We find ourselves gathered around the portal leading to part 28 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”.
As with most of the posts for this novel in my blog, the title is taken from a song lyric with some kind of associated picture to give you a clue. This one was going to be called “Dance ballerina girl, go go go!", but it got hijacked. This first title is linked to the number 28.
The actual title, ‘I hope they don't stop at my door’, cropped up when I was looking up an image. The title of the track is somewhere in the story and the artist is in the picture.
OK, the quiz questions out of the way, here is my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the alien vibration known as Part One.
And having escaped the mantra, With that out of the way, I shall fling you headlong into a recap that is getting out of all control. It would be great if somebody could come up with a better way to deal with this recap beast. It is getting quite unwieldy.
The world has gone mad. Inspector Glynn Jones believes that everyone else is out of step not him. A view encouraged by the man from the State Security Services, dressed in green lycra, he discovered in his kitchen. Later, when trying an experiment, the engraving on his wedding ring mysteriously changed when Pippa gave a different wedding day for their marriage than was originally on the ring.
Jones has no recollection of any marriage, but he is finding being hitched to Pippa Hucknell, an investigative journalist, rather enjoyable. Other events are not so pleasurable. He has found that he driving a rather chirpy, lime green Datsun Cherry that behaves like a puppy; suffered numerous random wardrobe malfunctions; keeps re-growing a ginger moustache; bet against his own station in the upcoming police light entertainment championships; had run in with gangs of Buddhist monks; had one of his team hospitalised by the feral Girl Guides and found the camp Sat-Nav unit in the pink Mark III Ford Zephyr is developing a personality and cannot be switched off.
Then there are the strange cases he has to solve, the abduction of Archie McRamie, the theft of industrial generators, forged tickets for the Light Entertainment Championships, feral Girl Guides, the smuggling of illegal Macramé yarn, a suspected murder of a ‘John Doe’ dragged from the Thames, and the disappearance of a number of petty criminals.
Doctor Wilkins, the famous TV Pathologist, has confirmed the unknown swimmer drowned in the Thames after taking a large high tea. The Fruit Fancies of his last meal are being linked to Darrius ‘The Baker’ Kipling. Darrius and Dunker Phil both work for Horace Adkins, the beloved Barbers Shop Quartet impresario who is presumed dead after a massive explosion at his Georgian Mansion which the local police have suggested was suicide.
Archie McRamie is a best-selling author credited with the book ‘The Cat Crowed at a Little After Two-thirty’. The main character in the book appears to be Horace Adkins. However, it appears that it is his wife and secretary, Elspeth Periwinkle that writes all his books.
Constable Rory Tiddles has found some interesting CCTV footage related to the abduction of Archie McRamie. It shows Dunker Phil climbing into Archie’s car at a filling station unchallenged.
Darrius ‘The Baker’ Kipling and Dunker Phil were observed with Vera Anne Adkins and Violet Ann Adkins, two of Horace’s daughters, visiting the offices of London’s premier trial lawyers, Witherspoon, Lewes, Grambling, and Witherspoon. Vera Adkins had gone there to instigate a defamation case, but her sister Violet arrived and talked her out of it.
Jones has had a meeting with his Superintendant and a man from the State Security Services who were very interested in finding out why this visit took place, but have told the Inspector that he will be disowned if his investigation results in adverse public opinion. After reading an old newspaper that once wrapped a fish supper, Jones believes he now has the answer.
I hope that has made everything clear? Oh well, at least I tried.
Now read on...
Back inside the station, Jones sought out Sergeant Collins. The sergeant was sat behind a pile of paper. When Jones approached, Collins put down his pen and stood up.
“So, was the chippy open?” Collins asked
“Fred opened up just for me.” Jones gave a grin. “Look, I need some uniform back-up in about half an hour. I’m going to pick up... errr... pick up a suspect.”
“Sure, I think I can manage that.” Collins paused and rubbed his chin slowly. “Glynn, we go back a long way. I remember you as a fresh-faced kid when you blew in from the valleys.”
“I’m worried about you, Glynn.” Collins spoke softly. “You seem to be trying to do everything yourself. You seem to have forgotten that to be a good copper you need trust and teamwork.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you.” Jones waved his hands as he spoke. “It’s just... the whole world seems...”
The two men looked at each other as Jones grappled with his thoughts.
“It’s complicated.” Jones broke the sergeant’s gaze. “It’s like the world keeps changing around me. I need to be able to trust myself first.”
“You’ve been working too hard. Maybe you need a break.” Collins raised an eyebrow. “Not that you will take a break. But if you won’t do that, you need to find somebody to trust – and you know that I’ll be here if you need me.
Jones nodded. “Thanks.”
“Just remember what I said. You’re no good to anybody in a rubber room.” Collins pointed an accusing finger at the Inspector.
Jones gave a half-hearted laugh and then headed back to his desk.
After locking one of the two DVDs and one of the envelopes in his top drawer, Jones rang the Superintendant. It was answered by his receptionist who insisted that any appointment with the Superintendant was impossible before Tuesday. Jones scowled and told her to tell him that he wanted to update him on Vera Adkins meeting at Witherspoon, Lewes, Grambling, and Witherspoon. Jones heard voices in the background before the receptionist returned to the line and informed the inspector he could have a brief audience at 4 o’clock that afternoon.
Jones carefully replaced the receiver and swore under his breath.
For the next 20 minutes, he busied himself typing up his notes.
“Right then!” Jones shouted and slapped his hands down on the desk. “Smithy, fire up the Zephyr! Brown, Johnson, you’re with us. We’re going visiting!”
The detectives trailed in Inspector Jones’s wake as he strode from the office. In the car park, the rendezvoused with six uniformed constables who clambered aboard a police camper van when they arrived. The driver asked Jones where they were heading. Jones only told them to follow the Zephyr.
When all of the detectives were in the Zephyr, Smithy started the engine.
“Where to, guv?” Smithy asked.
“Oh, yes, please tell us, sweetie. I do just love an outing” the sat-nav piped in.
Jones prodded the off switch on the sat-nav.
“Stop that! It tickles!” the sat-nav giggled and refused to switch off.
“We are going to the Red, White and Blue club.” Jones announced.
“Oh, super!” the sat-nav cut in. “A show, I do so love a good show.”
“The Red, White and Blue club? Horace Adkins’s Red, White and Blue club?” Smithy queried.
“Are we picking up The Baker, guv?” Johnson asked from the back seat.
“Yes, Horace Adkins’s club.” Jones gave a sigh. “And, no, until we have all the test results, I want to keep my powder dry for The Baker.”
“Oh very droll.” The sat-nav interrupted. “Powder, dry, baker, get it? Ooo you are a tough audience. At the entrance to the car park, turn right.”
Jones kept pressing the off switch to no effect. “We are going to invite Dunker Phil to come in for a chat. It looks like he was the last person to see Archie McRamie before he vanished.”