I was annoyed. What was new? Annoyance was my default setting since my morning swim was thwarted by a dead body. I’m sleuthing when I should be working in a shop and spending my free time reading all of Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury.
“Familiar with this knife?” Marty, the Constable, pushed a photo across the counter. We were in a knife shop, the only one for fifty miles in every direction. It was in a town called Laurel, about twenty minutes outside Heath on the Hampshire, my new home and supposed refuge from Scotland Yard.
The store clerk was old, stooped, with a bespectacled, professorial look.
“Who’d you sell it to?” I asked.
“Won’t share my customers.” He sniffed.
“It’s not privileged information and I might remind you we are talking about murder.”
The clerk sighed. “Glenda Match.”
“Glenda Match?” Marty asked with growing excitement. She was one of the people at the community pool at the time of the murder of Maureen, a not well liked veterinarian and local dominatrix.
Marty and I sped back to Heath on the Hampshire. Glenda lived near the town center next to a pound shop. Her husband, Keith, was the town mechanic. Glenda was sticking a roast in the oven when we showed up. Keith was still at the garage.
“What’s this about?” she asked.
“You own this knife?” Marty showed the picture. Glenda frowned and then went to a bureau. In the drawer were several antique or unusual looking knives. There was a vacant space.
“I guess I did own the knife. I don’t know what happened to it.”
Marty explained it was a murder weapon. Glenda’s eyes got hard and then the front door slammed.
“What’s going on Mum?” Jason, her teenage son, was standing guardedly with his backpack on.
“Missing knife,” she said.
Jason threw his backpack down. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuckers. Mum it was me.”
“Jason, be quiet.” Glenda looked panicked.
“It was me Mum.” Jason said again. He looked at me and Marty. “I killed that bitch, Maureen. I saw the things she did with my Da. I spied on them sometimes. It was disgusting. Da doesn’t deserve you Mum.”
At that moment, Keith walked in and Jason laid into him with his fists. “You ruined everything cocksucker.”
Marty pulled Jason off and cuffed him. Glenda and Keith followed the patrol car three blocks to the station. When Jason was placed in an interrogation room Marty came out.
“Your job is done,” said Marty with a sweet smile. “Thanks for your help.”
“Now I can get back to reading and basically doing nothing. Any idea when the community pool will reopen? I think it’s going to be crime free for a while if I know anything about probability, which I don’t.”
“Thanks again, Lucy Lore.” Marty grasped my hand, a little too long. I was retired from sleuthing but not necessarily romance.