We met Christine Capper, private investigator, last Christmas. Remember?
So what’s she up to now?
She’s busy, as you’ll see in the following extract from Mrs Capper Casebook #2. It’s a good way from finished and it doesn’t even have a working title yet, but it’s set around the week of Haxford Wool Fair.
In the extract, Christine is busy making final edits to her weekly vlog when she’s interrupted by a telephone call.
“Christine Capper,” I announced.
“Am I speaking to Christine Capper?” The voice pronounced my name ‘Cappeur’ and had a distinct French lilt to it. Either that or he was putting on a poor impression of Hercule Poirot.
“Didn’t I just say so?”
“Ah, oui. So you did. You are, how you say, a private instigator?”
“Private investigator,” I corrected him. “Yes, I am.”
“Ah. Bon. Could you meet with me, Mademoiselle Capper?”
I tutted. It was one of those calls, was it? “For a start off, it’s Madame Capper. I’m married, and secondly, I don’t meet with strange men who ring out of nowhere. Good—”
“Non, non, pardonnez moi. Écute moi, por favor. I see how it seems, but I am in need of the help of a private dick.”
I didn’t much like his description of my calling. Too 1950s Hollywood. I took a breath to calm down and gather my thoughts. “Very well, I’ll listen, but I’m going to need a good deal more information before I agree to meet with you. Shall we start with your name?”
“I am Francois Ketchak. I am the owner of Ketchak’s Funfair which is in Haxford for the Wool Fair. Tu comprends?”
“I understand. And what is it can do for you Monsieur Ketchak?”
“My life. It is being threatened.”
That did not make sense. This was Haxford not Sicily, and Haxford did to do death threats unless you counted those made by me on Dennis, but they were usually the result of some misdemeanour on his part, like walking into the house in his working boots.
“Go to the police.”
“I do not wish to waste the time of your British Polizei, Madame, for what may be no more than a lazy threat. I ask again, would it be possible for you to meet me?”
“Not so fast, monsieur. Please listen to me. I know what I’m talking about. I was a police officer for many years.” I didn’t think it necessary to tell him that I left the police service almost thirty years ago. The law hadn’t changed that much. “Death threats are matter for them, not a private investigator.”
“But I don’t know that it is serious, Madame, and I do not want to risk them turning on me. I need your help and to explain, I need to speak to you in person.”
“All right, but there are two things you should understand. I charge twenty pounds for an initial consultation, non-refundable, and it’s my decision whether or not I take your case. Are you all right with that?”
“In that case, I can meet you as long as it’s in Haxford, and in a public place, yes.”
“I am rooming at the Haxford Arms on la Rue de Huddersfield. Oui? You know it?”
I checked the clock and read half past nine. “I’ll see you in the lounge bar at eleven o’clock. Is that okay?”
He agreed and I rang off.
So what happens when Christine meets with the multi-lingual M. Ketchak?
Well, you’ll have to wait until the book is out to find out and it’s due sometime in the spring. In the meantime, if you want to keep up to date, why not subscribe to my newsletter. You can find the details at:
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