It is cold and windy outside and I find myself cocooned in a much frequented coffee shop on sandbanks beach, actually called Sandbanks Cafe. The sea is rough and just looks cold.
Makes me thinks of a crime story I wrote quite a while ago. Set in Dounreay, on the north coast of Scotland and revolved around a young police inspector who is struggling to solve the case of a murder of a wealthy land owner. It is all somehow linked to the disappearance of an 11 year old girl, 13 years ago.
As he delved further and further into the case it became more sinister and he came across a community which seemed afraid. None of his leads came to anything until he meet a local farmer who lived by herself. Originally from New Zealand, having comeback to run her family farm after her father died 5 years ago. She had found a box of newspaper cuttings in the loft and had done some investigating of her own. Her father was a retired historian and had made some notes on the cuttings which could be useful, as no one was willing to talk about the girl.
Her father also made reference to a cairn appearing on a little Munro just after the girls disappeared. No one in this small village knew anything about it or who put it up.
When the two of them visited the cairn they find another right next to it and a dead Raven hanging from the top stone of the new cairn. Custom had it that a dead Raven hanging from a cairn was justice and a warning.
The ruins of Dounreay castle also held a secret, the little information they had seemed to point to the castle as the starting place but it was just a ruin.
Detective Inspector James Worth and Emma Stone, find the villages all clam up as soon as they start asking questions, a dead Raven is hung on Emma's front door and DI Worth gets a letter telling him to leave well alone or the next death might not be a Raven.
It really became very complicated and in the end I could not solve either of the cases, so I have put it away until another time. Hopefully look at it sometime and finish it off. Trouble is, it was originally a short story and now looks like becoming a short novel. I must admit it has all the right ingredients, murder, a disappearance, fear and a romantic angle. Set in a small, ageing community of about 50, in what seemed like a cursed village.
They have to solve both mysteries and to do that someone has to start talking.
Anyway that is enough rambling. Susan and I went for a walk at Kingston Lacy with JB on Sunday. Quite a pleasant day, any day is pleasant if it does not rain. We were hoping to see loads of snowdrops but we were too early in the season. I was disappointed with their new all weather walks, what use to be a grass path through the woods is now a wide tarred road with all the vegetation cleared out. All seemed dull and drab. JB had fun and we did manage to see some snowdrops.