Monday, March 29, 2010

Magpie/ Prompt #7

photo/willow/magpie tales

THE BODY IN THE SUNROOM

She said her name was Marple.  Miss Jane Marple.  She knocked on the door shortly after that piercing scream rang through the mansion.  Fontescue let her in, a seemingly harmless little old lady.  He took the card from her gloved hand and showed her into the library.  And summoned me, Lady Daphne.

We had all gone to tea in the sunroom, celebrating the arrival of Prince Victor of Romania, and the reading of the will, when suddenly there was a noise at the window.  A blackbird crashed into a pane, Livie dropped a scone, and Percy tripped over poor Lady Agatha's body, which must have been lying behind the sofa since before any of us had arrived.  I was the one who screamed, as who wouldn't at the sight of a beloved sister-in-law, lying wide eyed and dead at our feet.

"Oh, Miss Marple", I exclaimed, having been fetched to meet her in the library.  "What brings you here?"

She exclaimed, " I heard a scream as I was crossing the footbridge, and just knew that a body couldn't be too far away.  But, not in the library, I see."

"No", said I, "Not this time. In the sunroom."  She looked knowingly around the room, a tiny smile lifting the corner of her lightly rouged lips. 

"Did the the blackbird die?"

"Yes", I exclaimed, amazed at her prescience.  I clutched my throat.  "It's lying in a bed of daffodils".

"Can you show me, please", she asked.  I walked quickly with Miss Marple at my side, to the sunroom, Fortescue rushing ahead to open the door for us. 

Since all were still assembled around poor Lady Agatha, Miss Marple had no need to gather everyone, as she solved the mystery. 

Pointing to the garden, and the very dead, very black, blackbird, she bent over the spilled teacup, and the delicate yellow daffodil petals lying at poor Lady Agatha's feet.  "I presume that poor Lady Agatha was to be the recipient of the entire content of the will, that you ", she pointed at Sir Clive, "were about to read.  If you please, do begin.  We'll probably see who the next in line for the fortune will be in the event of poor Lady Agatha's unfortunate demise.  Ah, such lovely daffodils all around...and who here has recently prepared a daffodil honey"?

Everyone looked around and the gazes fell on one person.  "Who here is so familiar with the ever present daffodil, and its most unique property"?  Miss Marple scanned the room as she spoke.  "Who left the jar of honey unguarded, knowing that poor Lady Agatha had a tendancy to arrive before anyone else for tea, so she could have a surreptitious spoonful of honey?  Unknowing at the time, of course, that a dose of the daffodil's dark side was being administered.  I refer of course to the poisonous Lycorine, in the leaves, in the bulb.  Really unexpected in the beauty of the flower of Springtime, but ever present nevertheless.  As poor Lady Agatha was doomed to find out". 

Miss Marple made a strange gesture, scratching the back of her hands.  "And the murderer is giving a bit more away...having daffodil itch!  Hyperkeratosis, as we know, is an almost unbearable dryness and scaling that comes from the calcium oxalate in the sap.  And someone here does not seem able to resist an impulsive scratch. 

"The poison in the honey"?  Miss Marple slowly turned, and exclaimed, "If you look in Lady Daphne's sagging pocket, you will find the jar of honey, next to the red herring, laced with poison.  The killer obviously is..."

...and she pointed to me, as I scratched my hands...



Great thanks to Willow at magpie/prompts#7 for giving us all this fun opportunity!


http://www.minblu.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/lynxny

36 comments:

Peg said...

Cute - so very Marple

Lyn said...

Hi Peg-
Thanks..I feel as if I really know Miss Marple!!

Catalyst said...

Oh, that's marvelous! Way to go, honey!

Lyn said...

Hi Catalyst-
Thank you so much...fun is fun!!

Eric S. said...

Ohh what fun, an old fashioned Holmes style mystery. "Miss Marple", snarke.

Lyn said...

Hi Eric S-
So glad you enjoyed!! Thanks a lot...I've "done" Marple before!

willow said...

Ah, the itchy hands were a dead give away! I don't know which name I liked more, Fontescue or Sir Clive. Loved this, Lyn.

Derrick said...

Hi Lyn,

What a thriller! There's always something dark lurking in the heart of a daffodil!

I tried posting this and Blogger asked me to come back in 30 minutes - so if it did get through, no worries!

Lyn said...

Hi Willow-
Meet you down the road in St. Mary Mead!
Obsessed..wrote a bit in my poetry book.."The Life I Didn't Lead"..guess??
Thanks...

Lyn said...

Hi Derrick-
I too have had tons of trouble with Blogger since yesterday, when everything disappeared! They're working on it!!
Daffodil..guess it's the old yin and yang! Thanks...

A Cuban In London said...

You know what? I enjoyed it so much that I had to go back and read it again.

Many thanks. That was just a delight to read.

Greetings from London.

Jennifer said...

Charming and humorous Lyn. And you brought me back to many a Marple story.

Lyn said...

Greetings to a Cuban-
Happy to bring good cheer to the world!! Twice? Wow!! many thanks...

Lyn said...

Hi Jennifer-
Thank you..somehow all Marple stories are overlapping in my mind..is this plagiarism??

Angie Muresan said...

Oh, I love this! A little bit of mystery to start my day with. Perfect!

Lyn said...

Hi Angie-
I usually end the day with mystery..more like,"what just happened"!!
Thanks for visiting..it was fun...

steviewren said...

Wow! That Miss Marple is a wonder of deductive reasoning. Fun story. Great magpie entry.

She Writes said...

Nicely done!

Lyn said...

Hi steviewren-
Thanks..How does she do it?? Long may she deduce!!

Lyn said...

Hi She Writes-
So glad you dropped by..I see Marple in lots of stuff!!
Thanks..

Vicki Lane said...

What fun! I'm a great Agatha Christie fan and Miss Marple is my favorite -- love the references -- the body in the library, the blackbird. Wonderful!

The Bug said...

What fun! I love a good mystery... The brevity of this one reminds me of my dad's old Ellery Queen magazines...

Peter Goulding said...

I always regarded Miss Marple like Angela Lansbury in Murder She Wrote. Hasn't anybody twigged with all these murders happening around her, that she's the obvious suspect, being very careful to stitch somebody else up?

Lyn said...

Hi to The Bug-
My Mom introduced me to Ellery Queen, whom I loved too..always liked a "mystery"...thanks!

Lyn said...

Hi Peter-
Very clever, my dear...but I suspect a red herring!! Then again....

Lyn said...

Hi Vicki Lane-
Love all the Marples, from way back...some more "Jane" than others!! Thanks...

joanny said...

Love your header and the beautiful vase of tulips

Loved Miss Marple and her lightly rouged lips and the Sir Clive and Fortescue, Prince Victor of Romania,etc their names ready help set the stage quite a set of characters you have there . and of course the very black dead black bird.
"amazed at her prescience." "I refer of course to the poisonous Lycorine, in the leaves, in the bulb." all so true --- clever and witty -- loved the ending did not expect that"itchy hands" indeed.

Joanny

Lyn said...

Hi Joanny-
Thank you..I do love the tulips too..and I always have a good time with Miss Jane Marple!

Uma Gowrishankar said...

What a way to use the prompt, you build the atmosphere so beautifully and you take us through the narrative in a breath. Great work truly, Lyn.

Lyn said...

Hi Uma-
Really appreciate your comment..I do like parody a lot..will try not to let it go to my head!! Thank you..

SUN DANCE HILL said...

Superb! This is a great story, very compelling and full of great imagery. Loved it!

Lyn said...

Hi Sun Dance Hill-
I did enjoy this prompt very much..love the challenge! Thank you!!

Brian Miller said...

oh what a fun magpie...delighful tale!

rel said...

You did some research for this one and it paid marvelous dividands. well thought out and delivered with the skill of a novelist.

Lyn said...

Hi Brian-
Thank you..just love these prompts, as others seem to also!!

Lyn said...

Hi Rel-
That's very nice of you. I actually have so much Marple stuffed in my brain..years of watching Masterpiece Mysteries! Just can't stop...

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