(that’s my new pen-name – cool, eh? Of course I could have gone for JK Galbraith…)
Acknowledgements: I’d like to thank my mother, father, cats, Thorntons, fellow bloggers and most of all, Pie Corbett and his book, Write Your Own Mystery, for making this possible…
If they’d gone to the South of France, the sun would have been shining and they’d have been on the beach swimming. Instead, here they were on Mysterious Moor in the North of Scotland, shivering and huddled inside the tent while the wind howled round and the rain poured down like lashings of ginger beer. Whose idea was this Blogging Camp anyway?
Stacia had her nose buried in some Scandinavian crime novel – no doubt reading about all that snow and angst made her feel relatively warm and cheery. Jilanne wandered aimlessly round the tent peering and poking into everyone else’s book collections. Lady Fancifull was chattering under her breath to faerie folk that only she could see, her expression vacant as she gazed out at what she liked to refer to as the ‘pretty little sheepikins’. (She’d forgotten to pack her medication again.) BigSister was demonstrating against the weather, dangerously swinging a placard reading, somewhat redundantly, ‘Down With Rain’ while haranguing the others to sign her petition. Paula was dancing her happy dance, while gazing at the picture of Darcy that travelled with her everywhere.
Meantime, FictionFan played idly with her gorgeous, naturally blonde, waist length, thick, naturally curly hair, crossing one beautifully slim and perfectly shaped leg over the other equally stunning one. She sighed a perfectly modulated sigh and, in musical tones that sounded like angels’ bells ringing softly from on high, said ‘Chocolate, anyone?’
Suddenly all heads were raised, as everyone (except FF obviously) grunted greedily and snuffled their little snouts in the air. FF graciously smiled one of those smiles that gladdens the hearts of all who behold it, and reached her finely shaped hand (which was at the end of her perfectly toned, tanned arm) into the bag in which the chocolate hoard was kept.
But, horror of horrors! The bag was empty!!!
End of Chapter 1
Detective Chief Superintendent McKinberg of the Wayup North Constabulary was noted for her fine intuition, her appreciation of the finer points of a good Chardonnay, her Olympic career as a caber-tosser but, most of all, for her subtle interrogation technique. On arrival at the campsite she ordered Sergeant McProfessor to ensure that no-one entered or left without her say-so.
Sergeant McProfessor growled ferociously “Dinnae ye fret, hen. Ye ken fine an’ weel that nae’b’dy’ll be getting’ by me and Wee Boab!” DCS McKinberg nodded sagely, just as if she’d understood him. Bob the Cat growled, ferociously.
As DCS McKinberg entered the tent, she sniffed suspiciously. “What’s that smell?” she demanded.
“Since there was no chocolate and we were hungry, I cooked some red herrings,” replied BigSister.
DCS McKinberg’s eyes narrowed. “There’s something fishy about this,” she thought.
At that moment, LF floated past wearing what looked remarkably like a Laura Ashley dress from the Swinging 60s, wafting joss sticks while chanting her mantra. “Yummmmmmm!” she chanted, “Yum-Yummmmmmmmmm!”
DCS McKinberg’s eyes narrowed even further. Then she realised she could no longer see, so widened them again, startling LF quite considerably.
“Right, you lot, pay attention!” shouted the wide-eyed DCS McKinberg. “I will now subtly interrogate you one by one. BigSister, did you steal the chocolate?’”
“No, I did not. I was in the middle of organising a protest march against the rain at the time. Has this tent turned into a police state?” replied BigSister, alarmingly waving a placard that read, somewhat ironically, ‘Down with Big Brother!’
“Hmm! Jilanne, did you steal the chocolate?”
“Sadly, no. After what happened last year at Squaw Valley, they wouldn’t tell me where it was hidden, the rotters! I was searching for it in other people’s book piles at the time.”
“Hmm! Stacia, did you steal the chocolate?”
Stacia looked blankly up from her book “What chocolate? Do you mind? The fifth murder is just about to happen and the detective’s drunk again – please don’t disturb me!”
“Hmm! Paula, did you steal the chocolate?”
“Not me! Not me! I’m as innocent as a bee! I don’t need chocolate while I have Darcy!” sang Paula, happily dancing and gazing adoringly at a photo of a wet shirt.
“Hmm! Well, I certainly won’t be interrogating you, FF, because it’s clear that someone as refined, sensitive and cultured as you would never stoop so low.”
FF smiled adorably, and flicked her stunningly gorgeous hair back from her flawless, alabaster brow.
DCS McKinberg turned her basilisk eye towards the last suspect…
“LF, did you steal the chocolate?”
“Yummmmmmm! Yummmmmmmm!” chanted LF, desperately.
“Hold out your hands, LF. Sergeant McProfessor, cuff her!”
“Och, aye, hen. C’mere, ye wee sleekit, cow’ring tim’rous beastie…,” said Sergeant McProfessor, cryptically.
Everyone gasped in amazement! LF mumbled brokenly “How did you know it was mmmmmmmmmm-me?”
Bob, the specially trained Chocolate-Sniffer-Cat, leered evilly as he pulled empty chocolate wrappers from LF’s carefully colour co-ordinated handbag…
(I was going to apologise to the people I left out but, on maturer consideration, apologies to those I put in!)