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Constable in the Shrubbery

By Nicholas Rhea

Constable Nicholas Rhea very much enjoys the quiet nature of policing such a sleepy, countryside village…

Not once has he had a murder or other serious crime on his hands while living and working in Aidensfield, however that doesn’t mean the village doesn’t have its fair share of colourful types.

Local aristocrat, Lord Thackerton and his son, Viscount Victor Elsinby are holding a large function up at Elsinby Hall to celebrate the Lord’s 60th birthday.

Rhea is to keep cars in check, keep gate-crashers out and make sure that everything is in order as there will some important and well-respected guests among those travelling for the event.

Since Lord Thackerston’s wife died, he has handed over much of the responsibilities of running the estate to his son, Victor. However, most of the party’s organisation has been the work of their butler, Johnson.

Despite his size and use of a cane, Johnson is fiercely efficient in his job as well as always looking immaculate in his black tails with white shirt and gloves.

Constable Nick notices Phyllis Catchpole, a well-known pickpocket being in attendance and although she assures him that she’s here to work, Nick would be wise to keep an eye on her.

He also bumps into Claude Jeremiah Greengrass, a strange figure in the community who has an old friendship with the aging Lord and who also has a taste for spying on people.

Considering he’s not cordially invited to the event, what is he doing around the estate?

Constable Nick’s shift finishes without incident and he heads home, however just as he is about to tuck into bed, a phone call.

Apparently, his sleepy village isn’t quite as sleepy as he had thought…

Edwin Drood, a wealthy and very aloof man has been found shot

Although this man had his fair share of enemies, surely none were so serious as to want to kill him?
And who would commit such an act?

With so many questionable types at the party, Constable Nick must work fast before the situation escalates any further…

Constable in the Shrubbery is a lively and suspenseful tale of the daily life and work of the local county policeman.

Nicholas Rhea, now retired, spent 30 years in the force, having started as a Police Cadet for the North Riding Constabulary. His best-known work, the Constable series, provided the inspiration for the hugely popular TV series, Heartbeat and he remained involved with the series as a consultant until filming ended in 2009.

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