Mydworth Mysteries by Matthew Costello,Neil Richards – Murder wore a Mask(Mydworth Mysteries #4)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 5.6 MB
Neil Richards has worked as a producer and writer in TV and film, creating scripts for BBC, Disney, and Channel 4, and earning numerous Bafta nominations along the way.
He’s also written script and story for over 20 video games including The Da Vinci Code and Starship Titanic, co-written with Douglas Adams, and consults around the world on digital storytelling.
His writing partnership with NYC-based Matt Costello goes back to the late 90’s and the two have written many hours of TV together. Cherringham the series is their first crime fiction as co-writers.
He turned down the corridor that led behind the staircase, dodging incoming footmen and maids, all madly bustling, and then headed down the stone steps to the kitchens.
Years ago, growing up here at Mydworth Manor, these subterranean corridors were his special haunts. The old cook (now long passed) had always been happy to find him a treat, or a mug of cocoa, or a warm corner by the stoves on a freezing winter’s day.
All that… helped him get through things.
He tipped his mask up – at least the regular staff would recognise him now and not be upset at the unannounced arrival of someone from “above stairs”.
Everywhere he looked there was furious activity: trays of food heading one way, great crates of dirty plates going the other for the kitchen porters to wash.
He sidestepped a pair of footmen carrying an impressive cold salmon on a silver salver, and peered through into the busy kitchen – just as a young man in an ill-fitting footman’s uniform bearing a massive bowl of oysters slipped on the wet floor… and fell badly, the bowl flying from his hands and smashing on the hard stone kitchen floor.
For a second there was utter silence. It was that loud! Then from every side, Harry saw kitchen staff race to the disaster – some to clear, some to clean.
One figure – the fearsome cook McLeod – picked up the young lad by the shoulder and dragged him to one side, an unintelligible stream of curses echoing around the kitchen.
“What’s the bloody point of you, laddie! I’ll kick your arse back to that boat you came off—”
Harry stepped forward and McLeod spun round, surprised to see Lady Lavinia’s nephew here in the kitchens.
“Sorry to interrupt, McLeod. But Lady Lavinia was wondering how the lobster hors-d’oeuvres were coming along.”
With a reluctant shake, McLeod let go of the footman and he sank back to the floor like an unwanted item of clothing.
“Aye, Sir Harry, should be ready. I’ll just away and see,” he said, leaving Harry and the young man together.
Harry lifted him up.
“You surviving?” said Harry, noting how nervous the lad seemed. Harry’s words brought a smile.
“Just about, sir.”
“Bark’s worse than his bite. You new?”
“Temporary, sir. Just for tonight. For the party.”
“Well, not to worry about that little accident. Happens all the time, night like this. Be forgotten before you know it. Probably already is. Though – I’d not recommend a repeat.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“McLeod will probably want to dock your pay – best give me your name, I’ll see you right tomorrow if he does.”
The young man frowned, seeming reluctant to answer.
Strange, thought Harry. Maybe moonlighting, nervous of getting caught?
“Come on now, lad. Won’t go any further,” he said.
“Um… Todd, sir. Charlie Todd.”
Harry saw Todd glance anxiously down at the floor – where a clasp knife poked out from beneath a cupboard.
“That yours?” said Harry.
Todd nodded, then reached down, picked it up and pocketed it quickly.
“Must have slipped out. When I fell.”
“All right, Todd,” said Harry, wondering why a kitchen porter found it necessary to carry a pocket knife.