Chapter 3

“Oh Jane”, she wailed. “I have just seen a murder.”

“The best thing you can do, my dear, is to go upstairs for a wash and then we’ll talk about it over a nice drink. I prescribe a glass of my home made wine.”

That night, feeling somewhat calmer, Mrs McGillicuddy splashed her face with cold water and thought about the styles of cultural involvement in addiction that were described in her newly acquired book. She thought of Jane Marple as an ‘acultural addict’ – someone who hid her addiction in the confines of her own home. But then she thought how easily she had been drawn into an idea that alcohol would be a good sedative after the trauma of the journey. This reflected how the social intercourse between village residents usually went, she realised. Still, she had set out on her plan and had drawn Miss Marple into her murder story – she would continue.


Lying in bed, she read about the different kinds of ‘addiction tribes’ and thought some more about the village community she knew. The St Mary Mead she had encountered must be seen as a ‘celebrated drug’ tribe – and she realised that she would face universal denial if she tried to challenge the drinking patterns in the village head on.


She needed an ally, so worked out a plan to get her niece, Lucy Eylesbarrow, involved. She could get her a domestic post at the Crackenthorpe house just outside the village – the perfect base for observing village life.


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