Happy New Year to everyone. A few days in and I’m trying to keep to my resolutions. One is to find an agent/publisher to take on the Jasmine Frame series. Self-publishing requires quite an outlay and having done it once for Painted Ladies I can’t afford to publish Bodies by Design as soon as I’d like. Anyway I have made a start by sending a package off to one publisher. I also want to find a publisher for my September Weekes fantasy novels so I made a start with a publisher for those too. People often advise against writing in two genres but while I don’t claim to match his class, if Iain (M) Banks can do it it’s not impossible. No doubt rejection slips will soon be fluttering in like snow flakes… but it only takes one as they say. Keep optimistic is the message.
Anyway on to the next episode of Blueprint. I’m still making it up as we go along, but it’s grown far more than I expected when I started. Can you see a resolution yet?
Bluepint: Part 18
Jasmine got into her car and pulled away from Caroline/Geoff’s house, drove a hundred metres up the road then stopped again. She turned off the engine and looked at her watch. It was three o’clock. Soon it would be getting dark. What should she do? She had found three people who knew Petula. Betty, Geraldine and Caroline but none that had told her what Petula had been doing in Manchester recently. Perhaps Caroline would have more to say when she had said farewell to her daughter and grandsons, but it was two hours before Jasmine could return. There was one other name on the slip of paper that Betty had given her. The name was Rosalind and the address was in Warrington. Jasmine recalled seeing signs to Warrington on the M6 when she had driven north. She was sure it wasn’t too far from where she was now. She should be able to get there speak to Rosalind, if she was in, and get back to interview Caroline as soon as possible. Then she would have to decide what to do. Did she have a suspect or was she going to have to head home with the case unsolved?
The satnav swiftly guided her along motorways, main and side roads until she arrived in a street of small Victorian terraced houses with doors opening off the street. Luckily there was a gap between parked cars outside the number given on the slip of paper. She stopped, got out and approached the front door looking for a bell or knocker. Failing to find one she tapped on the door itself. It was quickly opened by a man with shoulder length brown hair and smooth features. He appeared to be in his late thirties.
‘Yes? What do you want?’ He said.
‘I’m looking for someone called Rosalind. Does she live at this address?’ Jasmine was careful to avoid making assumptions but she noted the scowl on the man’s face. He stepped forward so that he was between the door and the jamb. He spoke more quietly than his greeting.
‘There is no one of that name here. My wife doesn’t know anyone called Rosalind. What do you want?’ His eyes examined her and she felt him noting her wig and the bristles growing through the foundation on her chin. It was a long time since she had shaved before leaving home.
Jasmine pulled the crumpled photo from her pocket and held it up for him to see.
‘I’m looking for people who know this person,’ she said. His eyes focussed on the picture of Petula. She saw recognition in them.
‘I’ve got nothing to say,’ he said shaking his head and stepping back. He tried to close the door but Jasmine stepped forward and pushed her foot against it.
‘You do know Petula, don’t you, Rosalind,’ Jasmine said.
His face showed anger.
‘Don’t use that name here,’ he hissed, ‘My wife can hear.’
‘But you have met Petula, haven’t you?’
‘What’s it to you?’
‘I’m a police officer.’
He tossed his head back with a dismissive grunt.
‘You’re a trannie.’
Jasmine took a deep breath.
‘Yes, but I am a police officer too and I want to know about Petula.’
He had another go at pushing the door closed. Jasmine held her foot hard against it.
‘I don’t know anything about her.’
A female voice called from inside the house. The man turned his head to call back.
‘It’s no-one. They’re going.’
‘Do you know who took the photo?’ Jasmine persisted.
‘No,’ he replied ‘Move your foot so I can close the door.’
‘But I need to talk to you,’ Jasmine said.
‘I can’t. Not when my wife can hear.’
Jasmine pulled one of her cards from a pocket and thrust it at him.
‘Here’s my number. Phone me. Or meet me outside. I’ll be sitting in the car up the road.’
He took the card reluctantly, folding it in to his fist.
‘Now go,’ he said. Jasmine withdrew her foot.
‘We need to speak,’ she said to a closed door. She returned to the car and drove up the road for fifty metres before finding another parking spot. She turned off the engine and adjusted her mirror so that she had a view of the pavement back to “Rosalind’s” house. She glanced at her watch. It still wasn’t yet four. She had time to wait before returning to Caroline. Would Rosalind come out to speak?