Chapter 10

Dolly Bantry would see when Jane was ‘not well’ and whisk her off to some hotel where they could sit drinking all day without attracting remark. The body in the library was the perfect excuse to get Jane away to the hotel in Danemouth for a week. Of course, Dolly was herself in constant distress from some ailment or another and required the help of a seemingly unending range of prescriptions that Doctor Haydock seemed all too ready to supply. The appearance of the body in the library caused such a shock to her system that the share price of the drug manufacturers must have risen in the Stock market.

Her husband, Colonel Bantry was a rather distant authoritative figure, close friend to the County Sheriff and with firm and somewhat bleak views on the local institutions of authority. He was never happier than when, with a glass of whisky (two fingers and just a drop of water) in his hand, he could point out the error of the ways of the Magistrates, the police, and of poor Dr Haydock (who it seemed, issued prescriptions to Dolly on Colonel Bantry’s instruction!)

Of course, Dr Haydock and the local solicitor, Mr Petherick, knew all kinds of village secrets having long worked locally. They could tell a story or two about lively aspects of Colonel Bantry’s younger days, about the goings on at Basil Blake’s colourful weekends, and about the way in which Jane Marple wound the village around her little finger…..

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