Deafen The Maiden

“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 16

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Police Medic Judith Sager has helped detective Andy Heppthwaite solve the allusive crossword clues, but there are many other aspects of the case he finds puzzling. He still does not know whether he is dealing with a suicide or a murder.
16:1 It was a beautiful morning. Andy H. cycled to Reason Hall with a clear head and a log of all phone calls made from there the previous day.
16:2 By contrast, when OAR assembled, the players were in sombre mood. Time to reflect had made most of them feel implicated in Sonia‘s fate.
16:3 The Scheidt chorale arrangements they were working on did little to lift spirits. “probly +fing i 8” as Rob’s text to girlfriend Jo put it.
16.4 By coffee break, some early Haydn had worked its magic and they were more cheerful. Outward Sound Supremo Jen Singer was determinedly upbeat
16:5 She had arranged mutual massage therapy for the special musicians who delivered her cherished “Out There“ sound in the community programme.
16:6 As usual, massage gave way to therapeutic moaning. “Why they no disable toilet?” asked Viola Scherzo. “Or staff canteen?” added Natalie Katz.
16:7 “Well, we’ll think about those issues later” soothed Jen “but right now I’d like to focus on our “Ten Little Pigs – Music for Mums” project.

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 15

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – A third crossword clue has been discovered which seems to allude to the death of violinist Sonia Said. Detective Andy Hepplethwaite is puzzled.
15:1 Andy and Judith sat in the silent room. “Eve,” she shouted. “A tempting woman is Eve”. “Are you good at crosswords, then?” asked Andy
15:2 “Used to be. Are there any more?” He showed her 2d GERMAN DREAM A NIGHTMARE. “What’s that about, then?” Judith thought for a moment. “Trauma”
15:3 “How’s that?” “German word for dream is traum + a. Simple”. Andy was impressed “Clever girl, aren’t you? I bet you play the violin too”
15:4 “Cello actually but no time theses days. New career and all that. Always wanted to see inside this place but not under these circumstances”
15:5 Andy suspected Jude might prove helpful. “So, these clues. Do you think they mean anything?” “I doubt it. They’re entirely self-referential”
15:6 “They may seem relevant, like the “middle-eastern woman“, but it turns out it’s just the Old Testament. Nothing to do with Sonia at all.”
15:7 “You’d be better off trying to work out whether she took those pills herself or was fed them”, advised Jude starting up the stairs for home.

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 14

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Lily the librarian says that Sonia was not a spoilt rich girl after all. In fact, she seemed to be a different person to everyone who met her.
14:1 Judith Sager sat on a piano stool looking pale. “Body’s at post mortem. Sorry, I’m quite new to this. Haven’t grown the extra epidermis yet”
14:2 Andy sympathised “It never gets easier, we just get better at hiding it. Dreadful thought, but it’s worse when they’re young and beautiful.”
14:3 “Shallow, aren’t we?” mused Lily, “In spite of being so sophisticated. Take Jimbo ‘n Nobs, for instance. Clever, but miss the point really.”
14:4 “The point being?” asked Judith.“That it’s not about TV appearances or foreign tours. It’s about the music… and the people who play it.”
14:5 They looked thoughtfully at the space where Sonia’s body had been. Andy lifted some pill packets and soft drink bottle from the waste bin.
14:6 Under them was a crossword clue in Yuri’s distinctive hand. He read it out loud: “3d. TEMPTING WOMAN FROM MIDDLE EAST JUST BEFORE NIGHTFALL”
14:7 “Never could work out clues. Must be why I became a detective,” Andy grinned. “Evening’s almost over. Must get home. Ta for the tour, Lily”

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 13

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – The Orchestra of the Age of Reason’s librarian, Lily was late to hear of Sonia’s death, but it came as no surprise to her, and she has revealed yet more uncomfortable information about the organisation.
13:1 “What I think doesn’t matter unless it‘s backed up by facts. All I‘ve yet heard is idle gossip. Maybe our MO has something more concrete.”
13:2 “I think I should go back upstairs to help manage the media flack” Jim replied. “Perhaps Lily could help you find your way around.”
13:3 “No probs, Jimbo” sang Lily as she led Andy through doors which opened at a wave of her identity card onto secret stairs and storerooms.
13:4 Andy chatted to Lily easily and he shared his image of Sonia – outwardly gregarious and confident but inwardly insecure. Lily largely agreed
13:5 She corrected some biographical details: “Son looked super-rich but wasn’t really. The Said’s paid for her education, then left her alone.”
13:6 “Expensive clothes came from credit cards and Oxfam. To-die-for violin from a US charity. Penthouse belonged to her Dad‘s business-buddy”
13:7 “I thought Mr. Said was a diplomat?” wondered Andy “He’s that too. All her family seem to multi-task. Here we are. Room C2. Where‘s Son?”

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 12

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – The musicians from the Orchestra of the Age of Reason have been allowed home for the night. But a new tour starts in only three days time, putting pressure on CID’s Andy Hepplethwaite’s to explain Sonia Said’s death before they become unavailable for questioning.
12:1 As Andy Hepplethwaite watched the staff file out, looking for clues in their faces, someone rushed up the stairs who he had not seen before.
12:2 The girl spoke breathlessly “Sorry. Been in the library. Virtually live there really. Why’s everyone only just leaving. What’s going on?”
12:3 Jim filled her in. “It’s Sonia, Lilly. She’s dead. Didn’t you know? We had no idea you were in today or we’d have come to tell you”.
12:4 “Dead? Killed herself, you mean“. “You’re not surprised” said Andy “Did you know her well?” ““Very. She spent loads of time in the library“
12:5 “She liked it. It’s quiet. The others never come down there. She hated them all really, with their snide remarks and accusations. Even Rob“.
12:6 “What accusations?“ Jim was interested “They said that she bribed her way into the job, or worse. You know what they‘re like” explained Lily
12:7 “I’m afraid poor Sonia’s death is shedding a harsh light on our little organisation, officer” added Jim Winter. “What must you think of us?”

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 11

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – The crossword being compiled by bass player Yuri Jones seems to suggest that he knows more about the circumstances surrounding Sonia’s death than he’s so far revealed.
11:1 “I agree with Yuri“, declared Natalie Katz cleaning out her oboe. “This orchestra typifies the triumph of style over substance. Like Vivaldi.”
11:2 “Or Rameau.” Charity added, emptying water from her horn. “How facile was that “A Reasonable Entertainment” we showcased in May? I hated it”
11:3 “Professional orchestras are full of players who hate music. Like teachers who can’t stand children,” announced Rob dismantling his bassoon.
11:4 “The “Unreasonable expense” was a delicacy devoid of historical or artistic validity dreamt up by His Nobs for sophisticates to be seen at”
11:5 Trapped and bored, the musicians had forgotten Sonia and reverted to default mode: bitching about management, the audience and each other.
11:6 Cid’s Andy H. recognising a volatile situation, decided to unlock the doors and send them home for the night. “Good idea” agreed Jim Winter.
11:7 JW “They’ll all be back in the morning rehearsing for a tour starting Friday.” AH “Three days to explain Sonia’s demise? No pressure, then”

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 10

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Secretary Penny Cash has been revealing some uncomfortable truths about OAR, and she’s only just begun…
Chapter 10
10:1 JW, Matt, Lucy and George North were in shocked silence. They’d never paid Penny much attention before… and she was enjoying it.
10:2 “Information just found its way to Sonia. She knew about faked blind auditions, public money wasted on pet projects with no artistic merit“.
10:3 “Within weeks of being here, she was telling me about bribes and backhanders from years ago that even I didn’t know about”.
10:4 “Like building contracts going to friends of George here…” North started to object “That was completely unproven, I was cleared of ….”
10:5 “Of course, nothing can ever be proved“, Penny continued. “We’re the region’s cultural beacon. Everything has to be clean and shiny”
10:6 Downstairs, Yuri dropped Reason Hall’s glossy brochure dismissively, “When did people start having lifestyles instead of lives?”
10:7 He passed 2d to Viola – GERMAN DREAM A NIGHTMARE. “Schumann?” she wondered. “Sonia” mused Mary Ann sucking a mint. “Poor traumatised child”

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 9

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – The management team of the Orchestra of the Age of Reason are concerned about their carefully nurtured image being damaged by Sonia’s death, but CEO Jim Winter’s PA, Penelope Cash has suggested that the beautiful young violinist was something of a PR disaster when alive too.
Chapter 9
9:1 Upstairs, PA Penny was in full swing: “Yes. Trouble. She’d no sooner arrived than Jen Singer and Connie fell out. Lesbians, you see.”
9:2 “Then lots of the men tried it on with her, even the married ones, and got nowhere (boyfriend back home, apparently) so they started bickering”
9:3 “But she was nice to everyone.They liked talking to her. All the old scandal came out, like the Slovenian sex-offenders Brass Ensemble…..”
9:4 “Excuse me?” Andy Heppthwaite was a good listener, and didn’t often interrupt, but some things required clarification. “Sex-offenders br…”
9:5 “… the box office debacle, the foreign TV rights cock-up…” Penny had been harbouring secrets for years, and she was not going to stop now.
9:6 “…cronyism, sinecures, nepotism… more like a medieval palatinate than a modern state-funded institution. Sonia had a nose for intrigue.”
9:7 “Mark Dicks reckons she’s an Israeli spy. I don’t think he has a firm grasp of ethnic tensions in the Middle East, or of anything else, really”

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 8

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Sonia’s death has turned all the players in the Orchestra of the Age of Reason into potential conspiracy-to-murder suspects. Members of the management team are under investigation too.
Chapter 8
8:1 Luce Merill was depressed. “I’ve managed to make our liaison with this precious **** band a good news story for 5 years. Now this happens”
8:2 “So you wouldn’t want any disagreement between orchestra and management to become public knowledge?” probed CID’s Andy Hepplethwaite.
8:3 “That’s our job. Keeping **** like that out of the public domain“.
“And we’d rather have a live liability than a dead one” added Matt Noir.
8:4 JW clarified “At first Son was an asset: mainly because she was NOT white, middle-class and aged like the rest of us, then she started to….”
8:5 “Trouble just followed her around like a bad smell”, interrupted Penelope Cash, Jim Winter’s long-serving and devoted personal secretary.
8:6 “Really?“ AH loved interviewees doing his job for him. “How exactly?” Penny would know everything that passed in Reason Hall. PAs always did
8:7 Downstairs, Rob to Jo:“Un42n8. Seems Son murdered. Bruises. Where we stopped her jumping off bridge last night? Should I mention it to CID?”

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“DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Chapter 7

Previously in “DEAFEN THE MAIDEN” – Everyone in Reason Hall had assumed that glamorous violinist Sonia Said had committed suicide until the police medical officer discovered unusual bruising on her arms.
Chapter 7
7:1 “So A pinned her down while B fed her pills”, surmised Andy. “That makes it murder AND conspiracy. Nobody’s leaving ‘til I get some answers.”
7:2 Yuri handed Viola another clue: 1a WHY DO IT? UNFINISHED MOVEMENT WITH SMALL TIMPANI IN THE MIDDLE. “Stockhausen or Strauss?” she wondered.
7.3 Andy questioned CEO Jim Winter first, “Motive? Take your pick. Everyone has a reason to resent their colleagues in a hothouse like this.”
7:4 “Personal and professional jealousy is the lifeblood of the orchestra” expanded conductor Nobs Major “You’ll have no shortage of suspects.”
7:5 After 3 hours of quizzing orchestra and staff members, Andy ordered placatory food for all, opened his notebook and jotted some thoughts.
7:6 WHY THEY ALL HATE SONIA? Nicol-lost status. Singer-jilted. Constance-jealous. Dicks-humiliated. Katz-liked her, delayed raising alarm. Why?
7:7 Management-image-driven recruitment policy. Photo op v. artistic merit. Was she going to press with this? Hardly a reason to kill poor girl.

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