Book 3: An Elegant Murder

Investigating the puzzling deaths of two pensioners on Bodmin Moor, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kettle uncovers hidden torment, avarice, lust and violence from forty years ago, which has modern day repercussions.

It’s a long, hot summer—good for Cornwall, which depends on tourist income—but, bad for crime. The heatwave drives people mad, and two corpses are found on Bodmin Moor.

The corpse of a mysterious elderly woman is found floating in a flooded quarry. Dressed in a 1950s ballgown, she carries no identification and can’t be traced.

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Days later, a burglar discovers the mummified corpse of a reclusive farmer, who’s been sitting at his kitchen table for five years. His farm is off the grid, and only a short walk from the quarry. Are the two victims connected? No one has missed them.

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The farming community on Bodmin Moor is insular, not given to sharing information, something Neil knows from personal experience, having grown up on a sheep farm. Thieves are around, stealing property from remote barns and rustling livestock. Stolen to order, by armed gangs from upcountry, it’s likely that they have cooperation from locals betraying their neighbours. Farmers are guarding their animals with shotguns. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a shootout.

Not all dead cattle, deer and sheep have been taken by rustlers. A stealthy four-legged killer stalks the land: the legendary Beast of Bodmin Moor looks to be a flesh and blood exotic big cat.

In a primitive landscape, unchanged for hundreds of years, and with no CCTV cameras and weak mobile phone signals, Neil Kettle tracks down his suspects, while becoming prey himself!

Author: Paul Whybrow

I am a self-employed writer, which means I’m working for an idiot who doesn’t pay me enough – but the holidays are great. Ex many occupations, from the respectable ‘career ladder’ to disreputable “somebody’s- got-to-do-it”. All a good way of seeing someone else’s point-of-view. Best job, apart from writing, was dispatch-riding on a motorcycle in the ’70s, though I’ve also enjoyed teaching, librarianship, counselling and helping to run a community centre. Worst job—you really don’t want to know, but it was in a processed food manufacturer’s factory—put me off bacon, sausages and quiches for a long time, and made me look at pet food in a new way. Sometimes I’ve looked respectable in a suit, other times a bit wild and woolly (though still stylish) as a biker. It’s strange how differently people treat you, depending on what you’re wearing. A suit means I’m sometimes addressed as ‘sir’, but in motorcycle leathers I’m always referred to as ‘mate.’ I’ve been writing since I was eight when I penned a story about a desert island and attempted to compile a dictionary—which made me realise quite how many words there are. I’ve written for magazines under a variety of pen names, ghostwritten a couple of biographies and had a column in a local newspaper. I used to concentrate on non-fiction of an informative, how-to instructional nature, as I’m a firm believer in the dissemination of knowledge to enable people to do things for themselves. Knowledge is power, and in these troubled times of economic downturn and increased intrusion into our lives by government agencies, it’s vital to know how to get through. My fictional stories also show people coping and finding ways to survive. In 2015, I began writing a series of crime novels featuring a Cornish CID officer, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kettle. I completed the fifth story in 2018 and will be self-publishing Book 1, Who Kills A Nudist? in the summer of 2019. I’m based in a Celtic nation, the county of Cornwall or Kernow. I’ve been here for twenty-five years, and have lived all over the country, as well as abroad—in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and the USA.

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