The Butterworth Mystery by Gillian Larkin

The Butterworth Mystery by Gillian Larkin

The plot takes place in the village Pendle Lee in Lancashire. This village is so small that all villagers know each other by name. Pendle Lee has an old history with a valuable ancient architecture. The legends say witches used to live there. There are very few crimes in this area. Sergeant Michael Rose has made only five arrests for the last seven years. Basically, the sergeant has to solve problems with some teenagers. Out of such boredom, they often arrange various troubles for him. Sometimes Michael Rose looks for the missing animals. And one day a phone call comes in the police station. The reason is the art gallery robbery. One of the pictures of a local but famous throughout the UK artist Butterworth was stolen.

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The Butterworth Mystery by Gillian Larkin

Michael Rose had been working for the Lancashire Police for seven years. He loved his job. Because he lived and worked in a small village, he knew many people by name. Even though he was only thirty-three, he was an old-fashioned type of policeman: friendly, caring and ready to help. He liked the people of Pendle Lee, and the people of Pendle Lee liked Sergeant Rose.

Crime was not a big problem.

At the police station, days went by quite slowly. Many other officers liked to be in a bigger town or a city. But Michael loved being part of a small community. The village itself was also a lovely place to live.

The church, which was in the centre, had been built in 1376.

The Butterworth Mystery by Gillian Larkin

Many of the houses had been standing for a very long time. Even the pub, which was called “The White Witch,” was hundreds of years old. At the edge of the village a river flowed through the fields and woods. On summer evenings it was as beautiful as a painting.

However, there was not very much for young people to do. Bored teenagers were often getting into trouble. In fact, most of the problems Michael had to deal with were caused by teenagers. Loud music, graffiti and bad behaviour were the main things. Usually he just talked to the young people and their parents. He hardly ever had to take one of them to the station. In seven years he had only arrested five people. Yet in those seven years he had found eleven lost dogs, and returned them to their homes. Some policemen would have found that kind of life boring. But Michael was happy.

It was the middle of summer. The sun had just set and it was very late. Michael was at the police station. He was on the night shift. For a few hours he had been doing some paperwork. Even in a small village station there was a lot of bureaucracy. He had also had some coffee and had read the newspaper. The police station cat, Harriet, was sitting on his knee. She was purring.

“Sorry, Harriet,” Michael said. “You’re going to have to move. I want another coffee.”

He tried to push the fat tabby cat off his lap, but she didn’t want to go.

Suddenly the phone rang.

That’s strange, Michael thought. Nobody ever called late at night unless something was really wrong…

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