The Murdery Delicious Hamwich Gumm Mystery: A Comedy of Terrors

The Murdery Delicious Hamwich Gumm Mystery: A Comedy of Terrors

by Peter Halsey Sherwood

ISBN: 9781493118335

Publisher XLIBRIS

Published in Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

This wickedly clever diadem earnestly follows the gruesome trials of Reynald and Willoughby Chalmers, the brothers who reluctantly become involved in the bloodied, spinach laden trail of a chainsaw-wielding madman. The rarefied pair of witty, modern day dandies are unwittingly served as the main ingredients in a most diabolical stew, as the shocking, tightly knit yarn unravels. With the help of the illustrious Inspector Hamwich Gumm, the brothers discover that the murder mystery of questionable manners turns out to be quite a fiendish family affair indeed.

Sample Chapter

“Imagine,” Reynald exhaled into the chilled night air as he and Willoughby exited the town car. “We are to be married!”

“It is exciting, isn’t it?” Willoughby suggested.

“A lucky lot, that’s what we are.”

“You bet. Laetitia and Jossie couldn’t be sweeter girls.”

“Yes. Well worth suffering through all those scabrous netherwidgets we both bore over the years.”

Willoughby reeled with laughter as much from Reynald’s wry observation as from the tiny glasses of sherry and port that they had all shared together earlier.

The boys thanked their gentlemen’s gentleman, currently in post as liveried driver, adding “We’ll see you anon, Druthers.”

Under a cold moon splintered by shards of stark, gray clouds, the pair pulled the collars of their scissortail coats closer to their respective necks against the winds that bit their skins and moved swiftly by legs clad in matching vermillion twill trousers, turning down the corner of their cobble-stoned street in the village.

Just as Willoughby felt he was about to finally loose from himself a stealthy flatulence that had niggled him all evening after the surfeit of potted meat at supper—indeed, it first felt as if he had overdone the proceedings—he was unsettled by something that sounded rather like a duck being pulled out of an uncertain mud.

He checked his smart trousers to see if he had soiled himself first and then glanced over at Reynald, who stood stiff as a whisky chaser, with a pained grimace on his lightly freckled face.

“Reynald,” Willoughby inquired, “What on earth has happened?”

“It would appear, dear Willoughby, that I have stepped in a sort of substance.” He lifted up his left wing-tipped shoe, inspecting it, as much as cautious contortion would allow.

“Do you suppose it’s Mimsy again? Cinchy Fowler’s bitch?”

“No, this is too gruesome, even for her. Is it porridge?”

Willoughby bent down and gave a gentle sniff. “It smells like refuse from a querulous stomach. However, if my years at the culinary academy taught me anything, I suspect it might be creamed spinach. I also detect a faint scent of thyme. Certainly garlic. It’s still steaming.”

“Look there!” Reynald exclaimed, pointing just beyond. “There’s a trail!”

It was true. In driblets, a trail of creamed spinach created an erratic stream down the block.

Reynald scraped his wingtip on a neighboring London plane tree and the pair moved on carefully without a word, noting that the wind had gotten much more brisk in its deportment.

Breathlessly they further observed that the green, winding clot lead all the way to their doorstep on 221 Basil Street.

What’s more, the closer their approach, they saw a battered, rough-hewn conveyance at what appeared to be the end of the trail, on the third step of the preface to the building.

“Now, who under God’s ascension would leave their filthy garbage right there, willing us to be the sole heirs of its disposal?”

“Patience, Reynald—it’s a carpet bag.”

“I can see that, Willoughby—but why is it here? And right now, at this hour when we’re plum rotty from the casks of fortitude we drank?”

Reynald felt a clutch in his throat before he continued with his snotty rejoinder aimed at Willoughby. “What do you suppose that is,” he asked hesitantly, peering through the occluded moonlight, having observed a thick clog of red liquid emanating from the embroidered bag.

“Raspberry syrup? Treacle or jam? Red currant coulis? Can you imagine,” Willoughby suggested, fingering his collar, “and just bear with me for a moment, but wouldn’t you find it murdery delicious, in a wild flight of fancy, wouldn’t it be grippingly rich, I mean just rich—just imagine if there was a head in that bag! A perfectly severed head that somebody left on our doorstep for we two to discover? Too wicked!”

“Yes, that would be wonderful,” Reynald agreed after a moment’s pause. “Quite the crack, I’ll agree, a real corker to share with the boys at the club over a bottle of Amaretto—and it would be frightening fodder for the crime novel I’m writing, The Ruse of the Wandering Butler. But I…I’m not sure, Willoughby,” Reynald backed up, stuttering into his hands, suddenly very afraid, observing the still leaking bag.

“Oh, Reynald, that rampant imagination of yours! I was merely having a wee bit of a knocker with you. Let’s just have a look in the bag, have a laugh—and then go upstairs and have a drink! Come now, of course there’s not a head in there for God’s sake! Who would do such a thing? Surely, people aren’t that dreadful!”

“I, uh, I don’t want to look. Let’s just call the police.”

“Reynald, it is only on rare occasion that a mad fiddler finds himself drunker than you. Here we go,” Willoughby exerted, unfastening the clasp of the interfering satchel.

What one could hardly imagine was suddenly, wretchedly, peering back at them for they discovered there indeed was a head horrifically thrown inside; the head of a young lady, quite shoddily torn and disastrously pulled from the victim and after the boys vomited much of their dinner of potted meats, sherry, and port, they ran screaming upstairs to their apartment to get to the telephone, as much to report the crime to the police if not more to escape the agonizing, unforgettable sight of the head in the carpet bag and what had become the sickening stench of creamed spinach.


Excerpted from "The Murdery Delicious Hamwich Gumm Mystery: A Comedy of Terrors" by Peter Halsey Sherwood. Copyright © 2013 by Peter Halsey Sherwood. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Peter Halsey Sherwood

Peter Halsey Sherwood

Mister Sherwood studied voice and theater at London’s historic Royal Academy and worked as a theatrical agent before becoming the dining editor of Next magazine in Manhattan. He’s been published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook and has written for Interior Design, New York, and Woman’s Day. Author of the pale of memory, this is his second novel.

View full Profile of Peter Halsey Sherwood

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