Death at the Theatre: Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate: Book 2

Death at the Theatre: Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate: Book 2 by Celina Grace Page B

Book: Death at the Theatre: Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate: Book 2 by Celina Grace Read Free Book Online
Authors: Celina Grace
surprised. I wondered whether Dorothy would even make it out of bed that morning.
    “Madam’s hardly touched her tray,” Mrs Watling commented. She looked worried, as if the uneaten food was a reflection of her cooking prowess.
    “Don’t worry, Mrs W, she’s not very hungry this morning.” Verity began to unload the untouched dishes onto the table. “I’ll finish it off, I’m starving.”
    “Don’t call me Mrs W,” said Mrs Watling , but absently. Verity tipped me a wink across the table and began to polish off the uneaten bacon and eggs.
    The morning’s newspaper had come back down with the tray, also untouched, still neatly folded in thirds. As I carried the empty tray over to the dresser to wipe it down, I saw Verity flap open the newspaper to read the headlines. I had turned away by that point so I didn’t see the expression on her face change but I did hear her suddenly choke.
    I whirled around. “Verity? Are you all right?”
    Verity was spluttering half-eaten bits of bacon over the table. “It’s – my God! Look, Joan. It’s Aldous! He’s dead!” She broke into a thunderous fit of coughing that robbed her of further speech.
    I felt as cold as if I’d suddenly been doused in ice-water. Hurrying over to the table, I grabbed the paper and saw for myself the glaring black headlines. Death of Young Actor. Body of Aldous Smith pulled from the Thames. Police believe it may be suicide.
    Horrified, I read on in increasing disbelief. I was dimly aware of Mrs Watling giving Verity a glass of water and then both women joined me and read over my shoulder.
    “My God,” I said in a whisper. “Aldous killed himself. Why? Why would he do such a wicked thing?”
    “The police think he killed himself,” Verity said hoarsely. She coughed again and went on. “They only found his body yesterday night. God , how awful. Tommy will be distraught.”
    Mrs Watling had her hand to her mouth. She’d never met Aldous but she’d heard us talk about him. “The poor young man. He must have been feeling desperate.” Shaking her head, she moved away from the table to refill the kettle. “He was an actor, wasn’t he? They’re awfully sensitive, these acting types, aren’t they? Take things to heart, they do. Their reviews and such.”
    I re-read the article, over and over, in near disbelief. I’d only met Aldous twice but having seen him on stage as well, it seemed just as unlikely as it had the first time I’d read the report. Could he really have killed himself? He had been a strange one. Morose and moody, and disinclined to talk to anyone. But then Verity had said – hadn’t she? – that he hadn’t been like that before. I read the last line in the article once more. This is the second tragedy to strike at the heart of the Connault Theatre in the last six weeks. The murder of foreign national Guido Bonsignore, stabbed to death in his seat in the Gods on November 14 th , remains unsolved with the police investigation ongoing .
    I thought back to how I’d felt last night, the unscratched itch of something being awry, something I wasn’t yet able to comprehend. Was that it? Was that the connection? The theatre was the key to this case. I put the newspaper down and stared across the kitchen, unseeing. Had Aldous had something to do with the death of Guido Bonsignore? Was that why he’d committed suicide? Had he committed suicide? And how could he have had anything to do with the death of Guido Bonsignore when he’d been on the stage when it had happened?
    Again, I felt it – the quicksilver flash of something, something important that I just couldn’t understand. Frustrated, I screwed up my face and shook my head but it was gone. If I could just have five minutes to sit down and think . Just five minutes to puzzle it out…
    “Come on, Joan. I’m very sorry about poor Mr Smith but the fact is that we’ve got luncheon for ten people to cook, and it’s not going to cook itself.” Mrs Watling pulled the

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