The Killing of Katie Steelstock


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The perfect condiment to season the family evening meal. And starting with one of the supporting parts, Katie had somehow managed to take it over. The producer must have had something to do with it, and the cameramen certainly lent a hand; but it was her own bubbling, self-confident, friendly extrovert personality which turned Kate into our Katie, the two-dimensional friend of a million three-dimensional families; pin-up for a million adolescents; the guest, at the same time real and unreal, at a million supper tables.

We converted the stable block into a self-contained maisonette for her. If when she said we Mrs. Steelstock implied that she had paid for it, this was untrue. It gives her just that bit of privacy that all real artists need. And by the by. From Mr. It transpires that this incident must have taken place in the early hours of the morning. Walter considered this slowly.

He liked to consider things slowly. Unless he has a particular grudge against the three people concerned. Mariner, Vigors and Windle. One of the reasons that McCourt had taken a circular route into West Hannington was that it was an excuse for leaving the Mariners to the last. George Mariner had built the Croft when he came to West Hannington twenty years before.

It had taken a lot of money, and the sacking of one architect, to get it exactly as he wanted it, which was odd, because it was not a house of any particular character. McCourt raised the heavy brass dolphin door knocker and let it fall with a thud upon the heavy oak-panelled door. When nothing happened, he said something under his breath, knocked again and pressed the bell. This did produce results. Lights came on in the wrought-iron lanterns on either side of the porch and the door was opened by a smart-looking maid. The maid said, in tones which would have suited a fifty-year-old butler, I will ascertain if he is at home.

May I have your name? You know perfectly well who I am. Buzz along like a good girl and get hold of him.

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Will you come this way please, said the maid, without abating a jot of her formality. If you will be good enough to wait. McCourt sighed and contained his soul in patience. It was a full ten minutes before the master of the house appeared. The pinkness and whiteness of his face, the smartness of his lightweight linen suit, the crispness of his shirt reproved the Sergeant, who felt hot, sticky and dirty and illogically blamed this on the cool figure in front of him.

Mariner turned his broad back on the Sergeant and mixed himself a generous Scotch and water. Now tell me, what is it brings you out on this hot evening? McCourt explained. Mariner said, Have no fear. My girl will be here until we get back. I have Chubb locks on the front and back door, window locks on all the ground-floor windows and a burglar alarm which sounds off in your police station. I take it there will be someone on duty tonight?

Mariner touched a bell in the wainscoting and said, Polly will show you out. He then sat down at his desk, inserted a sheet of paper into the typewriter and started to type, not inexpertly. The Sergeant retired to the hall, where he found the maid waiting. A lot of toffee-nosed crumbs. McCourt grinned, resisted the temptation to smack the bottom which, in its tight black dress, seemed to be inviting a smack, and clumped out of the door. He said, Be good, then. She watched him go. She thought he was rather a dish. A bit solemn, but good-looking in a dark Scottish way.

A bit like Gregory Peck, really. At the police station McCourt found Detective Sergeant Esdaile, a Yorkshireman, his senior in years and rank, finishing an accident report. My God, how I hate that man. It was a direct gift from the Almighty.


  1. “Like a wasp eating marmalade,” whispered Mrs. Havelock.” – Dana Stabenow!
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  4. THE KILLING OF KATIE STEELSTOCK by Michael Gilbert | Kirkus Reviews.

It enables him to look upon policemen as supernumerary footmen. True, he only kept me waiting for ten minutes tonight. He crossed out the second version of the word and scratched his head with the end of the pen. And when he did come down from whatever it was he was doing he spent another twenty minutes giving me a lecture on the proper performance of my duties.

Old Mr. Beaumorris sat in the bow window of his cottage on the street.

gadetection / Death of a Favourite Girl

The window was wide open. Through it he observed the life of West Hannington. There was not much happened in the village which escaped him. He saw the Reverend Dicky Bird driving past in his battered Austin, the back of the car stacked with folding chairs, presumably destined for the Memorial Hall.


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He was glad there were going to be plenty of chairs. Havelock came striding past. Must weigh all of twenty stone, he thought. In prime condition, though. She spotted Mr. Beaumorris, drew up, poked her head through the window and boomed, You coming dancing tonight, Frank?

Too old and too stiff to dance, though. I imagine all your brood will be in evidence. Roney and Sim will have to stop at home and look after the young ones. Havelock and sailed off up the street like a barquentine with the wind behind it. Beaumorris smiled. He detested all children.

“Like a wasp eating marmalade,” whispered Mrs. Havelock.”

A quarter past eight. Time to be thinking of moving. He liked to be early at functions. It was too hot for his favourite velvet-collared smoking coat. Instead he would wear the white alpaca jacket, which had belonged to his father. The ends of the trousers could be tucked temporarily into his socks. As was his habit, Mr. Beaumorris annexed the most comfortable chair in the hall, shifted it into the corner and enthroned himself upon it; and as iron filings are drawn to a magnet, the older ladies flocked up and settled around him.

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But this did not prevent them spending a great deal of time talking to him. We live in troubleous times, he said. Violence, dishonesty, theft and assault. They ransacked the place from top to bottom. Poor Lucretia was in tears about it, said Mrs. She had a complete set of asparagus servers which had been in the family for more than three hundred years. This was recognised as being a prestige point for Mrs. I have a number of precious objects in my own little house, said Mr. Many of them I picked up when I was working at the V. Fortunately they are hardly the sort of items to attract the rapacity of a burglar.

Helen Mariner swivelled in her chair and stared glassily at Mrs.

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This unnerving mannerism was largely due to deafness. Eventually she thawed sufficiently to say, I believe we have. Planned on reading The Country House Burglar not much about that one on the web but I'll probably have to save it for next year's challenge. At this point I'm afraid I will not cover both Bingo cards. Drat it all! John November 21, at AM. Anonymous November 21, at AM. TracyK November 21, at AM. Martin Edwards November 22, at PM.

John November 25, at AM. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Also worth noting is that the novel deals frankly, yet not salaciously or crudely, with "mature subject matter" sex, silly! Favourite Girl is a real model for the modern puzzle novel, more so, I would say, than the novels written by PD James since Incidentally, one can see a certain ties as writers between Henry Wade unjustly termed a "Humdrum" and Michael Gilbert. Tip: To turn text into a link, highlight the text, then click on a page or file from the list above.

Emmerdale - Robert Kills Katie

Death of a Favourite Girl Page history last edited by Jon 10 years, 4 months ago. Death of a Favourite Girl.

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