By:  Quintus Noone  Completed
Language: English
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On August 23, the Metropolitan Police entered a well-appointed flat at 36 Suffolk Street, in the heart of London. In the flat, they found an ensuite bathroom; in the bathtub, they found a padlocked bag, and in the bag, they found the body of Tina Davis Tina, a brilliant mathematician, worked in Cheltenham for GQHC, Britain's domestic eavesdropping agency. She lived in London on secondment to MI6, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, and the block of flats where they found her body is an MI6 "safe house reportedly". Uninterested in potential national-security angles, the police immediately announced they were looking for clues to Tina's mysterious death in the details of her private life. But they didn't make much headway. A month after discovering her body, they still hadn't determined the cause of death, although they had admitted the case was "complex" and "unexplained." It seemed like a job for Quintus Noone Fortunately, he happened to be available.

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60 Chapters
1 I stir behind closed eyelids, my mind ceasing dream mode to bring him back to wakefulness. At first, I was slightly confused; I heard the noises of the hospital ward waking. Then, a feeling of dread crept over my face. The sound of rain falling thickly outside, the beautiful sound was passing right through the open window. I hadn't expected to be in the hospital with anaemia. My haemoglobin levels were deficient, causing dizzy spells and palpitations when I walked up a hill or an incline. However, the doctor had insisted on a blood test, and I received a phone call the same day. So here I am, in an assessment ward, waiting to be transferred, prodded, and probed until they discover the reasoning behind my sudden onset of anaemia. After an iron infusion, a porter moved me onto a ward with four other men—all with different ailments. The man was entirely hidden by the privacy curtain in the bed next to mine except for his feet. And they were the worst f
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"I hope you don't mind," DCI Burton began as we walked to her car. "But I took the liberty in arranging the meeting at your place." "Why?" "Because it's safer." "Who are we meeting?" "You'll see." I didn't have to wait long as within fifteen minutes of us arriving back at my home in Woodside Park, the front doorbell rang. Sandra answered the door for me and led our guest into the lounge where I was waiting. "DCI Burton, Mr Noone? Thank you so much for seeing me at such short notice," he said, looking across the room at my friend. "Not at all, Mr Flynn. Would you please sit down and make yourself comfortable? May I introduce you to my friend and colleague, Quintus Noone? Who I believe was the man you wanted to see?" We shook hands "Mr Noone, thank you so much for seeing me. I don't know where to start; the police have made such a hash of everything, no disrespect to you, DCI Burton, and the press made it
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It wasn't difficult to find a sports shop that sold Northern Aspect equipment, and once I was in there, it wasn't difficult to find the bag I was after. It was the most oversized, hard-wearing kitbag they had; the Northern Aspect Headquarters model had plenty of colours to choose from; I purchased a red one.I smiled with self-satisfaction as I made my way back to Woodside Park.When I returned home, instead of DCI Burton being there to heap praise on my ability to find the right bag, I found a note, which read:Quintus,I have gone to Cheltenham and will not be back until tonight.Sandra xxxThree kisses? Didn't that mean something?Somewhat disappointed she wasn't there but pleased and proud that she had taken such a bold step so soon, I sat down and began to examine the bag.The walls were of a textile I had never seen before: strong but somewhat supple and certainly watertight. It felt like a very hard-wearing fabric -- lat
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But when I awoke the next day, I felt Sandra Burton's naked body pressed up against mine. I didn't remember her coming back or sliding into bed next to me, but I felt comfort in the fact that she was there.When she woke, she didn't seem embarrassed, and when I finally got out of bed, I found her downstairs examining the bag.She looked up at me smiling and then asked whether I had given the bag the once over."Indeed, I have," I reply, "And the longer I looked at it, the more it looked like a murder weapon.""Nobody would stand a chance once they were locked in this type of bag," Sandra said, and I smiled grimly."As I see it," I continued, "either Tina Davis was exceptionally demented, or she someone murdered her.""I can tell you how demented she was," Sandra replied. "I've just returned from Cheltenham."I nodded, and the DCI continued, "I went there to meet Jenny Quance. She was Tina Davis's landlady, and she's a gorgeous lady. W
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"We're sure a certain person or persons unknown murdered Tina Davis?" Sandra asked, to which I nodded my answer. "We've seen the bag, you've met Tina's landlady, and because of what we now know, we can be confident that somebody intentionally killer her. So, I'd say the likelihood that she died by suicide or accident is about the same as the prospect that she died of natural causes." I smiled grimly and let her continue. "If, as we think she was, murdered, then she was killed in the safe house on Suffolk Street or killed elsewhere, and her body was brought into the safe house, apparently by the killer or killers.""Which do you think it was, Sandra?" I inquired."Killing an MI6 agent in an MI6 safe house seems an extremely daring thing to do.""But consider the option," I replied. "How much boldness would it take to kill an MI6 woman elsewhere, then lock her body in a holdall and drop it in the bathtub of her very own flat, even if that flat were not in a safe h
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I paused at the door, looking intently out into the street. Then, after a few moments, satisfied that the time was right, I stepped out into the street. Reaching Finchley High Road, I waved for a taxi, and my trackers followed suit.Almost immediately, a taxi pulled over to pick me up. As I stepped in, I shouted above the din of the street, "The London to Edinburgh overnighter leaves in forty minutes, driver. I will double your fare if you get us to King's Cross in time!"Then, I saw two climbing into another newly-arrived taxi.The taxi across the street made a quick, illegal, 180-degree turn and followed close behind us."Faster if you can, driver," I said, and as my pursuers drew nearer."Slow down a bit now," I said next, and the driver gave me a quizzical look in his rear-view mirror."We want to lose them, but not quite yet, driver," he said. "We should play them along for a bit, don't you think?"As we sped towards Kings Cross,
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"I beg your pardon," Sandra said, "I thought perhaps you had the rest of the mission laid out already.""If only!" I sighed. "If I could solve murders involving espionage by following a recipe, Sandra, even the dozy sods at Scotland Yard could do it. As a rule, I plan my assignment one move at a time," I continued. "I have a purpose in mind and an overall impression of how to get there, but any new advance can make me change my ideas. For example, I was planning to stay in London for at least another few days, but the sudden and dramatic visit from Hector Nelson has changed my mind.""How?" Sandra asked."His attendance, in camouflage, no less and that of his followers served as a warning that direct inspection in the city might involve grave danger while encouraging inadequate palpable compensation.""I see.""But the information Nelson gave us alternative lines of thought that already seemed promising to me, and these thoughts make our presence i
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"It's a shame Hector couldn't have stayed longer," Sandra said suddenly. "I would be interested in hearing his opinion concerning enigmatic Mediterranean couple, about which so much spoke about in the media." "That is one of the issues on which I plan to speak to about when I next meet up with him," I replied, "although I have little hope of making much progress." "Of all the bizarre details about this case," Sandra said, "the story of the secretive couple appears to be the only one formally recognised by the police. I wonder whether this is particularly significant, or whether -- " "Whether it's just additional diversion?" I finished her sentence. "The likelihood cannot be disregarded, specifically because it would be an astute move for the crime squad to make." "Do you think they're using some distraction here?" "That is the problem," I replied. "If I were running the investigation, I would be careful regarding the evidence I circulated. To
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"Perhaps you can answer one for me, Detective Chief Inspector?""Of course!" She replied. "Ask me whatever you wish.""We haven't seen the body of Tina Davis, and I doubt whether we will," I continued, "so we cannot know exactly how progressive the state of putrefaction was when the police found the body.""No, Quintus," she replied, "all we have is the description provided by the team investigating the crime.""But we know something about the holdall," I said, "and we know Tina Davis was alive seven or eight days before they found her in it. Do you think the body could have reached an advanced state of decomposition genuinely? Or do you think someone would have required some unnatural assistance? ""It is tough for me to guess without knowing the actual cause of death," she replied. "We still don't even know whether she was dead when she was put into the bag, or ..."Her voice trailed away, but I sat in silence."Some toxins and cert
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"Do you fancy a short walk?" I asked once we left the train at Francistown, and Sandra nodded readily."We've been sitting for so long. Why not?" She replied. "Where do you want to go?""I want you to see one of the most astonishing pieces of construction in Britain," I answered, "and supposedly one of the eeriest places in all of Wales.""Do you think it's harmless?" she asked."I don't see why not!" I answered. "She wasn't annoyed with you, was she?""Who?""The woman at the window!""What window?""One of the windows of the castle! You haven't been perusing the rags, have you?""No," she said.We crossed a walkway over the railway line and another over the main road. "It's inconceivable!" She gasped. "What is it?"Weaver Castle," I replied. "Have you never been informed of it?""I can't say I have," she answered. "and I am sure if I had seen a photograph of this place, I would have recollected."
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