Ten Little Herrings

Ten Little Herrings

L. C. Tyler

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0230714676

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


When obscure crime writer Ethelred Tressider vanishes, his dogged literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle, is soon on his trail. Finding him (in a ramshackle hotel in the French Loire) proves surprisingly easy. Bringing him home proves more difficult than expected but (as Elsie observes) who would have predicted that, in a hotel full of stamp collectors, the guests would suddenly start murdering each other? One guest is found fatally stabbed, apparently the victim of an intruder. But when a rich Russian oligarch also dies, in a hotel now swarming with policemen, suspicion falls on the remaining guests. Elsie is torn between her natural desire to interfere in the police investigation and her urgent need to escape to the town's chocolaterie. Ethelred, meanwhile, seems to know more about the killings than he is letting on. Finally the time comes when Elsie must assemble the various suspects in the Dining Room, and reveal the truth ...Ten Little Herrings is a brilliantly anarchic take on the classic Country House Mystery, and an uproarious sequel to the first Elsie and Ethelred mystery, The Herring Seller's Apprentice. Praise for The Herring Seller's Apprentice, the first Elsie and Ethelred Mystery: 'Masterful' Financial Times 'A classic detective novel' Scotsman 'Unusually accomplished' Helen Dunmore

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At first he seemed to be checking from time to time whether he was being tailed, but once clear of the hotel he gained confidence and he did not look back until just before he reached the station entrance. I had expected him to head straight for the ticket guichet and buy a billet simple to somewhere as distant from Chaubord as he currently needed to be, but he just sailed on past it and towards the left-luggage office. This was a curious escape plan. I tried to get close enough to see what he

and thin black tie with much the same ill grace as I once wore my school uniform. There was a small white badge pinned to his lapel. It looked like the sort of badge you get as waste-paper monitor, but this one said: ‘Jean-Luc’. A stale aroma of blighted hopes hung around him. One day soon he would look in the mirror and notice his hair was starting to turn grey and he would try to remember why he had thought it such a good plan to become a hotel receptionist. He looked up as he heard me

woke up, she had gone. I reported this back to the weasel, who just nodded, as though this was what he had been expecting. ‘If that was what you were expecting,’ I said, ‘then you were wasting my time – I’m assuming I collect my money only if we recover the stamps?’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but I have not wasted my time.’ He held up a key. ‘I’m presumably supposed to ask you what that key is,’ I said. ‘In which case, I would tell you that it is a hotel pass key, that will let us into the Pedersens’

madam. It eez British Gaz,’ said the voice, touchingly pleased with itself. ‘I just want to check if Meester Tressider’s thermostat eez set at an appropriate temperature for zer winter.’ ‘Ethelred?’ I said. ‘That’s you, isn’t it?’ This time the voice did not hesitate. ‘No,’ it said. ‘Is British Gaz. Complimentary safety check.’ ‘At midnight?’ ‘So sorry, memsahib. It is not midnight at the call centre. In Bangalore we are all working so very hard.’ Actually (I do know where Bangalore is) it

certainly not worth going there for that purpose alone. Trust me on that. And yet it had all started so well a year before. With a single bound, or so it seemed to me, I was free. As a writer I have always tried to avoid the more obvious clichés, but that was how it felt as I scurried with my bags away from the short-term car park and towards the terminal building, leaving Elsie in my car, sleeping off the effects of a slightly drugged mug of drinking chocolate. I was free as a person, free as

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