Diana Febry – Bells On Her Toes
This week I’m happy to host my fellow Wings ePress author, Diana Febry
Diana is married with two (almost grown-up) children and she lives in the UK. As well as writing, she’s an active member of a drama group and a competitive horse rider. She’s lucky enough to stable her horses on the Duke Of Beaufort’s estate, and her stories are loosely based there.
Bells On her Toes
Investigate with DCI Peter Hatherall as animal rights and environmental activists heat up the scene around the Earl of Ditchburn’s country estate. Peter finds himself in a race of his own at the Elmsgrove Racehorse Yard as murder and mayhem run rampant. But be careful who you bet on, as although the clues are there, my aim is to mislead you until the last page.
Here is an excerpt:
Jolted from her reverie, Gladys withdrew from the window when the golf buggy came into sight. She called to Bert to come in for lunch and headed to the kitchen. The kitchen was like everything at Elmsgrove…over-sized, expensively decorated with solid wood furniture and plastered with horse images. Gladys placed the plates on the heavy oak table as the three men, her boys, scraped their chairs along the stone floor. It was like clockwork, every day of every year. Gladys was sure…if she ran away, her absence would register only after they looked down to see empty table mats. Only Bert had the decency to wash his hands before sitting down. She had given up insisting a long time ago.
Through a mouthful of food, Ben said, “Did you give a statement to the police?”
Gladys put down her cutlery and finished chewing before replying. “I don’t think so. They spoke to me, but nothing was written down.”
“Poor sod, shot through the head they reckon,” Ben continued as he slurped his cup of tea.”
“Must be some Townie,” Mike said. “A drug dealer or an addict, I reckon. Maybe they screwed the bird of the local gang leader and got caught.”
“Michael, not at the table,” Gladys said. She watched the three of them with heads bent over their plates, shovelling in the food without tasting it.
“Bloody fools the police are,” Ben said, waving his fork. “Don’t know their asses from their elbows. Would you believe they started asking questions about my insurance claim from years back? Complete idiots.”
“I expect the proper police will appear tomorrow, Dad. Today’s lot were just the local bobbies who deal with shoplifting and stuff like that.”
Picking at her food, Gladys imagined her picture in the newspapers with the headline, ‘Resting actress solves murder mystery.’ The report went on to say, “Gladys, a well-loved member of the community, solved the case when the local police failed. She gave up her glittering career on the brink of stardom to support her husband’s dreams of training a winner. She was coy and modest when the chief of police thanked her publicly for her gallant bravery and fortitude.
“Gladys! Gladys! Are you listening, woman?”
“Sorry darling, what did you say?”
“I’m going to finish at least an hour late tonight, because of the time wasted dealing with the police.”
Gladys started to clear away the empty plates. “I’ll make supper an hour later, then, sweetie.”
“What are you planning to do this afternoon?”
Placing the plates in the dishwasher, Gladys said, “I might go out for a drive to look for clues.”
“Well for God’s sake, stay out of the way of the police.”
“Don’t worry, darling. I shall wear my invisibility cloak.”
Taking his coat from the stand in the hallway, Ben said, “I do wonder sometimes, what goes on in that daft woman’s head.”
My Review of Bells on Her Toes
Two dead bodies in a week, a horse virus spreading through a racing yard and a missing groom. With plenty of suspects, DCI Peter Hatherall and DI Fiona Williams have their hands full trying to solve the murders and find the person responsible for all the mayhem while dealing with the problems in their personal lives. I’ve always loved reading British mysteries, and this one was well worth the read. Diana Febry had me guessing until the very end. This story had quirky characters, an intriguing plot with “as many twists and turns as a county lane,” and a great twist at the end. I highly recommend Bells On Her Toes. ✰✰✰✰✰
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