Last Writes is a mischievously clever compendium of 22 short stories from the pen of classic crime author Catherine Aird. Not only do her much-loved police duo, Detective Inspector Christopher Sloan and Detective Constable William Crosby, feature, but there's also a list of new characters, including the mysterious Malcolm Venables of the Secret Service. Full of delicious twists and turns, Last Writes is a collection to curl up with and savour.
"Catherine Aird writes with intelligence & wit"
At this stately home, now open for public tours, visitors revel in the lush atmosphere created by its three hundred rooms, its exceptional display of fine china, its chilling dungeon with historic suits of armor on display, evoking the spirits of knights from a forgotten age. Young Michael's sister, a visitor to the mansion with their mum, presses her for an explanation of "what's a chastity belt?" while Michael fools around with one of the suits of armor....
"Undoubtedly the best"
Things had gone wrong from the very beginning at the Almstone Flower Show, including a missing fortune teller. But events take a decidedly macabre turn when the fortune teller is found and Detective Inspector Sloan and Detective Constable Crosby arrive to investigate a murder for which there seems no means, no motive, and no opportunity.
"it takes a village"
Detective Inspector C.D. Sloan knew there would be trouble when he was called in to the student sit-in at Calleshire University. The dons were nervous, the students excited - a clash of some kind seemed inevitable. But what did happen was totally unexpected. First was a most peculiar theft from a dormitory room and then the discovery of a man found clutching at one of the columns of the Tarsus cloister - bleeding slowly to death and able with his parting breath only to utter one enigmatic phrase.
"Terrible, Just could not listen to it"
Berebury golf course in the county of Calleshire is an unlikely place for a murder. Set in pleasant landscape and boasting a splendid view of the town of Berebury, the golf course is more situated to fun and games than murder and mayhem. So when flirtatious golfing beginner Helen Ewell goes in search of a wayward golf ball in the dreaded "Hell's Bells" bunker she is not prepared for the horrible surprise that lies buried beneath the soft sand.
Who would want to kill a nun? That was the problem facing Inspector C.D. Sloan of the Berebury CID when the body of Sister Anne was found at the foot of the cellar steps at the Convent of St Anselm. Sloan soon found that interviewing half a hundred black-habited sisters as potential suspects for murder was no easy task - especially when he realised that, to him, one nun looked very much like the next, and every sister had an assumed name - and a past...
"the Religious Body"
There were two things seriously wrong when someone found Mr Meredith in the library of Ornum House and greeted him with a ‘Good morning’. For one thing, it was five o’clock in the afternoon; and for another, the greeting took the form of a murderous blow to the back of poor Mr Meredith’s head. But Inspector Sloan doesn’t discover any of this until he finds the weapon, a large primitive club, topped with an iron spike.
"Good story retitled"
Detectives Sloan and Crosby find themselves assigned two rather puzzling cases. First, there's the young woman's body which has been discovered in the River Alm. And then there's the mysterious break-in at the Berebury Nursing Home. To be precise, it's Josephine Short's room at the nursing home that's been entered, although nothing seems to be missing. What could the intruder have been after? It becomes apparent to Sloan and Crosby that the two cases are connected--but who can the killer be?
Life for Henrietta Jenkins was a quiet, well-ordered affair - a home with her widowed mother and degree studies at university. But her life changed dramatically when, just before her 21st birthday, her mother’s body was found in a quiet road, apparently the victim of a hit-and-run driver. For not only did the simple case turn into a murder hunt, but the post mortem also revealed that Grace Jenkins had never had any children. In which case, who was Henrietta?
This collection of mysteries contains the following short stories: "A Change of Heart", "Due Diligence", "Time Gentleman Please", "Cold Comfort Far", "Chapter and Hearse", "The Widow's Might", "Handsel Monday", "Preyed in Aid", "A DIfferent Cast of Mind", "Examination Results", "Child's Play", "Like to Die", "Dead Letters", "Gold, Frankincense, and Murder", and more.
Josephine Short was a woman with a secret or two. When her great-nephew’s wife, Janet Wakefield, gets a call from the Berebury Nursing Home, she’s taken aback. Not only does it come as a surprise to hear that her husband’s estranged great aunt has passed away, but more surprising is the fact she had been living locally for some years. Janet is sure that her husband Bill was the last of Josephine’s close family. But then a young man approaches her at the funeral and introduces himself as Josephine’s grandson....
Decades ago, Germans bombed the village at Lamb Lane. But now redevelopment is under way. Rubble of a bombed building is cleared and, during the excavation, a workman finds the skeleton of a pregnant girl with a bullet lodged in her spine. The trail is definitely stone cold when C. D. Sloan takes on the case....
Detectives Sloan and Crosby are at a loss as to why Jack Haines’s greenhouse had been broken into; some expensive orchids have been destroyed but nothing seems to be missing. But something sinister is at work, and their suspicions are confirmed when a woman goes missing.... What initially seems to be hardly a crime at all quickly unravels into a complex puzzle of secrets and lies in this latest edition of the lauded Sloan and Crosby series.