The Mid Martin Henge Mysteries. A Clash of Minds.
Introduction. The Kate Winslow books are a story of good and evil, and how a faithful 93-year-old woman and a strong Christian, uses her agile mind and faith to aid her nephew Inspector Simon Culvate in solving crimes.
Kate Winslow has rebuilt her standing within the community of Mid Martin Henge, and faced down forces which were not human, and whom had been set about to bring her destruction.
Life was once more settling into the fluidic nature, which such a quiet village has, only, certain individuals whom escaped the arrests and attention of the police, and by avoiding the use of mass media sites, and limiting their contact to that of verbal face to face conversation, had got away from suspicion of involvement.
Now these people were reorganizing themselves, and seeking a way of finding revenge, against those who had betrayed their organisation and prevented their goals from been reached sooner rather than later.
Kate finds herself facing a challenge, of which was equal, if not superior, to that of her unique mind, and consequently, she battles to stay alive, not knowing if she could overcome the strength of the mind and forces been sent to attack her, and which were behind these previous challenges against her name and nature.
It was a dark stormy night, and the wind had already brought the occasional chimney down, and slates were dislodging from older properties, and making it precarious for those outside. It had rained for the last four days almost non-stop, and already the infrastructure had failed to drain away the continuous down pouring of water, and now flooding was an issue, as certain areas were already partly under water.
At the wreck, the local name given for the recreation ground where families and children visited, Christopher Bolden was begrudgingly walking his dog, when he came across the body of Christine, one of the local residences of Mid Martin Henge, and who had been in the employment of Kate Winslow.
Although Christopher had not known Christine that well, he was aware she had recently lost her daughter, and for a time had been suspected, in being responsible for the mass killings of old age pensioners within the area. Now she lay motionless face down in the mud, and beside her lay pieces of broken slate. Christopher suspected she had been hit by flying detritus, possibly roof tiles, and that she had died from the injuries.
As he turned his back to the wind and the blinding rain, he hunched his body lowering his head and tried to use his mobile phone. It was almost impossible, so he decided as he only lived about four hundred yards from where he was standing, that it was wiser to go home and use the land line.
Inspector Simon Culvate was awoken by his phone ringing, and as he sat up from his bed, he put on the light by his bedside cabinet and answered the phone. “Simon here.” Quietly he listened as the dispatch at Yeovil police station informed him of the discovery, and as he was a resident of Mid Martin Henge, and the nearest to the possible crime scene, Simon was expected to investigate.
By the time, Simon had dressed had a coffee and made his way to the recreation ground, WPC Murphy Evans had just parked her car, and was exiting the vehicle. “Murphy over here,” WPC Evans turned her head and could just make out the outline of her boss and friend walking towards her. “Morning Sir, it’s a foul night to be called out, and dangerous as well, I have already seen two chimneys down, and there is detritus in the wind, some of it is slate, or broken limbs from trees.”
Christopher Bolden was watching from his home, and once again put on his rain wear, and ventured out to show the Inspector where he had discovered the body. “Simon...,” He called out, “The body is over there about three hundred yards to your left.”
The Inspector waited as Christopher caught up to them. “Chris, thank you, was it you who discovered the body?” “Yes, ever since my Janet died, I have not been able to sleep so well, and I noticed old Samuel my dog, wanted to go out, he can’t always hold on until morning these days, so I took him out for a brief walk, and that’s when I found poor Christine.”
As they were walking over towards where the body lay, other police vehicles were arriving, and parking near WPC Murphy’s car. “Tell me Chris how were you able to identify it was Christine, as you told emergency services the body was face down in the mud...?”
“Her face is tilted slightly to her right and it was just enough to give recognition.”
“Did you touch the body...?”
“Yes! I placed two fingers on the neck to see if there was a pulse, had she still been alive, then I could just not leave her like that.”
“You did the right thing Chris and I am genuinely sorry you had to witness this so close after the loss of your wife,” replied Inspector Culvate.
As the forensic team and the police photographer arrived, the area was cordoned off and one of the growing familiar white forensic containment tents was erected.
Unfortunately, over the last year the residents of Mid Martin Henge in Somerset, had grown used to seeing them, and on this dreadful wet and stormy night, it was an almost certainty that some vital evidence will have already been lost.
Kate Winslow was up early as usual and had been sitting in her newly built conservatory when Simon Culvate her nephew, entered her garden by the rear gate, and was followed by WPC Evans. “Simon how lovely to see you..., and you as well Murphy, is this a social visit..., or business?”
As they both entered the conservatory and wiped their shoes on the shoe mat, Simon leaned over and kissed his aunt upon the cheek, “Business Kate..., Is there any tea left in the pot?”
“Yes, enough for both you and WPC Evans, and there some lovely freshly made T cakes in the kitchen, from the Shire Horse, if you fancy toasting them.”
“Oh, yes that would be nice..., Murphy would you like a toasted T cake?”
“Please Sir.” “Good you see to the tea and I will make us a couple of toasted T cakes each, replied Simon.
As Simon came back into the room, WPC Murphy had already sat down and was drinking the much-welcomed mug of tea. “Murphy here has just told me that you found another body early this morning..., was it anyone we knew?” Simon took a sip of the hot tea and then looked at Kate. “Sadly yes..., It was Christine, it looks as if she might have been hit upon the head by flying slate in the wind, but it is to early yet to be certain, and she was only partly dressed, making us suspect murder, as no normal sensible human would have been out on a night like that, unless they had a good reason.”
Kate placed a hand to her heart; the shock of this news had truly upset her. “Simon, we might have a problem, as Christine confided to me a couple of days ago, that she had felt someone was stalking her, and she had a few hate phone calls, and that she received a letter via the post, and within it, was a Ravens claw.”
Simons eyes widened at this news. “Kate..., why did you not make me aware of this?” “I genuinely wanted to..., but Christine begged me not to involve you, as she claimed she knew who might be responsible, all I could get from her was that she had been to old mother Chows home to do some cleaning and that something had frightened her..., but she refused to say what it was.”
Simon looked at Kate, “I’m not sure I know who mother Chow is,” Kate smiled,
“Yes, you do, she owns almost all of the land around this parish and extending into Little Hampton and Ashton. She lives in the old Farm house at the back of All Saints Church by Pound Lane.”
Simon blinked, “Is she really that wealthy?”
“That and more..., apparently, her family owned extensive land abroad, and she was the sole inheritor of her father’s estate. It was rumoured over forty years ago that his fortune was estimated at over two billion, and that was just as I said an estimate. As to what it is worth today, I could not imagine.”
Simon finished eating the tea cake and mug of tea. “I guess we will have to pay her a visit.” Kate laughed. “You can try, many have tried but failed, and were turned away by her son, you might recognise his name, it is Edward Grainsly.”
Simon blinked in shock, as Edward was a known criminal and had not long been released from a five-year prison sentence. “Oh..., that makes it a bit more interesting, I heard he is known for been violent and volatile and is somewhat emotionally unstable.”
Kate laughed, “If you would take some advice from an old lady, do not visit him unless you have at least five strong burly police constables by your side.”
“I will take that under consideration,” replied Simon, while smiling.