Gift Wrapped

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Authors: Peter Turnbull
grave at Gate Helmsley is that of James Wenlock. The DNA test will be a match, a positive identification. In my old copper’s waters I can feel the certainty very strongly: the man’s age, the similarity of the e-fit, the local nature of Mr Wenlock’s address and his place of employment, the man’s height ... everything so far dovetails neatly with the information given in the mis-per report, and so we have quite a mystery on our hands, a murder most foul to solve.’
    â€˜It does seem so, sir.’ Somerled Yellich held his own mug of tea in one hand and the opened case file in the other. ‘I’ve read Carmen’s recording and she paints a clear picture of Mr Ordinary, an accountant, with a settled though apparently none too happy marriage by all accounts.’
    â€˜By one account, Somerled, and only by one account.’ Hennessey began to sip his mug of tea. ‘So far we only have Mrs Wenlock’s view of her marriage.’
    Somerled Yellich opened the palm of his hand in acknowledgement of Hennessey’s point, and then continued, ‘He had two children, now up and away ... and he had an appropriate standard of living given his reported position in life, an accountant, no less. Was that the impression you two got?’
    â€˜Yes, Sarge.’ Carmen Pharoah sat upright in her chair. ‘Yes ... I ... we detected nothing at all that could be seen as suspicious, nothing untoward or out of place, just a widowed lady living alone with two black Labradors, which we didn’t see, and she was intent on blaming herself for everything. I dare say it was better than blaming other people for everything but I thought that it did get a little tedious after a while. She was ... is, very self-absorbed, wouldn’t you say, Reg? She is very “me, me, me” ... ?’
    â€˜Yes, definitely.’ Reginald Webster also clasped his mug of tea with both hands. ‘I would go along fully with that. Nothing to cause suspicion about the house and a woman who thinks it really is all about her but who is not suspicious in herself.’
    â€˜Two adult children,’ Hennessey commented. ‘Do we have any suspicions there? I mean to say that if we were to follow the book of rules we’d look at the in-laws before we’d look at the outlaws.’
    â€˜Well ... sir,’ Carmen Pharoah was first to respond, ‘Mrs Wenlock didn’t hide the fact that the marriage was less than perfect, but she did say that the boys were closer to their father than they were to her and she claimed that they blamed her for his disappearance but, as you say, we have only her word for that. I would think that a visit to the two sons might be ... how shall I put it? Illuminating?’
    â€˜Which is what I was thinking,’ Hennessey replied softly. ‘Do we perchance know where each of her sons lives?’
    â€˜No ... sorry, sir.’ Pharoah looked embarrassed and glanced at Webster. ‘I’m sorry, we should have ...’
    â€˜No matter,’ Hennessey held up his hand, ‘a simple phone call to the good Mrs Wenlock will be sufficient to obtain their addresses. Can you do that please, Carmen? And then you and Reg can visit the sons. I want you two to stay teamed up on this one; you seem to be working well together.’
    â€˜Yes, skipper,’ Webster responded alertly.
    â€˜So, an accountant,’ Hennessey continued, ‘and those four postcards of Scarborough which started it all, that is a mystery within a mystery. Somebody wanted James Wenlock’s body to be found, someone with a conscience perhaps? We might never know ... but anyway, the sender of the cards is of interest but not a priority.’ Hennessey gulped his tea, then reached forward and lifted up the copy of the
Yellow Pages
which lay on his desk top and turned to ‘Accountants’. ‘Yes ...’ he said, ‘here we are ... Russell Square, Chartered Accountants and

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