Chapter 14

What was striking about Jane Marple was the sense that she did not really have any family at all to speak of. It was as if the village were her family. The more Mrs McGillicuddy considered this, the more it occurred to her that this was one of those ‘curious incidents of the dog in the night time’ issues. Instead of thinking that Jane’s family was irrelevant, she decided she should see them as part of the problem she was trying to resolve.

The nephews and nieces were represented in St Mary Mead only by occasional visits from Raymond and Lionel, usually wanting to be rescued from some disaster and always ready to join in
the alcohol based social life of the village. The rest stayed away and Mrs McGillicuddy could not recall Jane ever mentioning any of her family other than these two and occasionally Diana
Harmon.

All this meant that nobody from her family ever really saw Jane’s state of health and well being, nor how much she drank – Mrs McGillicuddy thought this could be a case of ignorance being bliss, but if Jane were to be helped to a new way of life without alcohol, there had to be some role for her family to become part of the answer rather than colluding with the problem.

She would have to start with Raymond and Lionel. The chances were that they knew far more about Jane’s drinking than they had admitted to as they took the line of least resistance!

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