The Layton Court Mystery (Roger Sheringham Cases, Book 1)
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In a typical English country house, a murder is committed. The wealthy Victor Stanworth, who’d been playing host to a party of friends, is found dead in the library. At first it appears to be suicide, for the room was undoubtedly locked. But could there be more to the case? As one of the guests at Layton Court, gentleman sleuth Roger Sheringham begins to investigate. Many come under suspicion, but how could anyone have killed the man and gotten out of the room, leaving it all locked behind?
anyhow, there’s plenty of food for thought there, isn’t there?’ ‘It does give one something to think about,’ Alec agreed, puffing vigorously. ‘Oh, and one other thing; possibly of no importance whatever. There was a slight scratch on Stanworth’s right wrist.’ ‘Rose bush!’ replied Alec promptly. ‘He was always playing about with them, wasn’t he?’ ‘Ye-es,’ Roger replied doubtfully. ‘That occurred to me, of course. But somehow I don’t think it was a scratch from a rose. It was fairly broad, for
inch or two of extra height enabled him to see well enough by standing on the shallow fender. There was very little dust on the chimney-piece, but enough to show a faint though well-defined ring upon the surface. Roger reached across for the other vase and fitted its base over the mark. It coincided exactly. ‘That proves it,’ Roger remarked with some satisfaction. ‘I knew I was right, of course; but it’s always pleasant to be able to prove it.’ He bent forward and examined the surface closely.
shell. But mark this. He mentioned at the same time that the revolver wasn’t fully loaded. Now, wouldn’t it have been possible for Stanworth to have fired that shot and then for some reason or other (Heaven knows what!) to have extracted the shell?’ ‘It would, I suppose; yes. But in that case wouldn’t you expect to find the shell somewhere in the room?’ ‘Well, it may be there. We haven’t looked for it yet. Anyhow, we can’t get away from the fact that in all probability Stanworth did fire that
stared with incredulous eyes at the bed. ‘Good Lord!’ he exclaimed, clutching Alec’s arm and pointing with an excited finger. ‘Look! They’ve gone, both of them! They’ve been smoothed out!’ ‘Great Scott, so they have!’ The two gazed at each other with wide eyes. ‘So Jefferson did hear what we were talking about!’ Roger almost whispered. ‘I have an idea that things are going to get rather exciting very soon, after all.’ chapter seventeen Mr Grierson Becomes Heated But however much Jefferson
through the open window. ‘There goes a vital piece of evidence,’ he said with a smile. ‘Well, for one thing, there was nobody else in the house with just that particular shade of hair, was there?’ ‘I suppose not,’ Alec replied. There was another silence, rather longer this time. Then Roger, glancing curiously across at his companion, remarked very airily: ‘Just to satisfy my natural curiosity, Alec, why exactly did you kill Stanworth?’ chapter twenty – eight What Really Did Happen Alec