Just dropping in with a brief post, mostly to assure you I’m still alive during this most wonderful time of the year. Here’s a little taste of what Bhar’s going through in Black & Blue (Lord & Lady Hetheridge #4):
Surging into the crime scene, Sharada made for Hetheridge, which amounted to throwing herself at Botwright’s corpse. With a groan of frustration, a uniformed PC shot after her. The man surely intended only to preserve the peace, not to mention the evidence, but when he caught her by the shoulders, Sharada shrieked. The cry, high-pitched and loud as a little girl’s, practically shook the chandeliers. And that summoned her son, Kate and Hetheridge’s colleague, who darted in, laid hands on the PC, spun him around and bellowed, “Don’t you ever touch my mum!”
“Stop.” Hetheridge’s tone was so commanding, everyone froze. Detective Sergeant Deepal “Paul” Bhar ceased in mid-grapple. Releasing Sharada, the PC stood rooted to the spot as if afraid to breathe. Sharada looked wounded to her very core. She was dressed in her usual manner: long skirt, knit sweater, a gold ring on every finger. Behind her overlarge spectacles, equally overlarge eyes looked as hurt and pleading as a greeting card puppy’s. Bhar had warned Kate that his mum could appear heartrendingly helpless when the moment suited her. He claimed it was an evolutionary adaptation that tricked competing organisms into fatally underestimating her.
As for Bhar himself, he was still in his office attire—charcoal Prada suit, Gucci shoes, pink Ferragamo tie and enough Acqui di Parma to announce his coming around corners. He cut a dashing figure these days, or would, except for his tendency to charge headfirst into regrettable situations. At present, Bhar’s comically arrested look of horror suggested he’d leapt to his mum’s defense so instinctively, he’d had no idea his guv was on the premises, much less bearing witness to it all.
“Release that man.” Hetheridge’s tone was so cool, Kate ached for Bhar.
“Yes. Yes, of course. Sorry, mate,” Bhar babbled. He took his hands off the poor PC. Then, ludicrously, he began patting the officer’s shoulders as if attempting to manually restore his personal space, making the PC flinch all over again. “I didn’t mean to—”
“Guv.” Bhar stopped patting. Now he looked almost as stricken as Sharada. “I know I’m completely out of bounds, But this is madness. They’ve arrested Buck. You know—Mum’s friend. Er, boyfriend. He rang her and she rang me and I—”
“Detective Sergeant. Forgive me for not being clear a moment ago.” Hetheridge stepped as close to Bhar as the dead man between them allowed. “Speak not another word. Touch not another object. Get out, now. And be in front of my desk at oh-eight-hundred hours tomorrow morning.”
© Emma Jameson, Lyonnesse Books 2014