Coffin in the Black Museum (John Coffin Mystery, Book 21)
The first John Coffin story with a contemporary setting. A recently-promoted John Coffin soon has his hands full when a severed human head turns up the steps of his new home. From one of the most appraised English mystery authors, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie. John Coffin now commands his own force in the newly created second city of London, established on the site of the old Docklands. Life is good for Coffin – he's earned a promotion and has just moved into a new home in the tower of a renovated church-turned-theatre. Then a severed human head is found in an urn on the church steps, and a hand turns up in a freezer upstairs. Coffin must hunt down the serial killer before more body parts start appearing.
at this, but nodded reflectively. ‘Yes, funny things happened in that family and most of them were kept hushed up.’ ‘That’s not so unusual.’ ‘We’ve always done that round here, kept things to ourselves … That’s your train now, I can hear it.’ She couldn’t possibly hear any such thing, he thought. Apart from the traffic noises, the train was well underground. He couldn’t hear anything. ‘What sort of funny things, Mimsie?’ She shrugged. ‘Bit of cadging and pilfering, bit of arson. Bit of
girl toss back her hair and straighten her back. The gesture was familiar to Stella, who knew that Bridie was about to put on a performance. ‘All right. I did see the urn. It was in the hall outside where you lived.’ ‘Oh.’ He was surprised at that. So, if she was telling the truth, the urn had been placed outside his door. Really for him, then. ‘You knew I lived there?’ ‘Of course, we all did.’ ‘So what did you do?’ ‘I’d seen it around the yard by the Workshop. I thought it was a prop and
mouth. Some splendid new buildings were going up on a cleared area of dockland but would not be complete until next year. ‘Sure to,’ said Coffin. He did not think that Tom was as unsophisticated as he pretended to be, but he had never been quite sure. It was a good act. ‘Of course, I won’t talk to them unless I have to.’ And possibly not even then. ‘So what is it, Tom?’ ‘We’re putting on a good spread. Drinks. They won’t go short on them.’ ‘I knew I could trust you there, Tom.’ ‘These
you,’ said Lily. ‘That’s not fair on the police,’ protested Stella. ‘If you happen to have been born here, or have family, then watch it, that’s my advice.’ Stella finished her coffee, paid her bill and prepared to depart before they quarrelled. ‘I’m going to get a paper. My copy of The Stage hasn’t come this week. I don’t know where I’ll get one this late.’ All of them relied on their weekly newspaper for the gossip of their craft. ‘I’ve heard they’re looking for a new Director at
the table. ‘Far too much. Would you like to take me out to dinner? I’m interested in crime at the moment.’ ‘We can go to the Indian place round the corner, I suppose.’ ‘Oh, how keen you sound.’ ‘I am keen. Why are you interested in crime?’ ‘I’m producing Hedda Gabler. She was a criminal, a delinquent soul if there ever was one. I don’t see her as a tragic heroine but as a criminal.’ ‘Poor Ibsen. Well, come on, let’s go and eat curry. And tomorrow, if you are still interested in crime, you