The Interviews: Anna and Oliver
Updated: May 28
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Sunday 14th June
Sid Potter had told Hazel where she would be most likely to find Oliver Bonheur. “Try the spa, he’s usually up to no good, hiding in there with Anna when there is work to be done”, he had suggested, and he was right.
After deciding that she had experienced the thrill of driving a golf buggy enough for one day, or even one life, she decided to take her trusty 2CV Henrietta out for a little trip to the spa. Hazel was surprised that Henrietta’s extremely audible chatter hadn’t alerted Oliver to her presence. Instead it was Arty who distracted them from whatever they were doing in one of the treatment rooms.
Anna came into the spa's reception, closing the door behind her and adjusting her top.
"Can I help you?"
“I certainly hope so. Hazel Durette, private investigator. I need to ask you a few questions.”
"Is Oliver in there?" Hazel gestured to the room that Anna had just vacated.
"Erm, ... no, of course not. He is on the course somewhere, tending the gardens."
Hazel's stomach rumbled.
"Are you hungry? I'll send for some sandwiches."
Artemis had been sniffing at the tray on the table for a while, pawing the air hoping to reach one. When Hazel wasn’t looking, he stealthily reached his head forward and stole an egg mayonnaise sandwich. “Arty! C’est vilain!”, she scolded him. Anna couldn’t help but laugh.
“This is serious, Mademoiselle Laurent. Amelia Marshall is dead, and you are a suspect.”
“Me? Don’t be ridiculous.”
“I already know that your father had asked Amelia to cover up a bribe to the mayor. I know that the local newspaper was told about the story, but for some reason did not publish…”
“Are you surprised they didn’t when Victor Brassard is involved?”
“You have told me you heard Pierre and Amelia arguing on Friday morning, and I’m pretty sure you worked out what it was about. You have even told me you already knew about the bribe … you have shown me photographs of the papers proving it!”
She had also been shown photographic evidence of this by the Maître d’hôtel, Sylvia Moulin and had found the papers on the desk herself, although she couldn’t read them due to an incident involving Artemis and half a glass of gin and tonic.
“I put it to you, Anna Laurent, that you killed Amelia Marshall.”
“Tu es fou.”
“Maybe I am. But I think you killed her because she refused to help your father and instead went to the press.”
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Artemis had taken rather a liking to the door to the treatment room that Anna had appeared from when they got to the spa, and now he had progressed from pawing at the door to growling quite ferociously. His ability to sound like a dog much bigger than his diminutive size could prove useful at times. "Arty, what is it? Anna said there is no one in there: surely she can't be lying to me", asked Hazel. Anna looked away sheepishly. The detective opened the door slightly and Artemis ran in, barking like a rottweiler who had tracked down some juicy prey.
“Monsieur Bonheur, fancy seeing you here. We need to talk,” said Hazel.
“Can you get the dog away from me first?”
“In that case, no. Grogner, Arty. Bon garçon, Artemis.”
Arty’s growling at people he didn’t like could be a pain when she was on a stake out, but for interviewing suspects it was extremely useful. Oliver backed further into the corner.
“A little bird tells me that you and Anna Laurent are romantically involved. Am I right?”
“Oui. I like her a lot.”
“You like her enough to kill for her?”
She didn’t know where this line of questioning was leading, so changed track.
“Your girlfriend said she showed you evidence of Pierre Laurent bribing the mayor. I think you went to the press with that information. You used that money to pay off the gang you get your drugs from, the gang run by Victor Brassard.”
“Why would I do that? It would put me and Anna in danger! They are bad people!”
“Am I right? Double win for you; cash to pay off your debts, plus leverage over Victor Brassard.”
Hazel really was making this up as she went along, but it certainly seemed to have hit a nerve with Oliver.
“I put it to you,” she said, “that you went to see Amelia on Saturday night. She accused you of leaking this to the newspapers … and you killed her”.
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Now move on to 'Episode Five: Watch the birdie'
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