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Death After Evensong

By Douglas Clark

The body was found in the village school. 

The vicar of Rooksby-le-Soken in East Anglia was found on Monday morning on a classroom floor with a hole through his heart-but no trace of the bullet. Indubitably he had been killed on the spot, the blood on the wall behind him was proof of that.

Detective Chief Inspector George Masters was sent by the Yard to sort things out and decided the method was less important than the motive. From his headquarters in the local pub Masters began his delving into the private lives of the villagers and soon discovered that the vicar was a much unloved incumbent.

No one had a good word for him and quite a number had considerably less than that. The publican and his Italian wife, with an attractive, still unwed daughter of twenty-eight, the local G.P. and his obstreperous son who ran a joint practice, the village carpenter, and the schoolmaster with a grudge, were only a few of the suspects Masters unearthed in twenty-four hours.

In a few days he had raked up enough dirt to put a lot of them on the spot. But in the end it was his capacity for remembering significant details and fitting them into the jigsaw that sorted out the man and the method.

Douglas Clark was born in Lincolnshire, 1919. He wrote over 20 crime novels and under other names, including James Ditton and Peter Hosier.

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