It’s four days to Christmas, the town centre is gridlocked, her car is off the road and she’s waiting for her husband to pick her up and take her to town for a nine o’clock appointment at the library .
That’s the opening scenario facing Christine Capper in…
Mrs Capper’s Christmas.
It’s the first of a brand new series of light-hearted, cosy mysteries starring the eponymous Mrs Capper, a blogger, vlogger, and private investigator.
Over the course of the following four days, she looks into the theft of expensive books from the library, a supposed armed robbery at a bargain shop on the High Street and as Haxford’s very own serial killer, the Graveyard Poisoner, picks up his nefarious activities, Christine finds herself drawn into the case.
Along the way she confronts pernickety council employees, a local self-styled hard man, a tearful teenager, and the obduracy of a police inspector who would prefer it if she kept her nose out. And all this is while she’s dealing with an automobile obsessed husband, a tight-lipped son, and a cat which is both moody, sulky and bone idle. Is it any wonder she keeps forgetting to put Christmas decorations round the wall clock? It’s all part and parcel of a busy life.
Just to whet your appetite, here’s the opening of Chapter One.
“… You’re tuned to Radio Haxford with Reggie Monk, and that was Greg Lake telling us all about how he believed in Father Christmas. Didn’t we all? Ha, ha, ha. It’s half past eight on a cold and gloomy Tuesday morning, we have just four days to Christmas, and here’s a bit of traffic news for you. You know that the news on Reggie Monk’s breakfast show is always good, it’s fun, it’s upbeat? Well, this time it isn’t. Ha, ha, ha. Sorry, folks, but if you’re thinking of hitting town for some late Christmas shopping, then put it off. Police are warning of what they describe as a serious incident on the High Street in the vicinity of Benny’s Bargain Basement. Someone must have found Benny’s wallet. Ha, ha, ha. Seriously, Haxforders, the police tell us that the High Street is closed to traffic while they deal with the incident, and that means Yorkshire Street, Market Street, and Huddersfield Street are gridlocked. Is that one for your weekly vlog, Christine Capper? Ha, ha, ha. We’ll press on regardless and what better way to pass the time in a traffic jam than listening to Radio Haxford and Slade wishing everyone a merry…”
Reggie’s garrulous announcement hit me as a triple whammy. First and foremost, he mentioned me by name, second, would the incident, whatever it was, have any potential for my weekly vlog, and third, I had an appointment at the library at nine o’clock; would the traffic jam make me late?
Hands shaking, anxiety climbing towards panic levels, I looked through the window, saw no sign of him, so I picked up my smartphone, swept my finger over the lock screen, and hit the icon for my husband. While I waited for Dennis to answer I reconsidered my priorities. The library staff, all two of them, were expecting me, so that had to come top of the list. Re the incident’s potential as a vlog post, I’d need a lot more information, and finally, it wasn’t the first time Reggie Monk had mentioned me and my vlog on his breakfast show.
Picking up the call Dennis broke into my thoughts. “Hey up, lass, Reggie Monk’s just mentioned your name.”
I could imagine Dennis’s features split apart by a wide grin. “Yes, I heard it too. Listen—”
“You’re getting too well known, Chrissy. Time you were advertising Haxford Fixers on your fillums.”
He interrupted me again. “I mean, it costs us a fortune to advertise in the Recorder, you know. If you could give us the occasional plug—”
This time, I cut in on him. “Shut up and listen, Dennis.” When I was satisfied that I had his undivided attention, I went on. “You’re supposed to be taking me to the library.”
“I am. I’m on me way to pick you up now.”
“Yes, well, Reggie Monk says the town centre is gridlocked, so you’d better get a move on or I’ll be late.”
“Where do you think I am other than right in the middle of the jam?”
Tempted? And so you should be.
Mrs Capper’s Christmas is exclusive to Amazon, available now in e-format and paperback.
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Mrs Capper’s Christmas.
It’s exclusive to Amazon, available as a Kindle book and in paperback, and if you’re member of Prime, you can read the e-book as part of your allowance.
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