Last Murray Barber P.I. case written to date..
Murray put down his coffee and stared at the middle-aged man sat opposite him. How was he supposed to deal with a case like this?
"I know you must think it's a risk Mr Barber, but I've got good clothes and just look at my watch... worth over four hundred pounds! Infact take it, take it as a down payment. I'm sure I'll be able to pay you, I must have money, I just need to find out who I am. Please help me Mr Barber."
Murray took the watch handed to him and placed it down on the table between them.
"You don't remember anything?" he asked.
"I woke up in hospital. I've read the police reports about the accident but nothing rings any bells. I don't know who I had been with or even how we came by the car. Social services have tried to help me, they've put me in bed and breakfast and have sorted an allowance for me, all of which I will probably have to pay back but I can't live my life like this."
"The car you were found in had been reported stolen? What's happening about that Mr Smith."
"I couldn't give a statement as I can't remember. I've been told not to move away without notifying the police but I want to mention that my prints were not found in the car owner's home. Apparently the woman that owned the car had been in Spain, she came home to find she'd been burgled and her car taken. After I'd been taken to hospital the police ran a check on the car to find out who I was and found it was registered to this Maria Whiteshaw. She doesn't know me and nothing has come back to me in the last five months, I don't know where to go next."
"Ok." Murray let out a sigh and gave a reassuring smile to Mr Smith. "I'll give it a go but even if I find out who you are that doesn't neccessarily mean you'll remember still. I'll need to see the police reports and I take it you didn't have any ID on you?"
"Wouldn't need you if I had. I've been given the full once over by the docs and there's nothing else wrong with me, I'm not on any regular medication or anything. I may be a criminal, a burglar? I really don't remember, but I doubt it, it just doesn't feel right."
"How do I know this watch isn't stolen Mr Smith?" Murray was starting to doubt the wisdom of his decision to take on this case. Mr Smith shrugged and sat back.
"It's all I've got at the moment. I don't know? The police took a look at it and they didn't seem worried about it."
"You say you've got a copy of the police reports?"
"Yes." Mr Smith pulled them out from a carrier bag on the seat beside him. "You're welcome to take them, I know them word for word but they just don't help me."
"Ok. What I'm going to do is this. I'll take the reports and I'll see how far I can get in a week. If I really can't find anything out, how your accident happened or get any closer to who you are by then, well then I may have to call it quits but I will try my very best. It's not something I've ever taken on before."
"I can't ask for more than that Mr Barber. Thankyou."
Once back at home, Murray sat himself down with the usual coffee and laid out the police report on his table.
"Right Mr Smith, let's see what we do know about you?" He glanced at the clock, one fifty, he had a husband up to no good to catch at five thirty. Mr Goodier was not returning home from work at the usual time anymore but this apparently was down to increased traffic. 'Yeah right!' as Mrs Beverleigh Goodier had said, 'he must think I'm such an idiot!' An hour and a half from Kingsbridge to Plympton? It was a feeble excuse. So Murray was going to follow him home and check for any 'detours' as Mrs Goodier suspected. He reckoned if he left at four thirty he would have plenty of time to get to Kingsbridge, at most the trip should only take forty minutes.
So back to Mr Smith, found unconscious in the passenger seat of a Laguna off the road near Bolventor up on the moor. The car was found half turned over in a ditch at nine thirty in the evening. It could easily have been missed which mean't no-one could say for sure how long it had been there. There was no sign of the driver, no blood trail, whether they were ok or not, the report couldn't say. Mr Len Williams had reported the accident after spotting the car on his way past. A concerned passer-by, no more. Murray made a note of the telephone number, a call wouldn't hurt, he had to start somewhere. Then there was the car itself. The registered owner was one Mrs Maria Whiteshaw from Okehampton. She apparently had been in Spain and only returned that day to find her house broken into and her car gone. She reported the car stolen at eight o'clock. Did that mean that Mr Smith and his accomplice had just stolen the vehichle and were heading west? Murray shook his head, surely that would mean the burglary was committed around tea time, not the best time with people returning home from work? He then stopped and re-read that part of the report again, the car was assumed to be going east. That made little sense, Okehampton was well east of the moor. What or where were they going? Murray made a note of Mrs Whiteshaw's number and address and made a mental note to call upon the neighbours aswell to see whether they noticed what time the car had gone? The only statement from a neighbour was that of one Miss Hockey. She said she hadn't seen the car for days. Again Murray shook his head, maybe she just wasn't very observant? There wasn't a lot to go on. Murray sat back and picked up the watch that Mr Smith had given him. No inscription but it did feel heavy. Expensive? Maybe he could take it in to a jeweller's and get an opinion on where it might have come from? There wasn't anything in the report about it. Finally, Murray made a note of the officer involved, maybe his mate Jeff from C.I.D. could track him down and let Murray have a chat with him too?
He decided there was no time like the present to get started, he was taking Indian over to Jenny's after he had followed Mr Goodier home so he didn't want to be working late. He picked up the phone and dialled the number he had jotted down for Mr Williams.... He wasn't home according to his wife. 'Never got in before seven'. Murray gave her his mobile number and asked if her husband could get back to him? So much for taking the evening off!
He didn't want to give up so easily, so next on the list was Maria Whiteshaw. The conversation started off friendly enough until Murray explained who had hired him and why he had called, Maria then became quite coy.
"...I'm sorry Mr Barber, I really don't think there is anything else I can add to what I told the police. And we still haven't got our stuff back."
"I take it there'd be no chance of bringing Mr Smith around to your house to see if it jogs his memory?" Murray was pulling a face, even he wouldn't have said yes.
"I don't want that man in my house. Everything was said in the report. We came home from Spain on the ten o'clock flight, and when we got home my car had gone and the back window had been broken and our stuff had gone. The car was scrapped, not that I would have wanted it back anyway."
"What time did you get in? I mean, was there any sign of when the robbery took place?"
"Err... We hadn't come straight home... we went shopping first, got some food in. It must have been about seven... quarter to eight when we got in." Did she sound a little flustered? Murray wondered if they had upped the insurance claim? Although if the driver had the car key then there must have been a robbery. He didn't want to waste her time anymore, he had the report and he could always get back to her if he needed to, as long as she would talk to him that was? He thanked her for her co-operation and ended the call.
He sat back and stared once more at the police reports. Was there something he was missing? So far he couldn't get past the car and where it might have been going... or coming from? He wanted to speak to Miss Hockey and get a look at the layout of the street. If Mr Smith had been a known criminal then his prints would have been on file. They weren't. So.... either this was a first time crime or Mr Smith had never been caught.. for anything. A thought crossed Murray's mind, maybe the amnesia was an act to get someone to help 'Mr Smith' find his evasive partner? He shook his head and grabbed his keys and camera, that didn't sit right. Mr Smith, good or bad, could wait for now as Mr Goodier would soon be finishing work...
Mr Goodier left his place of work promptly at five-thirty and headed straight towards the main road back to Plymton. Murray had already fixed his phone into his hands-free cradle on his dashboard just incase Mr Williams, the roadside rescuer, called. The phone did ring, just as Mr Goodier turned down a side road on the edge of Kingsbridge but it wasn't Mr Williams, it was Jenny.
"Hi hun, just checking you're ok?" Her voice was bright, a little like her copper-coloured hair which had been dyed that colour to match a particular outfit.
"Yeah, still on for later?"
"Is that ok? Or are you working, you had a meeting with some guy didn't you?"
"Yeah. Lost his memory, want's to know who he is. I'll tell you about it later. What do you want from the Spice Palace?" Murray was still following Mr Goodier who now pulled into the driveway of a semi-detached house.
"How can he pay if he doesn't know who he is?.. Oh, never mind I'm sure you'll explain! Erm..I'll have my usual please! What are you doing now?"
"Just watching a man undo his marriage."
"Oh dear, another one of those cases? ... You're not driving are you? I don't want to cause an accident..."
"No, no! I've pulled in now but you're on the hands-free don't panic!" Murray had lifted his camera and was discreetly filming the woman at the house who was now welcoming Mr Goodier into her home. Murray took note of the address so he could find out her identity later once he was back home.
Some thirty-five minutes later Murray filmed Mr Goodier reappearing from the semi and once more heading in the direction of home. He didn't stop again and after a visit to the Spice Palace, Murray reached Jenny's house-share by seven forty-five. Just as the Merlot was poured and the plates placed on the kitchen table, Mr Williams finally rang.
"... I'm sorry to bother you with this Mr Williams, it's just that the man who was in that crashed car still hasn't regained his memory and he's asked for my help..."
"Oh, I see. I'm afraid there's not much I can tell you. I was driving home and thought I caught sight of the rear of the car in my headlights, they were dipped as another car had just gone passed. To be honest, I had driven on about half a mile before I decided to turn around and go back and check what I'd seen. You know what it's like, you don't expect to see a car off the road. Anyway, there he was, not even strapped into his seat... he was in the passenger seat, did you know that?"
"Yes, yes I did. There wasn't any sign of the driver then?"
"No... no didn't see anyone else, just him, out cold. I stayed until they took him away in the ambulance and gave the police a statement the next day."
"One last thing, which way do you think the car had been going, east or west?"
"Oh, east, definately. There were skid marks along the road. When I came back you could see them clear as day in my beams. Weaving along the road they were like the car was out of control...."
"Well that was interesting." Murray sat back down with Jenny and prepared to tuck into his lamb Rogan Josh. "According to him, the car was out of control before it went off the road."
"Der! They would hardly have driven off the road on purpose!" Jenny stated the obvious.
"Well yes! But why was it out of control?" He raised his eyebrows at her sarcastic grin. "Was it a fault with the car or was there an argument going on inside the car?"
"Trouble amongst thieves, eh?"
"Mmm." He finished his mouthful. "And where were they going?.... Maybe they had just finished another job? I suppose they thought they were safe for a while with the car if they knew the owners were away and wouldn't have reported it stolen yet?"
"What did the car's owner have to say?"
"Not a lot! Says they came back on the morning flight and found the car gone and the house broken into."
"Where is the car now?"
"Err... dunno? Have to check the report when I get home. Think she said it had been scrapped.... She was a bit queer about her day... said they came back on the ten o'clock flight but didn't get home till nearly eight that night. Something about food shopping on the way back?"
"Clothes shopping, shoe shopping, even house shopping but food shopping? For how long?"
"I know, it sounded odd at the time? But why should she have lied about what time they got back?... The only reason I could think of was maybe they were upping the insurance claim?"
"You mean, maybe they didn't lock up as well as they should and 'fixed' the situation before calling the police?"
"Something like that. But it doesn't change the situation for Mr Smith." Murray took a long sip of his wine just as his mobile rang again. "Murray Barber, private investigater.... Oh, hello Aunt Pam! How are you?" He winked at Jenny as she waved as though to say 'hello'. "We'd love to come to dinner Aunty but Jenny's off for a couple of days tomorrow... yes her 'high flying' job! ... London... Yes, I'm fine now I just wish everyone would stop asking.... the new car's great.. yes... I will, yes. Ok.... I'll see you tomorrow evening then... take care Aunty..." He hung up and smiled at Jenny. "She sends her love! Look's like I'm eating at hers tomorrow night!"
"Don't go looking for any buried bodies then!"
"Ha ha! Where were we?"
"Skid marks. Surely..." Jenny waved her fork above her plate. ".. those skid marks would have been seen in daylight?"
"Probably? But to be honest, I wouldn't stop for skid marks... What? You don't think it had been there long?" Jenny shook her head and shrugged.
"I don't know? Was the engine warm?"
"Good point. No idea! I'm gonna re-read that report when I get home and give Jeff a call, see if I can have a word with the officer's involved."
"You in a rush to get home?" She was pouring the wine again.....
Murray arrived home early the next morning to find his answer phone flashing at him. There was a message from a Mr Mason of Mason Couriers, 'could Mr Barber please return his call?' Murray jotted down the contact number and glanced at the clock. He'd have a coffee first and phone back after eight thirty. He then picked up the police report that Mr Smith had given him. It was six pages long, a copy of the details that the police thought were relevant for Mr Smith to know. He flicked through until he found the section on the car. 'Assumed travelling east', mmm, he knew why that was now, skid marks on the road. Ah, here it was, the engine was cold! Cold? So it must have been there a while? Which mean't the accident must have happened at least before ... eight? No, he shook his head, he was trying to link two different things together, the accident happened whenever it happened and Mrs Whiteshaw reported the burglary once she'd got home... and possibly arranged the evidence? The two things weren't connected.... So what was it that was bothering him?
So what about the missing driver? The report said that the steering wheel had been wiped so no fingerprints. Typical! Same with the door handles, but plenty of prints in the car generally. Mrs Whiteshaw's and many others, apparently she was given to taking friends out and about on a regular basis, so probably family and friends. Tucked in the back of the file was a copy of a photograph. Murray hadn't taken much notice of it at first glance but now he studied it closely. It was of the car in it's position in the ditch. Taken from the driver side with the door open, something struck Murray, the seat was well forward. A short man? Or maybe ... a woman?
He gulped down the last mouthful of coffee and dialled Mason's number. Mr Mason was a very plain speaking man who was not happy that deliveries from his south west depot were not arriving intact. Parcels were arriving sealed but with items missing. Originally this had gone back to where ever they had been dispatched from but as the trend had continued and happened to more than one company, things had to be looked into. Mr Mason, or at least his manager, had wittled the choice of culprit down to two men, however without evidence of their thefts, they couldn't deal with the matter as they wished. When they put other men on with the two drivers, nothing went missing but business didn't allow for double staffing. Could Murray follow the men, one each day, until they were spotted opening and resealing parcels and gather some concrete evidence for a prosecution? Of course he could, that's what he did, it was his thing! He took all the relevent details and arranged to be outside the depot at eight the next morning to follow the first of the two drivers.
Next, Murray started a quick address search for the identity of Mr Goodier's extra-marital call on his way home from work the previous night. While the computer searched, he dialled Jeff's number.
"I am! Are you?" Murray jotted down the lady's name that popped up on his screen.
"Good, good. What's up?"
"Do you know anything about this amnesia case from five months ago? A Mr Smith found unconscious in a stolen car out near Bolventor?"
"Vaguely? Not one of mine though. You onto it are you?" Jeff was laughing, not for the first time was he amused by the jobs Murray landed himself with.
"Yeah. Strange one for sure. I was just wondering whether you could get me a meeting with the officers involved? I've got the reports but it's never the same."
"Can you give us their names?"
"Erm..." Murray dragged the report over his keyboard and read out the names. "Barker and.... Martin. Oh, and one other thing, do you know where the car was scrapped? I wouldn't mind taking Mr Smith along to have another look at it, see if it jogs any memories."
"I'll look into it. Anything else?"
"Doing well!" Jeff's wife, Kate, was reaching the six month marker of her pregnancy.
After one last call to Mrs Goodier about her husband and sending her an e-mail with the footage he had taken the evening before, Murray decided it was time to go and visit the scene of the burglary or at least the neighbours. He couldn't help but feel Maria Whiteshaw was a little nervous of him, so he thought he best not push it too much, but a look at how tall she was wouldn't be a bad thing.
He climbed in his car and started his engine.
"Murray my man! What's going on, anything exciting?" Murray glanced in his rearview mirror.
"Ali! Where have you been hiding?"
"Just 'cos you can't see us doesn't mean we're hiding!" Ali was laughing in the back seat.
"Hello Rita, you must be here too then?" Murray still stared in his empty mirror.
"Hello Murray! Where are we off to?"
"Uh, where to start? I've got a man with no memory who was found in a stolen crashed car who wants to know who he is...."
"Not the usual then?" Rita sounded amused.
"No." Murray had driven out of the resident's carpark and was heading in the direction of Okehampton and Maria Whiteshaw's street. "Don't suppose you two have a magic answer to amnesia?"
"Sorry mate. Anything else on?"
"Erm... yeah... light-fingered courier. ...Actually..." As Murray concentrated on his driving he considered whether or not it would be helpful taking these two along with him on the Mason case? "I might beable to use you two tomorrow, if you're up for a bit of surveillance that is?"
"Following a delivery van?" Rita had sat forward and was now right behind Murray's left ear.
"Well, if he's raiding his parcels, he's not gonna do it in broad daylight, he'll probably hide in the back of the van. Could do with some x-ray eyes."
"Ok Murray mate, we'll be there. What time you leaving?"
"Be out the house by seven thirty. Is that ok?"
"We don't keep office hours Murray darling!" Murray smiled in his mirror towards his left shoulder where Rita's voice was coming from.
By the time they pulled into the end of Maria's road, which turned out to be a cul-de-sac, they had made a plan of action. Ali and Rita were going to see if Maria was home and estimate her height, checking her new car if neccessary, and Murray was going in search of Miss Hockey. He glanced at the detached house across the road as he casually strolled up the path to number six. Stood on the drive infront of the garage was a new Honda, brand new according to the registration. The front garden was neat, if somewhat suburban, and the windows all had matching nets hanging at them.
"And a villa in Spain!" Murray muttered to himself as he turned and took in Miss Hockey's home. It too was neatly kept but the blinds and curtains didn't match and the car was five... no seven years old. He rang the bell...
A lad in his late teens answered the door with earphones hanging around his neck.
"Yeah?" he asked sounding barely interested in an answer.
"Is Miss Hockey home please?"
"Nah, she's gone to work. Who want's her?"
"Er.. I'm a private investigater, here's my card..." Murray pulled one of his cards out from the back of his wallet and handed it over to the young man. "I was just wondering if I could ask Miss Hockey some questions about the burgarly that took place over at Mrs Whiteshaw's house some months ago? I've been hired by the man who was found in the car..."
"Oh yeah! I remember all that. They asked me Mum if she'd seen anything." The lad was reading Murray's card. "Can she give you a call then?"
"That'd be great if she would. Do you recall anything?"
"The car wasn't there." He stated it as a matter of fact as he stared across the road at Maria's house. "They'd gone to their place in Spain and left the car on the drive, like her car is now, but it had long gone before they came home, days like!"
"It wasn't stolen the day they reported it then?" The two of them were studying each other.
"Nah, it had definately gone at least a couple of days before. Not many people come up this turning..." Murray could almost see the lad's cogs turning inside his mind. "... Don't think anyone remembers seeing anyone strange hanging about watching the place. It was odd, them being done over, know what I mean?"
"Well, you mean no-one else has had any trouble like that?"
"Not since we lived here." The lad took a step backwards. "I'll give me Mum this, ok."
"Thanks. That'd be great." Murray turned and walked slowly back to his car. Miss Hockey's lad seemed brighter than he sounded, why should someone pick on that particular house out of the blue? Something was a little off about that burlarly. Did Maria Whiteshaw know Mr Smith? Maybe, if it had all been an insurance scam? Was that why she didn't want to see him? Incase he remembered her and what she'd asked him to do? But surely if that was the case he wouldn't say anything, it wouldn't be to his advantage? Murray shook his head and climbed back into his car to wait for Ali and Rita. He didn't wait more than ten minutes.
"You were quick!" Rita's voice was bouncing around the back of Murray's car.
"Yeah man! Thought you'd be ages?"
"Miss Hockey's not home. Spoke to her son and he says the same as she did in her statement, the car was gone days before."
"Really?" Ali was sat beside Murray in the front as the engine was started and the car moved away in the direction of home once more.
"Mmm... What about Maria Whiteshaw? Was she home?"
"Yes, she was there, chatting away on the phone. To her sister I think but I wasn't really listening."
"I thought all women liked a bit of gossip on the phone?" Murray teased.
"Shut up Murray! Actually she was telling her sister to go to Spain, go and stay at the villa."
"Was she tall or short?" Murray was still thinking about the seat position in the crashed car.
"About five eight, five nine I'd reckon Murray mate."
"Mmm, probably not our driver then?"
"Do you really think she had been driving? She was in Spain at the time, wasn't she?"
Murray glanced in his rearview mirror.
"I don't know what I'm thinking. The police report says she was on the morning flight home that day, so yes, she should have been in Spain. Although it looks now like the car was taken a few days before. I don't know if that matters or not?" Murray felt as though his brain was tying itself into a knot.
"The car couldn't have been crashed in that ditch for a few days Man. Someone would have reported it long before it was reported."
"That's true. Which means Maria Whiteshaw wasn't the driver when it crashed. So what have we got? The house is burgled and the car taken and then a few days later the Whiteshaws return and report the burglarly and on the same day the car crashes and Mr Smith has no memory."
"It is all a bit odd. I mean, it could just be coincidence but it does sound odd."
"Yeah, I agree Rita, something just doesn't seem quite right.... but what?"
Having washed and changed, Murray pulled up in his Aunt Pam's parking spot outside her old harbourside cottage ready to tuck into one of her delicious home-made meals. The sea wind hit him hard as he climbed out of the car and approached the front door. His Aunt threw her arms around him and welcomed him inside in her usual enthusiastic manner. He in return embraced both her and the warmth of her thick-walled home, and the aroma of chicken and sage drifting out from the kitchen.
"Pity Jenny couldn't make it, you two make such a lovely couple. Come through, get yourself warmed up by the rayburn." Murray followed her through to the kithchen to find she wasn't alone. "Oh, this is my friend Jo-anna, she's joining us for tea. Jo dear, this is my nephew Murray."
"Oh the private investigater. Hello."
"Hello, nice to meet you." Suddenly he felt he was being set up, not for the first time by his dear Aunt.
"Now, we want to ask you Murray, are you very busy at the moment?" Pam was pouring out coffee into three mugs.
"Reasonably, why? What's up Aunty?" Murray sat himself down at the kitchen table opposite Jo-anna and waited.
"Well, Jo-anna here lives up at Tremeara...."
"It's a rest home, for us olden's!" Jo-anna smiled.
"Thing's are going missing Murray, I know, it sound's like something out of comic book! Old dears losing things! But however silly it sounds, it's becoming very upsetting for some of the residents."
"I should think it's very frustrating." Murray smiled sympathetically. "But surely the managers are dealing with it?"
"Karen just thinks we're being forgetful. Oh, she's being very nice about it but she's not taking us seriously." Jo was animated. "Thing is, there's no-one new around. No new staff and no new residents. So where's our stuff going?"
It was a good question. Murray studied Jo-anna. She didn't look gaga.
"What's gone missing? I take it there's more than one person's stuff involved?"
"Oh yes. I think the first person to mention anything was Darcy, she couldn't find her gold cross. She always placed it in her jewellry box on her dresser every night, but then it just disappeared. We searched and Tina and Gill helped, they're the morning staff, but we never did find it. Then I think it was Tom who lost his father's pocket watch. He had got it out for it's monthly silver polish, he's very particular, and it had gone from his wooden box that he keeps in the bottom of his wardrobe. He did make a fuss but again, with everyone having a good search, it was never found. Then just last week Barbara lost her cameo ring right off her finger! She's actually bedridden and on her way to loco-land but once again, even with the staff completely stripping her bed down and searching her clothing, it hasn't been found."
"People may get forgetful in their later years Murray, but it's more than a coincidence what's going on over there. Do you think you could find time to have a nose around?" Pam had joined them at the table and was looking expectantly at Murray.
"Well...." he sat back. "You can't all be losing your marbles, or your jewellry! It does sound a little odd doesn't it?... Ok, I'll come over and have a chat with your friends, that is, if your manager doesn't mind?"
"Karen? No, she won't mind. She'll probably tell you you're wasting your time though, she thinks it will all turn up soon enough, when we remember where we really left everything!"
"It's quite patronising. She should be taking it seriously." Pam got up again and opened the oven and lifted out a crispy, delicious looking cooked chicken. Murray tried not to get distracted as the food was about to be plated up.
"I've got a job on tomorrow but I could pop over in the evening, not too late?"
"They try to have us in bed by nine but we rarely are!" Jo-anna let out a gentle but rebellious giggle.
"You say there's no new staff or residents?"
"No. No-one new."
"Mmm? That would have been the obvious choice. I take it the 'thief' must be mobile, so that'll rule out all those that need assistance. What about the staff? Anyone a bit untrustworthy?"
"No. That's just the problem you see. We can't work out what's going on. We're a happy bunch. The staff are helpful and friendly and we all get along. But who knows how long that will last if things keep going missing?"
"Well, don't worry. I'll come over tomorrow and you can introduce me to everyone. See if I can spot who's acting guilty!"
Over dinner Jo-anna went on to tell Murray about Tremeara and it's general set up. The building was a former hotel which had been adapted to house the elderly, of which there were presently fourteen. Apart from Karen there were four full-time staff and two ancillary staff. Meals were delivered from a local meal service. The resident's all had their own rooms and en-suites, basic but at least they were private. A number of the residents were suffering with immobility of one sort or another. The only one's which were probably agile enough to get around and sneak in and out of rooms were Byron, Tom, Cathy, Darcy, Lizzie, Cyril and Jo-anna. Murray tried to keep a mental track of what he was being told but decided he had just better go armed with notebook and pen the following evening.
Having had his fill of his Aunt's home-cooking, Murray offered to run Jo-anna back to Tremeara which would enable him to get a quick look at the place. As he drove into the front driveway Murray found that although it had once been a hotel, Tremeara was not nearly as large or as grand as he had imagined. It stood detached within it's own plot of land, the gardens around it looking neat and cared for and the view down over the town and out to sea quite spectacular. Overall the place let off a homely feel.