Inspector Piper Volume 6. Murder Mystery: "Murder By Suicide"
Hello there, and welcome to your murder mystery.
Before you begin your journey with Inspector Piper, there are some things you will need to know first.
To solve your mystery, you will have to follow Pipers journey across Skipton to interview all the relevant suspects.
At each location you will have to solve a clue in order to open up the information you need to solve the crime.
The answer sheet to all the clues has been forwarded to you in your purchase email. However we recommend only looking at the sheet if you are well and truly stumped. All the answers can be found by keeping your eyes open and looking around.
You will have to self navigate through Skipton in order to find you locations: so if Piper goes to the Court House, you will have to work your own way there in order to find your clue and work out your evidence. All the guidance points will be points of interest, and there is no time limit on completing your mission so if you wish to stop at any then feel absolutely free. The locations you choose to go to will be in a (relatively) ordered fashion....so as long as you don't go and chase a dead lead.
At each page you will get some information from an individual or suspect; and we do recommend taking a pen and paper with you to make notes to help you on your quest.
If you still are feeling stuck getting towards the end there are hints you can call on in order to give you a little extra nudge before you come up with your decision. These will be on the last three pages and you will have to click on the hint button to unlock. You can go back and forward in between pages (previous and next button) however do try not to close the page as you will have to restart from the beginning.
Hints will be prompted when they are available - they are worth taking as they may provide you will some extra information that will lead you to solve this sneaky crime.
When you make your final guess; that is the end of it. Once you press complete you will be taken through to the results page....and only then will you work out if you have the brain power of Holmes or the critical thinking of a gnat.
We wish you the best of luck; and when you are in your start point of the Devonshire Inn, New Market Street: begin your investigation.
First Location: Devonshire Inn - Interviews
Piper attends the shop on the High Street and is shown to the rear room by the first officer at the scene, PC Smedley. He notes that the body is hanging from the stairs suspended by a rope. The deceased is the jewellery shop owner, Cecil Groves. Piper was already aware that Groves was the only witness to a violent armed robbery that occurred at the jewellers a few days earlier. He remembers that Groves had shown immense bravery in fighting with one of the offenders and managed to pull his mask off thus seeing his face. Piper thinks it strange that such a brave man would then go on to commit suicide.
A quick scan of the room by Piper does not reveal anything untoward.
Piper goes outside to refresh his memory of the previous incident, and decides to head to his next location to continue investigating.
Second Location: Victoria Square - Clue
From your location on Newmarket Street, head to the roundabout and turn right onto High Street. Look for the street left in-between NatWest and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and then find the alley way that leads to Victoria Square.
Once in Victoria Square, there is an unusual shaped small building at the end of the alley but how many columns surround the building?
HintFind the rotunda on the image and count all the columns around it.
Second Location: Victoria Square - Interviews
Piper had noted that Groves had described the offender who robbed his shop in such good detail that Piper was able to identify him straight away and arrest him. He had identified a local criminal, Henry Holland. Holland had a very distinctive scar down his left cheek and Groves had spotted this when he pulled the mask off the offender. Piper had immediately arrested Holland and after a ‘no comment’ interview he had put him on an identification parade. Groves had easily picked out Holland as the guilty party. However, when Groves was leaving the station he was accosted by an as yet unknown male who put his fingers in the shape of a gun and fired it towards Groves’ head before running off. Groves reported this straight away but the offender had made good his escape.
Third Location: The Old Court House - Interviews
The next day after the robbery Holland was charged with the offence and appeared at court. Unfortunately, as the only evidence was that of a single witness with no forensic corroboration and no recovered stolen property at that time the magistrates decided to bail the offender until the next hearing.
As he was leaving the court he shouted to Inspector Piper, “you’ll never make it stick Piper all you have is one witness”.
Piper muses on this information, someone clearly had it in for the deceased.
Fourth Location: The Old Town Hall - Clue
Piper walks back to Sheep Street to speak to Catherine Little. He meets her by some steps, outside of the Old Town Hall. Can you find what was originally at each side of the steps? Find the steps in the picture above.
HintThey were previously used to display the captured prisoners. Look for the green plaque by the steps to help.
Fourth Location: The Old Town Hall - Interviews
Piper returns to the shop and speaks to the shop assistant Catherine Little. She stated that Groves had been agitated after the threat from the unknown person and he feared that his business may be in trouble due to the loss suffered in the robbery.
She states she last saw him when they locked the shop the previous evening and although he was quiet, she didn’t think he would do anything like this.
You can clearly see how upset she is about this and you offer her a tissue to dab her eyes. You ask her if she has anymore information that could help you however sadly she does not.
Fifth Location: The Bank - Clue
Piper meets PC Smedley outside Barclays Bank back on High Street before going to the local café to mull over the information so far, as well as discuss any more information that has come to light. The town’s Pillory was initially sited in front of the bank but when was it taken down?
Hintlook for the plaque outside the bank to give you your answer.
Fifth Location: The Bank - Interviews
Piper exits the bank and speaks to the first officer at the scene PC Smedley in a local café. Smedley states that he was on patrol and heard screaming from somewhere on the High Street. He attended the area and ascertained it was coming from the jewellers. He entered the building and saw Catherine Little, who was screaming, trying to hold up the deceased who was hanging from the bannister of the stairs. He was obviously dead by this stage. Smedley states that he cut the body down and carefully preserved the knot in the rope. He stated that when other officers arrived at the scene he made a quick examination of the scene. He found no evidence of a break in however, he did find a scrap of paper with the word ‘sorry’ scribbled on it which had been placed in the middle of the table. He asked Miss Little if that was Groves’ hand writing but she couldn’t say as she appeared to be in shock.
Smedley had also seized the accounts register and the handwriting was unlike the inputs from Miss Little.
Smedley said to Piper “seems to be an open and shut case of suicide don’t you think sir?”
Piper nodded his head but still asked for the scene to be preserved pending the post mortem.
Piper would be under pressure to resolve this quickly from his senior officers.
Piper asked Smedley to do house to house enquiries just as a precaution.
Sixth Location: The Black Horse Pub - Clue
Piper walked towards the building where the post mortem would take place; walking back up to Sheep Street, he passed a pub called the Black Horse. To proceed with your quest, can you find out what was it called until the early 1720’s?
HintSearch the outside of the pub
Sixth Location: The Black Horse Pub - Interviews
Piper attends the post mortem with Mr Bowker the pathologist.
“Well Inspector Piper this is interesting. You will note that there are two distinct lines of abrasion on the throat. One is directly around the middle of the throat in a sort of circular line. the other is up under the chin and behind the ears which is commonly associated with hanging. What do you make of that?”. Piper said it was strange and then Bowker said; “but that’s not all. This is the significant issue; he has a broken hyoid bone !”
Fact - The hyoid bone is a horseshoe shaped bone situated in the anterior midline of the neck between between the chin and the thyroid cartilage. At rest it lies at the level at the base of the mandible. Generally it does not break in circumstances of hanging but rather manual strangulation.
Mr Bowker stated that the two lines of abrasion could leave you with the impression that Groves was first strangled and then hung up to make it look like suicide.
Seventh Location: The Canal - Clue
After the post mortem Piper goes for a walk to clear his head. he walks up Sheep Street towards Holy Trinity Church and the War Memorial Statue and then turns left down Mill Bridge. There is a boat marooned on land near there. What is it called? You may have to take a trip down some steps to find it.
HintAs you walk down mill bridge take the steps down to the right opposite the pork pie shop
Seventh Location: The Canal - Interviews
Piper returns to the station and reviews the facts. He is not convinced that suicide was the means of death. The previous night Groves closed the shop with Little. According to her he normally gets there about 7.30- 8 in the morning to open up and she arrives at 8.30. therefore the offence timeline is that one hour in the morning he was found. Whilst at the station, the station clerk hands him a letter. He opens it and on the hastily written scrap of paper it states “Groves had sacked Little she wasn’t holding him up she was actually pulling him down”.
Inspector Piper needs to sleep on this but before he went he thought he would just examine the letter with the supposed suicide note. He was amazed to see that the handwriting looked identical!
Eighth Location: Skipton Castle Entrance - Clue
Piper walked back down Mill Bridge to the police telephone box which was positioned near the castle. But what three words are written above the castle entrance just around the corner from the Church? Follow the road around left past the Church.
HintLook high above the entrance to the castle
Eighth Location: Skipton Castle Entrance - Interviews
The next day Piper walked to the police telephone box where he knew Smedley would be calling in to the station. He asked Smedley for an update on the house to house enquiries. Smedley informed him that a witness, Amber Gold, who lives opposite the jewellers stated that she saw a police officer and what she thought was a detective go in the jewellers about 8am on the morning of the suspicious death. Smedley had asked around and could not find anyone who visited the shop that morning.
Ninth Location - Ambers Flat: Sheep Street - Clue
Piper walks towards Ambers flat and he passes a statue on Sheep Street of Sir Matthew Wilson which is near the Black Horse pub. He was the first MP for the Skipton division of Yorkshire from which year?
HintFind the Statue of Matthew Wilson and look for the year he became MP of Skipton
Ninth Location - Ambers Flat - Interviews
Piper goes to see Amber Gold at her flat overlooking the shop. and she states that she was getting ready for work at about 8am. She was aware of the previous robbery but hadn’t seen anything then. However, on that morning she noticed a police officer and another male who she presumed was a detective enter the shop. One officer was in uniform and the other was wearing a jacket which had elbow patches on it
HintAmber Gold is a keen photographer and took a picture of the officers going from the shop.