A Coffin For Charley
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In the wake of a series of killings, Inspector John Coffin becomes seriously worried when someone begins stalking his wife and is challenged to connect the present-day incidents to a twenty-year-old murder. Reprint. K. AB. PW.
matter as calling Lizzie immoral or amoral or evil. She just didn’t belong to the human race, that was how Eddie felt. And he had the same blood in him. Oh, Didi, Didi, if you and I could have made a match of it, perhaps we could have healed … But no, some wounds were past healing. ‘Shut up,’ he said savagely and was glad to see her flinch. Prison had taught her something, anyway. She was glad to be home. ‘The old place hasn’t changed,’ she said looking around. And this was true of the family
thought. Stella sat down on the big yellow sofa which had been her contribution to his furnishings. ‘Come on then, get the questions in and get it over.’ ‘First, when were you close enough to the fellow to get any personal …’ He hesitated, fumbling for the words. ‘To get any sensation about him.’ ‘When did I smell him, you mean?’ said Stella bleakly. ‘All right, yes. When was he close enough for you to get a whiff of him?’ Stella let her gaze go distant. ‘Only once. Near St Luke’s. Near the
murder? ‘I don’t suppose she thinks Marianna was murdered instead of her.’ ‘She did live two streets away.’ Marianna had a tiny flat in the Alexandra Wharf block, and Napier Street, where Annie Briggs lived was only a few yards away. ‘They didn’t know each other. Not as far as we know.’ ‘I bet she hopes that if the Creeley boy did it we get him for it fast.’ ‘Doesn’t look like a Creeley crime, they were strictly business as far as we know, and there was no profit in Marianna. Straight sex
That came the day following and said I was to take a hundred thousand in cash and go to Birmingham, book at this hotel and wait. That was when I sent the message to you, I knew you and Stella would be anxious. I suppose I knew you would try to trace me.’ ‘Underneath you wanted me to, didn’t you? You shouldn’t have tried to manage this on your own, it was stupid.’ ‘There were the usual threats about what would happen if I got in touch with the police,’ Letty muttered. ‘I couldn’t risk it.’ ‘And
dialling, like not eating a cream bun when your mouth is watering. He was her luxury. But she did ring. ‘I shouldn’t worry,’ he said, sounding uninterested, ‘it can’t be lost. It’ll turn up.’ ‘I don’t know where.’ ‘Want me to come and look?’ ‘No.’ Another day perhaps. You had to stagger luxuries, take little bites. ‘Let me know if it turns up.’ ‘She wrote everything in it.’ ‘Did she? Dangerous girl.’ Annie was silent. Cream buns were not meant to bite back, cream buns were for comfort.