Murder on the Record by James Whitworth

Detective Inspector Frank Miller returns to Whitby – a town wreathed in mists and creepy Gothic connections.

It’s also now home to the woman of his heart, university lecturer Dr Alice Laine who specialises in 19th century Victorian literature.

Music is more to Miller’s taste. But the two passions are about to collide.

As Miller gazes out of window of his flat, he sees a woman – a stranger – apparently waving at him.

When he looks again she is lying unconscious on the pavement. He rushes to her aid, but she dies in his arms, whispering his name.

As a murder investigation gets under way it turns out that the victim, Abi Witney, is a post-graduate student of Alice’s who has been funding her studies by working for a pleasure-boat operator at the resort.

At the same time Miller’s assistant, Detective Sergeant Riddle, has been called out to a break-in in the town. Nothing, it seems, was taken – but a vinyl LP has been, bizarrely, deposited at the scene.

More break-ins follow this weird pattern, with a different album being left each time.

The murky Whitby mists persist, but Miller finally glimpses a link between the pleasure-boat owner and the records – seven in all.

The deeper he digs the clearer the link, and now it appears that seven Gothic-mad girls drawn to the infamous North Yorkshire town have also disappeared.

But why do the clues stubbornly refuse to add up? And can Miller crack the case before his short-fused station commander blows his stack?

James Whitworth is the daily news cartoonist for the Sheffield Star, a weekly cartoonist for the Sheffield Telegraph and the Jewish Chronicle, ad contributes to The Author and Hi-Fi News.

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Posted in Criminal Endeavours.