The Case of It’s a Dog’s Life
So how are you finding our British weather?” inquired Constable Howard.
Detective Nose searched for something positive to say but came up blank – there had been nothing but gray drizzle since he arrived! And now, although he was supposed to be on holiday, his friend was taking him on a work trip to the scene of a death – as if Detective Nose didn’t see enough of them back home.
Luckily he was saved from having to answer as the Constable suddenly braked hard and swerved the police car into a gravel drive. “Jolly good, here we are,” he said happily.
As they exited the car, a plump man opened the door of the big, old, ivy-covered house and bustled out to meet them.
“Ah, good morning,” said the Constable, removing his hat deferentially. “This is my friend Detective Nose, holidaying here; come along with me for the ride is all.”
Mr. Falconer, the owner of Manor House, shook both of their hands. “A pleasure, a pleasure! Do come in, gentlemen.”
Detective Nose’s day wasn’t getting any better. As he crossed the threshold, a huge dog appeared from nowhere and launched itself at his chest, almost winding him.
“Down, Rover! Sorry Detective – sorry – he wouldn’t hurt a flea – his only problem is his bottomless stomach, I’m afraid he searches everyone that comes in the house in case they have any food!”
“Humph… that’s OK,” said Detective Nose a little grumpily.
Their host showed the two investigators to the scene of the crime. An impressive dining room, the centerpiece of which was an enormous, regal dining table.
“The police have of course removed the … uh … deceased,” said Mr. Falconer,”and my chef cleared away the dishes, but otherwise nothing has been touched.”
“Right,” said Constable Howard reassuringly. “This is just a formality, sir, my colleagues at the station believe your guest died of a heart attack. Our visit is just a tick in the box.”
Mr. Falconer looked relieved. “It was awful,” he confided. “One minute we were all enjoying a lively dinner party, and the next dear old Bob collapsed into the remains of his food.”
As the other two men talked, Detective Nose stalked around the room, his footsteps cushioned by the deep, luxurious carpet. He stopped directly behind the seat where Bob had been sitting when he died. He slowly turned a full circle, noting everything in sight. Returning to face the table, Detective Nose was struck by the vast mirror that hung on the wall directly opposite. With its highly ornate frame, the mirror was clearly meant to be the focal point of the room.
The Detective frowned as he looked at the mirror – there was something odd about it – it was subtly concave, reflecting virtually the whole room. Immediately behind him was an open door. He wandered through it and found himself in a spotless kitchen. He took a quick inventory. Dog’s bowl full of dinner scraps by the scullery, a hanging rack of utensils, enormous Aga stove …
“Ah, Detective, there you are!” The constable bustled in. “I think we’ve done our duty here. Shall we be going?”
“Howard”, the detective replied seriously, “all is not quite what it seems in this place.”
What made Detective Nose suspect foul play?
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