I already knew of the irony of standing under a lit lamp whilst the inspiration glowed about my head, but I did it anyway whilst I gazed out into the grounds, in the direction of the wine-cellar.

Carrie had followed me into the hall. Her heels clattered loudly on the fine stone. She stood by my side, looking out, too.

“It’s such a dark day.”

“Only in the darkest days can we appreciate the lights.”

Caroline leant over to switch off the lamp, her movement pulling me away. “So what was that about? I didn’t notice that Richard had anything to prove.”

“You didn’t. He didn’t. Not consciously. Carrie, can you gather everyone in the lounge, please.”

Without waiting for her answer, I stormed on through the building. But Carrie wasn’t giving up as easily. Just as well.

“You know, don’t you?” I heard her voice in my ear.

“I know a lot of somethings,” I replied. “I just need to work out the murderer now, though I have a feeling the motive is as I assume.”

“Oh…” came Carrie’s voice, disappointed. I didn’t dare turn and look in her eyes.

But when she arrived by my side in the doorway of the lounge, she was no longer pushy. Faces looked up at us, curious and peering; there could be no denying the piquing of interest my position held, even if those people gathered tried to hide that curiosity in their books and daily papers.

“So, are you going to address the group again?” Caroline asked.

I finally couldn’t stop myself turning to her. “Not today, Carrie, not today. Besides, we’ve lost half the group. The politician isn’t here, Nicky’s gone, the Karkroffs have taken themselves away into the air. Where are my suspects? Nowhere. Telling Marina and Richard will not be enough.”

“They can’t be far from MoscowCity. Misha said that, by law, they’re required to stay.”

“It didn’t stop them leaving though. I’m sorry, Carrie, but Simnova has less of a clue to events than I do.”

I shrugged, and then gazed at the remaining people. “I’ll need Richard. Tell him to get his coat. Oh, and also that I know everything.”

Wide-eyed, Caroline obliged me, walking over to the ‘suspects’ huddled around the coffee table. Upon hearing my message, Richard went pale. He wasn’t going to like what we were about to do.

The End

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