Crime in Cornwall


Crime in Cornwall (British Book tour Mysteries)
by Emma Dakin

About Crime in Cornwall

Crime in Cornwall (British Book Tour Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (October 13, 2020)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-10: 1603816100
ISBN-13: 978-1603816106

Patrick and Rita Stonning, Claire’s neighbors in Ashton-on-Tinch, dash down from London on weekends to host loud parties. They work in a publishing house and use their Ashton semi-detached home as a break from big city stress. Patrick arrives at Claire’s door distraught, reporting one of his partygoers, Olive Nott a best-selling author, dead. Claire discovers that not only is he dead, he’s been murdered. Patrick is suspected of the murder and has enough motive to satisfy the police. Nott wrote mysteries set in Cornwall and had planned to take his lucrative contracts to a competing company. His latest book dealt with smuggling in the caves of Cornwall. The police, including DI Mark Evans from the newly formed Major investigations Team wonder if he learned too much from his research. Claire takes her six tourists, most from America, to the Cornwall coast in search of sites of mystery novels and hears the opinions of the Cornish people on smuggling. She asks Patrick to meet her in Penzance to give a guest lecture on the smuggling in Oliver Nott’s novels. Claire finds Patrick self-aggrandizing and arrogant but doesn’t agree he would murder and sets out to find the one responsible.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One page 4

He came over at nine right on schedule and banged on my kitchen door—but it wasn’t to apologize. 

Patrick isn’t a grand sight on any day. He’s about fifty, almost gaunt, with thinning brown hair and a hunched look as if he lived in a closet, fed on junk food and computer info-feed, and dressed in clothes that had seen better weeks, but he was socially aware, inoffensive and, while he talked fast at any time, he usually made sense. 

“Claire, you’ve got to help me.”

I stared at him. 

Gulliver sat beside me. He knew Patrick and didn’t bark at him. 

Patrick leaned over and reflexively patted Gulliver. 

“He’s dead.”

I looked at Gulliver. “No, he isn’t.”

“Yes, he is. Dead as the proverbial doornail. Dead as a dodo. Dead as road kill. Dead as a mouse in a trap. Dead as….”

In this editorial excess, I tried to pick out the salient fact. “Someone at your house has died.”

“Not just someone. Oliver Nott.” His brown eyes widened and he blinked.

“The thriller writer?” I’d read his novels. Not my style. A little too melodramatic, but readable.

“The very one.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. Nott was middle-aged, I think about fifty, a little young for a heart attack, but that can happen to the under sixties. 

“I’m sorry as well. Very. It’s untidy. Gross. It’s murder. I need you to come over and call the police.” 

Murder? I stood there for a moment, a little stunned. Then picked up my quilted jacket, snapped on Gulliver’s leash and followed Patrick through my back garden, out the gate and into the lane. 

The murder happened at his house. I didn’t see why he couldn’t have called the police, but he was my neighbor, and he had asked for help, so I trotted behind him. I was going to assist him, but I didn’t want any part of a murder. I hesitated in the lane, but curiosity trumped reluctance.

Patrick pushed open his gate. “He’s here, in the garden.” 

He was there. Obviously dead. 

“Why didn’t you call the police?” I stared, morbidly fascinated at the remains of Oliver Nott.

“Because you’re the one who knows the police. You’re close and intimate with the police. You’re our neighborhood conduit to the police.” 

I was not. My very good friend Mark Evans was a Detective Inspector of the Hampshire Constabulary. We met over the death of a member of the Mystery Book Club and have been meeting ever since. Patrick must pay more attention to my household than I’d thought. But I’m not an emergency dispatcher.

“I don’t have a straight line into the homicide unit. In any case, you’ll have to call the local police.”

“Fine. Fine. I’ll do that. You must look at him, though. I need a witness. There were scores of people here last night wandering around, yelling and making a lot of noise. You’d know about that. Sorry.”

 I don’t think he even took a breath, just kept on talking. 

“I have no idea who would have done this. Someone must have hated him. In fact, any number of people. Lots hated him. We could create a list.”

I’ve got a little list. He never would be missed. The line from Gilbert and Sullivan floated through my mind. But he would be missed. He was a high-selling writer.

 “How did he die?”

Foolish question. It was obvious how he had died. Oliver Nott was slumped sideways in an iron garden chair, his head turned, his cheek resting on the table. One hand was under his head, the other hanging straight down by his side. A long knife protruded from his chest. There was very little blood, but there was no doubt he was dead. His eyes were wide open with that glassy look of absence that removes all doubt.  

Gulliver whimpered. I petted him. I agreed with Gulliver. Oliver Nott was a horrific sight.

From Amazon

Claire Barclay is enthusiastic about her British Mystery Book Tour business. She enjoys taking her guests, usually from America, to the settings of mystery novels where bodies are long dead. Her neighbor’s plea for help to deal with a recently murdered well-known author unsettles her. She leaves the body to the police and takes her guests to Cornwall, including a British tourist who far is too interested in the dead author.

About Emma Dakin

Emma Dakin lives in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. She has over twenty-five trade published books of mystery and adventure for teens and middle-grade children and non-fiction for teens and adults. Her love of the British countryside and villages and her addiction to cozy mysteries now keep her writing about characters who live and work in those villages. She introduces readers to the problems that disturb that idyllic setting.

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