With a Narrow Blade

Free With a Narrow Blade by Faith Martin

Book: With a Narrow Blade by Faith Martin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Faith Martin
reason. And once you found the motive, the chances were good that you’d be able to find the killer. But she was back to that same old question. Who would have reason to kill an old lady?
    ‘Keith, I want you to check the financial angle,’ she said abruptly. ‘Who knows, perhaps our vic has got thousands squirrelled away somewhere. She wouldn’t be the first old codger to live like a pauper but have thousands stashed away under the floor boards.’
    ‘Guv.’ Barrington swivelled his chair around, rode it to his own desk a few feet away, and reached for the computer keyboard. Time was, he’d have had to wear out his shoe leather, and he might still have to make a personal visit to the vic’s bank, armed with a warrant.
    Hillary continued to sit and stare vaguely ahead of her, her mind racing. With the money angle being checked out, what other reasons could there be for Flo’s murder? Sex? Hardly. Unless she was a flirtatious tease, and had pushed Walter Keane too far. Hillary smiled grimly at the image, and moved on to the other classics.
    Revenge? Could Flo Jenkins have done something to somebody that had so pissed them off that they’d resorted to murder? On the face of it, it seemed very unlikely – there was so little a frail old lady could do to anyone. Blackmail wouldn’t be beyond her of course. But blackmail had a certain smell about it that Hillary was sure she would have picked up on before now.
    Flo might, of course, have done something long, long ago, that was only now catching up with her. But that was venturing way too far into Agatha Christie territory. In reality, the blast from the past coming back to wreak havoc very rarely happened.
    Not revenge then. Probably not money, and almost certainly not love or sex. What did that leave?
    Restlessly, she went back to reading the list of house contents, and paused, frowning, over Janine’s carefully typed list of Flo Jenkins’ medicine cabinet. Along with the usual Milk of Magnesia tablets, aspirin, and various creams promising to relieve the usual aching muscles and joints that tormented the elderly, were several long-sounding, unfamiliar names that raised her eyebrows.
    She knew, from her own mother, that seventy-somethings could be struck down with all sorts of things requiring no end of pills. Diabetes, thyroid problems, angina, high blood pressure. Even so …
    She was vaguely aware that Janine had returned to her desk as she picked up the phone and dialled the morgue. ‘Hello. Doctor Steven Partridge please. DI Greene. Yes, I’ll wait.’
    She leaned back in her chair, watching Janine carefully, but the blonde woman made no move towards her in tray. Seeing her boss on the phone, she simply slung off her coat, settled herself in front of the computer, and began to type up her case notes, breaking off now and then to enter things of significance into the ‘Murder Book’. This was a folder that she was usually responsible for, which detailed every significant fact about the case as it became available, and that any member of the team could consult. It was a way of keeping everyone up to speed, without constantly reporting and repeating information.
    ‘Hello?’ Steven Partridge said in Hillary’s ear, and she sat up straight in her chair.
    ‘Doc, got a pencil? I’ve got a list of drugs our vic was taking and I wondered if they meant anything to you. They don’t look run of the mill to me.’ So saying, she rattled them off, more often than not simply spelling them out rather than trying to pronounce them. When she’d finished, Steven Partridge whistled thoughtfully down the line.
    ‘Well, I can tell you straight off, our poor old dead gal had something seriously wrong with her. One of those is a serious painkiller.’ He mentioned one of the more easy ones to say, and carried on. ‘The other two can be used for a variety of conditions, none of them good.’
    ‘The painkillers,’ Hillary said sharply. ‘Worth much on the open

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