Short Story: The Mystery At Hammond Mansion Part 1 (Of 5)

 

 

Picturesque. That was the word that the locals used to describe Hammond Mansion. And it was quite a splendid establishment. Regally standing on the hill alone. It was a feast to everyone’s eyes including Inspector Emment Corrigan as he arrived following the murder of a woman Marie Hughes who worked as a housekeeper at the house. The family was assembled in the living-room awaiting his arrival. He scanned the room, accepted a cup of tea from a female worker at the house and made pleasantries while inwardly sizing up the suspects. There was father of the house Marcus Hammond, late 50s, walked with a cane and had rosy red cheeks that Emment guessed must be high blood pressure, drink or a combination of the two, mother of the house Mary-Anne Hammond, mid-fifties, extroverted to the point of irritating with an apron with printed granny smith apples, eldest son Gregory Hammond, late thirties, a very serious-looking man whose profession was a doctor, Gregory’s wife Emilia, late thirties, very prim and proper and whose profession was a professor at a prestigious University in Dublin, the only daughter of the family Charlotte James, early thirties, homely and bubbly and owned her own restaurant, her husband Mitchell James, mid-thirties, jolly-looking and owned the restaurant with Charlotte and youngest son Alexander Hammond-Kelly, late twenties, very proper and assertive and whose profession was a lawyer, his husband Josh Kelly-Hammond, late twenties, introverted with a sincere smile and whose profession was in question but Emment was sure he’d seen the name before somewhere.

“Who lives in the house?”, Emment asked.

“It is only Mary-Anne and myself since everyone flew the nest. It has been a massive shock to us all. The woman had been here just a few short months. She had great references and all. We think it may have been a burglary that went wrong or something of the sort …”, Marcus answered.

“Nothing was taken Mr. Hammond.”

Marcus Hammond went pale.

“Well I can’t think what this man could have been after. Maybe she was seeing this chap and he was a violent sort.”

“Was there anyone with a grudge against …”

“I have no idea. We didn’t know the girl that well. She just worked here.”

“No, Mr. Hammond, I was going to ask if there was anyone with a grudge against any of you?”

At this question each member of the family paled.

“But why would this man kill the girl if they had a grudge against any of us?”

“I don’t know. It’s just a theory. Maybe this man came with the idea to kill … someone else and Marie Shepherd interrupted him.”

“So you’re sure it’s a man?”, asked Josh.

Emment hadn’t really considered this. Statistics-wise most killers were men. He had just assumed they were looking for a man.

“Well … come to think of it, no.”

“So it could be a woman or a non-binary person?”

Non-binary? This was all new to Emment. Alexander rolled his eyes.

“Josh, non-binary only exists on Tumbler.”

Josh rolled his eyes.

“No Alex, it doesn’t.”

“Well in any case, has anyone a grudge against any of you?”

“Inspector, we are a very respectable family …”, Mary-Anne began and looked sideways at Josh.

“For the most part in any case, we have excellent breeding. No one could possibly have a grudge against any of us. This incident is simply unfortunate but we know nothing to help you in your investigations in that line.”

Josh looked like he was about to say something but stopped himself.

“Well Marie then, could I have a list of her references?”

“Of course.”, Mary-Anne replied walking over to a cabinet and taking out Marie’s CV and cover letter.

She handed them to Emment and he briefly scanned his eyes over the contents. Very well-qualified but appeared just like any CV or cover letter. He thanked Mrs. Hammond and made his exit ensuring them he would find out who did this.

As Emment stood on the steps he looked at the CV and cover letter. Josh came out and lit up a cigarette. He offered Emment one but he declined as he didn’t smoke.

“No, neither do any of them.”, Josh smiled.

“Apparently it’s a very working-class trait.”

Emment just smiled. He had already worked out that Josh was working-class in a way of each class knowing one from their own class almost instinctively.

“What do you do? If you don’t mind me asking …”

“No, of course not. Inspired by Frankie Merlo I’ll say I sleep with Mr. Hammond-Kelly.”

Emment looked confused.

“Like Frankie Merlo said about Tennessee Williams to John Warner I sleep with Mr. Williams …”

Realisation dawned on Emment.

“You’re a writer?”

“Well I say writer, technically to everyone else I’m unemployed.”

“A Youth Took Over By The Church?”

Josh looked chuffed.

“You read it?”

“It was very good.”

Emment would have said so even if he thought it wasn’t but in reality he had found it a very good read and mentally he instantly put Josh down as incredibly opinionated and incredibly modern.

“How did you get in with Alexander?”

“Someone like me?”, Josh smiled, taking a drag on his cigarette.

“No, I didn’t mean …”

“I know you didn’t … well do you remember the Murphy/Barry case?”

“Vaguely.”

“Well Adam Murphy was accused of murdering Lucy Barry …”

“In her Dublin flat?”

“Yes, my blog followed the case with major interest and Alex was representing the prosecution.”

“So yous’ sided together and love blossomed?”

“No, not in the slightest. The man was sentenced ten years ago but he didn’t do it. There was no evidence bar the Barry family, rich as fuck, insisting he was the last one to see her alive.”

“So who do you think done it?”

“I don’t know but it wasn’t Adam Murphy.”

Emment almost asked how he could be so sure but refeigned. Asking a writer that was like asking if the sky was blue. Instead he tried a different tact.

“Do you like the Hammond family?”

“I adore Alex obviously and our son Leo. Otherwise they don’t like me, I don’t like them but we co-exist and tolerate each other.”, Josh replied, matter-of-factly.

“Your son?”

“Yeah, he’s 8. We adopted him three years ago. Everything’s great expect he’s in a Catholic school but hey, you can’t have everything.”

“The Hammond family is Catholic?”

“Yeah. I get it, I was raised Catholic but I became atheist must be coming on eight years ago.”

“And the woman who was killed …”

“Was Catholic.”

That hadn’t been what Emment was going to ask but it was interesting to him that Josh knew this. He must have knew her better than the rest of the family to know her religion. He had been simply going to ask if he’d seen anything suspicious.

“How … how do you know that?”

“She was a writer too. Wrote all these rousing Catholic yolks on the internet. Not that I killed her, I believe in freedom of speech. But on the other hand she might have done me in long ago.”

“How?”

“Well she told me, while holding a knife mind, that I ‘better stop with my ramblings’. I continued on with my ramblings.”

Although Josh was firmly establishing himself as the prime suspect, been a police officer for almost ten years taught Emment that a killer tended not to incriminate themselves. On that basis he was taking Josh off the suspect list. If anything he could help him in his enquiries. He didn’t stick to the ‘everything is wonderful with the Hammond family line’ and he seemed a nice guy who you could have a drink with. He was down-to-earth and Emment hadn’t felt a lot of that at Chez Hammond.

Josh stamped out his cigarette.

“Josh, what were you going to say earlier?”

“I was just going to say that a murder is not an unfortunate incident. Marie and me, though we didn’t like each other, had one thing in common. We were both working-class. Her death is more than an unfortunate incident.”

He bid Emment farewell and went inside.

Emment entered his flat where he lived with his girlfriend Janet. She made them both a cup of tea as they settled down to talk on the sofa.

“So are they snotty buggers?”, Janet asked.

“Well yeah. Except Josh. He’s our background.”

“The youngest lad’s hubby? Wow, he done well.”

“He waffled on about non-binary at some stage. That was the only highfalutin reference he made …”

“Highfalutin? Sure that’s only both gender or neither.”

Emment raised his eyebrows.

“You think I’m thick, don’t you?”, Janet smiled, sipping her tea.

“I didn’t know what it meant.”

Janet said nothing.

“Well I know what it means. Anyways, who looks likely to have done it? And don’t say Josh. I like him already. Didn’t he write that thing?”

“A Youth Took Over By The Church?”

“That’s the one. Fabulous.”

“Well no, I don’t think he did it. But otherwise I’m none the wiser. They are very tight together. The mother, she’s telling they are a respectable family and have no enemies.”

“Oh well in that case they have loads!”, Janet laughed and Emment secretly agreed.

Read My Review Of Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer by E.R. Barr On onlinebookclub.org!

 

My review of Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer by E.R. Barr is now up on onlinebookclub.org. It was wonderful as a writer to get the chance to review another writer’s work and it was a really great read. 🙂

To read my review go to:

https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=45468

Hope you all like it! 🙂

 

For more on the author go to:

http://www.erbarr.com/

 

 

 

My Short Story Collection Now Available On Amazon!

 

 

My short story collection All You Need Is Love: Short Story Collection is now available to buy on Amazon. There is six stories in it: a longer short story and five shorter ones. I enjoyed putting and hope that everyone will enjoy reading it too. 🙂

 

To purchase All You Need Is Love: Short Story Collection go to:

My Six Favourites In Big Brother!

 

 

The new series of Big Brother is at the halfway point in the UK and already it has been another great season so far. Sadly the very entertaining and lovely Arthur Fulford left the house early on in the series. I loved him. He was a great housemate. Thanks for the memories Arthur!

 

 

So who are my current favourite six in the BB house?

 

 

 

 

Raph Korine

 

BB superfan, nerd and all-round lovely guy, Raph is my winner. He’s very interesting and an excellent housemate. He had Joe spot on and when he called Joe out about him calling him a prick it was a great moment. Everytime he had a problem with Joe he has called him out in that wonderful, diplomatic way of his and it’s great viewing. He was also a great friend to Arthur which was lovely. His friendships with Chanelle, Andrew and Isabelle are also lovely and very entertaining to watch. Super intelligent and down-earth, I really hope he wins. He reminds me of my late father: gentle, kind, caring and always there for people and also very strong and not scared to confront people when they annoy him. A complete gentleman and that’s only reinforced even more by Lotan (anything but a gentleman) slagging him off to get 15 more minutes of fame.

 

 

Andrew Cruickshanks

Andrew is my favourite of the second chance housemates. It’s nice to see a Celt finally been a good housemate in this series. He seems lovely and when he took Joe on in the garden, I loved him. Good on you Andrew! His friendship with Raph is lovely to watch although I feel sorry for the two of them with the unrequitted love situation. I hope Andrew wins the £15,000.

 

 

Sue Evans

 

Oh Hurricane Sue. I love her. She’s my second favourite of the second chance housemates. Her observations are excellent and she’s not scared to state how she feels about the other housemates which is wonderful. She seems very direct but also very nice. When the public had a choice to put in either Andrew or Sue on launch night, why on earth did they pick Tom? Wonders never cease.

 

Isabelle Warburton

Isabelle is great. She seems a really cool girl. The way she handled the situation with Lotan was brilliant. She’s always stood her ground in the house and is always up for a laugh. She’s also very calm. The way she stayed calm in the situation with Lotan was very admirable. I know I probably wouldn’t have been that calm! Her friendships with Chanelle, Raph and Andrew are lovely to watch too.

 

 

Deborah Agboola

In the earlier shows of the series, Deboragh, and her sister Hannah, weren’t been shown much and thus I hadn’t really an opinion on either of them either way. But when they came into it, they really did come into it and I liked them both very much. When Deboragh took on Rebecca after Hannah’s argument with Lotan I totally agreed with her. She and Hannah’s loyalty to each other is lovely to watch. They really look out for each other and because I’m very close to my sister too it warms my heart. Deboragh also stood up for her sister on fight night and received a warning. But look she has nothing to be ashamed about. What other way would you react in defending your sister? One thing I am getting tired of is the word “aggressive” been used in connection with Deboragh and Hannah. I personally don’t find them to be. But what really annoys me about the use of that word about Hannah and Deboragh is that the same people who say that about the girls when they get mad don’t say “aggessive” about white housemates when they get mad. In other words, do it both ways or neither way. We’ve gone beyond those ignorant old stereotypes or so I thought. I also love watching Deboragh’s friendship with Raph and of course her possible relationship with Kieran. I think they both like each other and they would be very cute and suited together. Come on Debran!

 

 

Hannah Agboola

When Hannah called Lotan out in the argument it was a great moment. Prior to that Sukvinder had told her that Kayleigh had been negative about Deboragh and she handled her emotions well which must have been bubbling up angrily inside. When it’s your sister it’s very hard to keep your emotions back if someone says something negative about them. Both she and Deboragh seem like great girls who are very intelligent and who won’t back down when they know they are in the right. Hannah is a slight bit of a drama queen but I kind of enjoy her been like that. I agree completely with her on the Lotan mouse situation though. He wasn’t a pal of hers and due to that I think it’s obvious that his motivation wasn’t banter. The thing with Ellie spray-tanned like a smurf, I didn’t really believe her but I think she’s a great housemate and I love her relationship with her sister. When Deboragh was going to leave and she stopped her and calmed her down it was a lovely moment. Her friendships with the gang in thorn cottage are also lovely.

 

 

Who do you like? Comment below …

My New Book Rory Murphy Mysteries: The Church Murders Is Up On Amazon!

 

I have always been a huge Agatha Christie fan and love a lot of amateur detectives. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at doing my own detective series. And this is the first in the series! 🙂

Entitled Rory Murphy Mysteries: The Church Murders the book centres around my amateur detective Rory Murphy and his boyfriend Joseph, his friend Steven and Steven’s boyfriend Simon as they investigate three murders where the bodies are found on Church alters.

Hope you all like it and it keeps you guessing.

To purchase Rory Murphy Mysteries: The Church Murders go to: