Small Town Suspicions (Some Very English Murders Book 3) (25 page)

Carl and Alec.
Penny shook her head. Both men were damaged and stuck
in their pasts, and couldn’t move forward. Mandy had been the sanest one among
them, and Penny had a deep respect for the woman. She didn’t think she could
have been so serene in her position.

But then, as even Steve said
about his disastrous university career – what good would stressing and gnawing
about it really do?

She was glad that it was
wrapped up, and glad that Mandy had finally cleared her name. She hoped that
she had kept her job in the shop, and was happy in her little flat. She seemed
to be doing good for others in the gambling support society, and her life had

As for Carl, he’d serve his
time. Penny wondered if he would endure as serenely as Mandy. She suspected

Penny glanced at her watch.
She had a date with Drew that evening, and she was looking forward to it. They
were off to the cinema. He had surprised her by suggesting a European arthouse
film, and she had felt slightly ashamed of her surprise until he confessed that
he had no idea what it was about but had asked Brian Davenport, the manager of
the hotel where he ran his field craft courses, what sort of film would impress
“a cultured woman from London.”

Brian considered himself to
be a man with taste, and had provided a string of recommendations.

Kali yawned and stretched
and tipped her head back, peeking at Penny from the corner of her eyes. It
wasn’t quite time to feed her yet, but Kali liked to be prepared and ready.

Dogs were always ready for

Penny felt a little bereft.
The Sculpture Trail was done. The case was over. She had her art and craft work
to get on with. She had had so many plans that had fallen to one side, and now
she didn’t have much motivation to pick up where she had left off. She’d
promised Lee that she would return to the urban exploration group, and bring
Drew. She’d vaguely agreed to go to a few more craft fairs with Mary, though
she didn’t want to face a small minority of unfriendly makers. She was still
volunteering at the weekend for the dogs’ home, but that was one afternoon a

I need a plan, an aim, a
she decided. Retirement
didn’t mean stultification, especially when it was early retirement.

It had to be something
with meaning
, she thought. Yeah, she
could learn furniture restoration or some-such, but it had to have meaning for

Maybe she should take a leaf
out of Francine’s book, and simply wait for the universe to show her what her
next move ought to be. If she let herself be open to signs, as Francine urged,
something would turn up.

Penny glanced to the door,
expecting the universe to oblige immediately. No one knocked.

She laughed at herself,
sighed, and dropped her half-drunk cup of tea when there was a sudden explosion
of furious knocking.

Kali leaped to the floor,
the solid mug bounced and rolled on the carpet, and tea soaked straight into
the rug.

The knocking continued.

Penny sent Kali to her mat
with a stern word, and went to see what the universe had brought.


And two of her three

And a facial expression of
dire foreboding…


The End


…for now.


Also out: Book One,
Town Shock

And Book Two,
Small Town

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Author’s Afterword



This is the bit you don’t need to read, but if you enjoyed
the book you might want to find out more.

I’ve got a website at
where I have more information about the characters, about Lincolnshire, and the
fictional town of Glenfield - including a map. It’s a work in progress.

The dog in this story, Kali, is based on our own rescue
dog, a Rottie cross called Stella. That’s her on the cover of this book. She’s
a stressed out and reactive thing, and we’re still working through her issues.
I wish it was as easy as Penny found it … you can read more about dogs on my
website, too. And look at photos. Everyone loves photos of dogs, right?

There are more books coming in this series (I wrote a heap
all at once).

Oh, I’m on Facebook here –
– and Twitter here – @IssyBrooke – and I post a photo of our rescue dog on
Instagram most days here:

but as for the million other social media sites, nope. I’d rather be writing…

Thank you for reading.




Table of Contents




Author’s Hello

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Author’s Goodbye

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