We find ourselves gathered around the portal leading to part 31 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”.
This is another post where the title is taken from a song lyric with some kind of associated picture to give you a clue. This one is linked to the number 31.
It seems to be a tradition now that I also give you the answer.
OK, the quiz questions out of the way, here is my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the opener known as Part One.
The troublesome recap has now settled into its new home. You can find the recap here!
Now read on...
The Zephyr parked up in a side street diagonally opposite the Red, White and Blue Club. Jones rolled his shoulders and peered through the windscreen at the gothic frontage of the Red, White and Blue Club. He leaned forwards and stroked his moustache.
The four detectives climbed out of the car and looked across the street at the club. The six constables joined them and were briefed by Jones. The detectives stood, hands in pockets as the constables moved off to take positions at the side and rear entrances to the club.
“Smithy? Is this how you remember this place?” Jones’s brow furrowed.
“Well, it looks a bit bigger than I remember.” Smithy admitted. “I think they must have spruced up the frontage since I was last here.”
“Didn’t there used to be a pub on one side and a bookstore on the other?” Jones pressed.
Smithy scratched his chin. “Can’t have been. We must be thinking about another place.”
Jones opened his mouth to speak, and then closed it again. Gesturing to his companions, they set off towards the front of the club.
They paused at the huge impromptu shrine that ran the length of the entire frontage. The pavement was buried under flowers, candles in jars, teddy bears and various home-made soft toys that had been left in tribute to Horace Adkins.
They paused a short distance from the door. While his three companions crouched and examined the tributes, Jones looked up at the dark stone building with its various dark stone pillars, statues and gargoyles. Burnished gold letters proclaimed the building to be the Red, White and Blue Club and a large banner announced the club was celebrating the life of the great Horace Adkins with twice nightly shows.
“People have been so kind.” A female voice caused Jones to turn and come face to face with Violet Adkins.
“I’m sure they have.” Jones spoke carefully.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you at last, Inspector Jones” Violet extended her hand which the inspector shook. “Is this a social call?”
Jones looked at Violet Adkins, shook his head and pursed his lips. “No, I’m afraid it is official. I would like to have a chat with Dunker Phil.”
“Oh what has that scamp Phillip been up to now, Inspector?” Violet’s green eyes gleamed as she flashed her perfect teeth in a smile. “Come inside. Phillip should be around somewhere.”
Jones said nothing as Violet led the four detectives towards the entrance. Jones gestured for Johnson and Brown to wait outside.
As they crossed the marble floor of the foyer, The Baker, resplendent in a turquoise shell suit, appeared from behind a heavy, crimson velvet curtain next to the box office and traded glares with the inspector.
“Ah, Darrius. I wonder if you could do me a favour and bring some tea to the office?” Violet glanced towards the inspector. “And see if you can find Dunker and ask him to join us.”
The Baker exchanged glares with the inspector again before vanishing behind the curtain.
“Does the club own a black Oldsmobile?” Jones asked casually as they walked towards another velvet curtain at the back corner of the foyer.
“Yes, it does.” Violet replied. “It is a pool car really. Any employee can use it when it is not being used to for guests and clients.”
“Do you keep a log of who uses it?” Jones tried to ask as casually as he could muster.
“I’m afraid that I don’t know.” Violet paused at the curtain and pulled it back to reveal a dark wooden door with ‘Private’ marked on it in gold lettering. “My sister looks after this part of my father’s business.”
Violet opened the door and gestured for the inspector and Smithy to enter.
Sat at a large, highly polished mahogany table were Vera and Veronica Adkins.