Macabre Murder Mysteries
by Jim Green
Collection of six murder mystery stories from the urbane to the macabre:
(1) Horror story set in 1930 when hanging was the norm for convicted murderers: Nine people involved in a recent murder trial are invited to dine at a forbidding old mansion on the pretext of hearing news to their advantage. They are escorted by a sepulchral butler into a large reception hall to await their host. The room has a log fire burning in the hearth of an enormous fireplace; food and drink abound. When the host fails to make an appearance they opt to leave the room but cannot; the only door has disappeared to be replaced by a solid steel shutter. They start to bicker, accusing one another. Suddenly a mysterious voice addresses them and transforms the gathering into a court of enquiry; an event that results in a horrendous climax to the evening.
(2) A schoolgirl takes a shortcut through the church graveyard on her way home and is startled by the sudden appearance of an old man in black carrying a walking stick. The following evening the vicar sees the same old man standing beside a tombstone which this time has a dead body spread-eagled across it. The verger has a similar experience the next night but the mayhem does not end there. Five more corpses are discovered in the graveyard; all of them the subject of brutal stabbings. The Chief Constable accompanied by senior officers from New Scotland Yard arrives on the scene to take over the investigation from the local CID. Miss Tayke is summoned to help and astonishes the police with her theory on the murders. Assisted by Cedric and Bunty she sets about tracking down the megalomaniac killer before he strikes again.
(3) Six passengers board a tiny ferry on a crossing that takes only three minutes. One of them is brutally murdered on board the vessel but neither the pilot nor any of the other five passengers admit to witnessing the crime. Police officers investigating the incident are completely baffled until a chance remark from an old man leads them to the murderer.
(4) Miss Tayke and her friends Cedric and Bunty are on a visit to an arts festival in London’s Canary Walk when their day out is rudely interrupted by a call on her mobile. Chief Inspector Brewster of New Scotland Yard requests her assistance on a brutal murder at Canary Walk Tower nearby. In her quickest ever investigation Miss Tayke not only tracks down the murderer in record time but discovers how he managed to flee the scene of the crime from an office with its door and windows securely locked on the inside.
(5) Miss Tayke receives a mysterious invitation from a knight of the realm to spend a weekend at his haunted ancestral home. He issues her with an intriguing challenge with a £5000 bounty attached; the challenge is to exorcise the ghosts that have plagued his stately house for centuries. Hardly do Miss Tayke and her friends Cedric and Bunty settle in than one of the guests is murdered by an injection of potassium cyanide into his coffee at the first night dinner party. With torrential rain, fierce winds, thunder and lightning outside and horrendous screaming and ghoulish apparitions inside, Miss Tayke sets about sourcing the ghosts and tracking down the killer.
(6) Miss Tayke visits Lake Windermere on a weekend trip with her theatrical friends Cedric and Bunty. They take a short cruise on a launch where a passenger drops dead of an apparent heart attack. However it transpires he was slain in a cleverly concealed and brutal attack. In Miss Tayke’s most baffling case she and her friends set out to find the killer with little or nothing in the way of clues to assist them in their quest...
- Jim Green, August 2013
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