathing suits with towels wrapped around them. I found a legal tablet from the front office of the community center and a pen and began questioning people with the perpetually surprised looking constable with me. No one had seen Maureen Markham, the veterinarian, in the locker room or elsewhere. Maureen, many told me, was grumpy and often recommended euthanizing pets.

“She wanted me to kill Socks,” said Carol Blythe. “Can you believe that? All Socks had was a cold and she’s quite fine now.”

“Oh, she wanted me to kill my hamster,” said Luis Black. “My hamster is old and quite alive. Blind but he can still sense and grasp peanuts. Maureen was out of her mind.”

Maureen was not loved by the community. She wanted to keep animals or pets without proper treatment. Could someone have stuck a pearly knife into her chest because she wasn’t kind to pets?
The coroner arrived. He was was from three towns over. The body was pulled out of the pool. I photographed the knife in her chest with my cell phone. The knife was unusual. Ornate, old, and sharp. It was a unique knife for a unique crime.

The constable and I finished interviewing and watched as the body was carried away.

“What do you think?” asked the Constable.

“She wasn’t popular,” I said. “I honestly never heard of her until today.”

“You don’t have pets,” said the Constable.

“Did she really recommend death to so many pets?”

“Yeah. That she did.”

“I suppose that meant she had enemies.”

“We need to look at her records,” said the constable.

“Maybe. But I think we can limit our scope to who was here. Also, we need to look into her life. Any jealous lovers? Any overt enemies?”

“I’ll get a list of who checked into the community center. Meanwhile, we should question people who knew her.”

“I agree. Let’s get to it. Crime can’t wait. Every second is an hour and every hour is a day. Crime gets solved fast. If not it becomes a cold case.”

“I’ll follow your lead,” said the constable. “You’re from Scotland Yard. You know all about murder.”

I sighed. Yes, I did. And I had escaped to Heath on the Hampshire to avoid murder. Now I was an honorary constable finding out who murdered the local veterinarian.

Part I – Lucy Lore Mystery

Other Stories by R.C. Peris:
The Lovely Savage
When a Child Disappears

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