Title: The Folly Under the Lake
Author: Salema Nazzal
Genre: Fiction/ Detective Murder Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Pneuma Springs Publishing
Multi-millionaire, oil speculator Walter Sinnet is crooked and ruthless. He has swindled the investors in his company to fund his extravagant building projects.
Walter has a vast lake and subterranean folly built on his property at Witton Park, where he lives with his wife Blanche and two adult children Harry and Rose. The folly is impressive, people can walk through a passage that goes under the lake and enter the folly to sit and watch the fish swim by.
Wishing to show off, Walter welcomes a house party to Witton Park but an angry storm lashes down on the village and traps everyone inside the estate. A guest’s jewellery goes missing and a dead body is found floating in the lake.
Inspector Marcus Thomas and his young son, along with bumbling sidekick Constable Turner, arrive at Witton Park to solve the mystery. The vital clues are there for them to detect – if they are up to it!
Enjoy the many detours and red herrings, but keep your eye on the ball and you might spot that tiny slip-up that leads to unmasking the murderer.
Walter cleared his throat and winced slightly at Florence’s words. He turned abruptly away and began a conversation with Aubrey about how successful Sinnet Industries had become.
“Darling…” began Joseph in an undertone, but Florence shushed him and continued shovelling in mouthfuls of food.
Halfway through the meal the butler came up to Walter and coughed in a discreet manner. Walter looked up in annoyance. “Yes, what is it?”
“The storm is picking up, sir. I’m afraid Mr Marlin has decided not to come because of it.”
“Right. I see. Well, can you rearrange a day for him to come next week? It’s imperative I see him as soon as possible.”
“Yes sir.” The butler disappeared out of the door.
“Why was Mr Marlin coming, Father?” asked Harry, briefly turning his attention away from Hattie. “I didn’t know he was invited this weekend.”
“I asked him only yesterday regarding a change I want to make to my will, if you must know,” said Walter looking hard at his son and carving his food up viciously with his knife and fork.
“Are you finally cutting me out of it then?” Harry joked in as casual a voice as he could muster up. “You keep threatening to do it.”
“What I do with my money is really nothing to do with you.” Walter’s face had an expression on it that was hard to decipher and Hattie, glancing over, felt a bit nervous of him, and noticed for the first time what thin, cruel looking lips he had.
“I made my money. Every single coin of it was made because of my business acumen. None of it was passed down from my father. What I wanted I went out and got, and now I shall decide what to do with it when I am no longer around to enjoy it. No one has the right to expect everything handed to them on a plate without working for it.”
“Oh. Righto then!” Harry deliberately kept his voice light-hearted and he turned back to face Hattie, who noticed that although he was as attentive as before, his knuckles were white where he was gripping his cutlery too tightly.
Aubrey looked across the table at Walter and began to resume their talk about the business. “I hear you’ve formed another company, Walter. Haven’t you got enough to deal with already?”
Walter looked across at him with a thin-lipped smile. “I have enough to deal with, but making money is in my blood and if I see a gap in the market I fill it. My new company is floating a variety of stock and bonds on the stock exchange.”
“I thought I heard that you had had a spot of trouble doing just that overseas.”
Walter frowned. “Now wherever did you hear that, I wonder?”
“Just something that came my way by way of the business grapevine,” said Aubrey, with a forced smile.
Having always had a love for English, Salema qualified to teach it as a foreign language and then went abroad to work in Lebanon. She taught adults at a language centre and eventually ended up helping at a school on the site of an orphanage where she met her husband. She wrote about the plight of the orphans and the article was published in the centre-spread of a Christian newspaper.
Salema has been obsessed with whodunits since she was a teenager and was challenged to write her own by her sister Jess. Not knowing where to start she took herself off to college to do a crime writing course with published crime authors Lesley Thomson and Elly Griffiths and hasn’t looked back since.
She currently lives in West Sussex where she takes care of her husband, two children and two cats (not necessarily in that order!)
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