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Authors: Rebecca Tope

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‘She can’t have done – and I was so convinced,’ moaned Thea. ‘It never occurred to me she could just pretend all that.’ Another puzzle presented itself. ‘And how did she know about Mariella in the first place?’

‘Most likely she saw evidence of a woman in the flat, when she was there on Sunday morning. Or maybe Victor simply told her – showed her a photo, even. Anyway, we think she must have hung around Crouch End on Sunday evening, or somewhere close by that does B&B. When she saw Mariella go back in with the shopping, and heard Victor greet her, her suspicions would have been confirmed. Then when she went in and saw he wasn’t wearing any clothes, she lost it completely and let fly. Funny, really, after what that nanny said to us. Remember?’

‘Not really.’

‘She said Mariella would scratch the eyes out of any woman moving in on Victor. She got that wrong, didn’t she?’

Thea was deeply impressed at his ability to keep up
and remember every detail she’d passed to him over recent days, during their phone calls and taxi rides in London. She accepted his reasoning, with one or two reservations. ‘You think she killed Victor on an impulse? But she had a knife.’

Drew paused for thought, the phone line making a hollow silence while Thea waited. ‘Maybe she used one that was in the flat. Maybe she took it when she went after Stevie, and it was still in her pocket.’

‘They obviously haven’t found anything as nice and easy as a murder weapon covered in fingerprints.’

‘What about the B&B or wherever it was she spent those three nights? Saturday, Sunday
and
Monday, presumably.’

‘Last I heard, they haven’t traced it. She didn’t use a card to pay, so it must have been a very small low-tech place.’

‘Which is why Maggs says they have to outwit her, and threaten to prosecute Belinda instead.’

‘I’ll tell them, but I very much doubt they’ll take the advice. It’ll all come down to boring donkey work in the end. She’s sure to have left some sort of trail, if they can only find it.’

He said nothing. Only then did Thea ask, ‘And how’s Karen?’

He made a small sound that sent a chill right through her. ‘She died,’ he said thickly. ‘Yesterday afternoon.’

‘Oh,’ said Thea. ‘Oh, Drew.’

R
EBECCA
T
OPE
lives on a smallholding in Herefordshire, with a full complement of livestock, but manages to travel the world and enjoy civilisation from time to time as well. Most of her varied experiences and activities find their way into her books, sooner or later. Her own cocker spaniel, Beulah, is the model for Hepzibah, but is unfortunately ageing much more rapidly.

 

www.rebeccatope.com

A Cotswold Killing

A Cotswold Ordeal

Death in the Cotswolds

A Cotswold Mystery

Blood in the Cotswolds

Slaughter in the Cotswolds

Fear in the Cotswolds

A Grave in the Cotswolds

Deception in the Cotswolds

Malice in the Cotswolds

A Dirty Death

Dark Undertakings

Death of a Friend

Grave Concerns

A Death to Record

The Sting of Death

A Market for Murder

Allison & Busby Limited
13 Charlotte Mews
London W1T 4EJ
www.allisonandbusby.com

First published in Great Britain by Allison & Busby in 2012.
This ebook edition published by Allison & Busby in 2012.

Copyright © 2012 by R
EBECCA
T
OPE

The moral right of the author is hereby asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All characters and events in this publication other than those clearly in the public domain are fictitious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent buyer.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN 978–0

7490

1107

9

BOOK: Malice in the Cotswolds
11.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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