Detective-Inspector White sucked on a herbal cough sweet and regarded the text message from DS Peters. “Major fire in woods west of Magelight. Possible robot connection?” It was unlikely to be otherwise. One of the first things he'd ever learned about solving crimes was that nothing was ever a coincidence, and if it was, chances are you were missing something. Beryl's footsteps on the stairs prompted him to stuff the phone under the sheets, shifting position to ensure his thigh muffled any beeps and whistles.
His wife pushed open the door with her ample bottom, shuffling backwards into the room until the breakfast tray she carried cleared the door jamb. She turned and slid the tray onto the top of the dressing table, pushing bottles of scent and pots of face cream to one side. The rattle of a teacup on a saucer preceded her smile. “And how's Mr Moody-Trousers today?”
“I'm not moody, I'm just mulling over the case.” White's scowl belied his words.
“You're supposed to be enjoying bed rest.”
“Enjoying? Is that what it is? A prisoner in my own home, more like it. The Bledington Strangler gets more privileges than I do.”
“He's more co-operative, I expect.” Beryl poured a cup of tea and handed it to him. What was it about being an invalid that made tea appear in tiny china cups? Where was his mug? “Plus, I bet he hasn't just been released from hospital after a heart attack.”
“Minor heart attack, they said. Just a twinge, really.”