"That's why the locals had the sense to call us in," Royston said. "Do you think it was a whatsit, a political assassination then, terrorists like Mrs. I'm-not-the-gatekeeper down there said?"
Carmichael looked up at the house which was just coming into view. If it had ever been a castle it was no longer, it was a pleasant seventeenth century manor house of warm red brick roofed in grey slate. It had an open welcoming look to it, perhaps because the rows of mullioned windows glinting in the sunlight gave it the look of a smile. "No," he said, answering Royston's question. "Murders aren't political, or anarchist, not one time in a thousand. Murders are sordid affairs done between people who know each other, nine times out of ten for personal gain, and the tenth time because someone lost their temper at the wrong moment, the crime passionel as the French call it. I doubt we'll find that this one will be any different to all the others, except for the elevated surroundings."
Royston was looking at the house as well, or at the row of half a dozen cars drawn up outside. "Is that a hunch, sir?" he asked.
"No, sergeant, that's not a hunch, it's merely the voice of experience," Carmichael said.
Copyright © 2006 by Jo Walton
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Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
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