#BookExtract – Murder Take Three by Eric Brown

Murder Take Three book jacketMURDER TAKE THREE by Eric Brown is a British Country House mystery.  Private Investigator Donald Langham discovers that truth is stranger than fiction when he investigates a murder on an American movie set on location in an Elizabethan Manor house in the depths of the Norfolk countryside…

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The door opened and a young woman stepped into the office, then paused and stared around her as if surprised to find herself in a shabby, down-at-heel detective agency on Wandsworth High Street.

Langham, for his part, was no less surprised that this strikingly attractive woman should have sought out the services of Ryland and Langham. She was perhaps thirty, a little over five feet tall, and had a small, perfectly proportioned face, brilliant crimson lips, and a head of tight, platinum blonde curls. She wore a cream pencil skirt, a box-shouldered jade blouson, and carried a tiny black handbag that was obviously more for show than utility.

“Donald Langham,” he said. “If you’d care to take a seat…” He indicated a rickety spindle-backed chair before the desk.

She remained standing, her small nose wrinkling suddenly. “What in God’s name is that awful smell?” she asked in a distinct American accent.

“Ah. That’s the distinctive redolence of month old beef dripping.”

“Say again?”

“Stale fat. We’re directly above a fish and chip shop. You get so that you don’t notice it, after a while.”

“I’m sure you do,” she said, eyeing the chair dubiously before seating herself and crossing her legs. “I must admit that this wasn’t quite what I was expecting.”

Contrasted with the woman’s startling perfection, the office with its peeling, thrice-painted green wallpaper, worn brown linoleum, and fly-specked window, looked nothing like the headquarters of a successful detective agency.

Langham sat back. “We like to expend profits on assuring that our clients receive the best service possible,” he said, parroting the line he’d heard Ralph Ryland use more than once.

She stared at him across the desk, appraisingly. “And you don’t exactly fit the bill as a tough-guy private eye.”

He laughed. “I’ll take that as a compliment. Now, how can I help?”

MURDER TAKE THREE by Eric Brown is available in hardcover now in the UK and in the USA in August 2017.  Please visit our website here for further information.

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