The Russian Doll

The Russian Doll

There were two unexpected mourners at Councillor Bob Ball’s funeral; his Russian wife and daughter. Even more surprising because no one knew that Bob Ball was married.

Whilst the guests gathered afterwards for drinks at the Council offices someone beat the Council Archivist to death in his office in the second basement. No one knew much about Gordon Nicholson, his work or his life so there was not much for Detective Inspector Steve Winwood to work with. He and his Sergeant Archie Tibble and acting Detective Constable Emma Porter set about interviewing all the guests.

Enquiries uncovered political in-fighting between Town and District Councils over the town’s market and the disagreement over the details of the Royal Charter which established Rutherford market in the reign of Edward III in 1375. No one knew where this document was stored apart from the recently murdered Nicholson.

Redbourne Brewery was negotiating with Beano Supermarkets over a lease for their new store which involved moving the market but Harry Ridgewell, Redbourne’s Financial Director was then killed in similar circumstances to Nicholson and his body found in the Rutter River.

There was nothing to connect the two victims until the Town Clerk found that the new painting she had bought for her office was in fact a landscape that had been painted over a more important work.

Winwood finally discovers what Nicholson was doing in the second basement but not before chasing a shaggy dog or rather an uncredited statue on which Ridgewell hit his head in the river. What then is the involvement of a pub quiz team comprising of University Professors?

When Bob Ball’s wife and daughter leave their hotel to take his body back home they are followed around town by a mysterious male Russian. Only then do the bits of the puzzle finally came together like the individual figures nesting in a Russian Doll.

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More in the Inspector Winwood series here.

For background on Rutherford and D.I Winwood see here.