Chapter 7

Jane Marple was now hot on the hunt of the murder enquiry that Mrs McGillicuddy had brought to her. She was convinced that there was a body somewhere near the railway line that went through the Crackenthorpe estate. This meant that she kept meeting Lucy and was making all sorts of discrete enquiries into the Crackenthorpe family. Funnily enough, Mrs McGillicuddy realised, most of these enquiries involved meetings over a glass of wine here, or a gin and tonic there. It did not seem possible for Jane to do anything that did not involve a glass or two. She realised how the right the book was to emphasise addiction as an active lifestyle, always on the lookout for seemingly natural drinking opportunities. Jane was also very skilled at hustling – so much so that those supplying her with drinks gave no thought to the matter – she was such a dear lady.

Talking to Lucy about the Crackenthorpes, she learned that in the world of drug addictions, hustling for drugs, for money, for contacts was a major part of their business activity and the family’s status depended on success in this. The eldest son, Harold was known to be the most skilled dealer in the family and even the old man had to back off if Harold put his foot down, Lucy said.

What Mrs McGillicuddy started to realise was how much of Jane’s pride in herself came from her ability to manipulate the villagers into supplying her with free drinks!

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