Monday 24th July, 1939

Poor exhausted Unc has spent the past few days buzzing about our neighbourhood madly, interviewing nearly everyone who so much as breathed in our street’s direction that night, and searching feverishly for the murder weapon. He relays his investigation notes to me every evening and I gobble up every last detail, though I doubt he truly believes I am helpful in any way other than as a sounding board.

To assist my own personal (secret) investigations, I compiled the following list of the immediate neighbours along with their movements that evening:

2611: The Pattersons – all attending the funeral of the Patterson patriarch, followed by a wake at The Bull’s Head. All retired by 11.

2615: Miss Luton & Miss Herkside – hosted a charity fundraiser down at the tea rooms – plenty of witnesses – retired at 9:30.

2610: Mr & Mrs Kray – a quiet tea by themselves (Mrs Kray is eight months pregnant) followed by her retiring at 8 and he at 10:45 – note: missing an alibi for Mr Kray during this time.

2612: Mrs Radworth –  tea with her daughter and family at 2614.

2614: The Blairs – family tea including Mrs Blair’s widowed mother. Put the children to bed around 8:20. Parents retired at 11 after walking Mrs Radworth home.

2616: Mr Marek – further cousin of both Czech refugees & naturalised in England eleven years prior with an English wife (now dead) – dead boy: Josef, aged 19 years, worked as a mechanic at Mr Marek’s garage – other cousin: Ales, aged 20 years, also a mechanic at the same garage. Both young men boarded a boat to England only a few months prior, along with a number of other refugees, the majority of whom are housed in a hostel some ten miles away.

Unc firmly believes the Mareks innocent of all wrongdoing, based wholly on the face-to-face interviews with the family, describing them as ‘devastated’. Ales had whisked his girl to the Odeon the evening of the crash and Mr Marek, he insists, remained at home that evening, drowned in paperwork for his business. Neither man recall seeing Josef during the day.

The murder appears rather impossible if all my neighbours are telling the truth… however Unc taught me the first rule of detective work: suspect everyone. Even our young Annie, perhaps she could have whacked him about the head with a fire poker if he were doggedly pursuing her.

A fire poker.

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