Tales Of Chiswick. Chapter 3. Whodunit?


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  • Bill Lapwing

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Dawn Hanson

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Pepper Gorman

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Holly Faraday

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Abigail Jeung

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Finton Terry

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Roberta Jones

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Frances Jilks

    Votes: 6 23.1%
  • Taffy O'Reilly

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Clarisse Dutton

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Jacky Johnson

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Shaznay

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Biddy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tina

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  • Someone Else!

    Votes: 5 19.2%

  • Total voters
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Jun 24, 2008
Chapter 1 New Beginnings

Chapter 2 The Kitten Has Claws

Chapter 3 – Whodunit?

Bill turned to Dawn and Pepper “Call the Police. Quickly…” and as he moved away from the body he revealed the horrific sight. Brown doe-eyes staring glassily to the ceiling, mouth slightly open in a frozen expression of surprise or shock, and in the centre of her forehead a small red circle.
“It’s Jenna….. she’s dead. I’m not kidding…. She’s been MURDERED!”
“Dinna be so feckin’ ridiculous Bill” said Dawn…..”who would want tae murder Jenna Fryman fer God’s sake?” Dawn prised away Pepper’s hands which had a vice like grip around her upper arm. It was a relief as Pepper’s blood red painted talons were digging into Dawns not insubstantial bingo wings and were leaving marks. Dawn started to push her way into the cramped dressing room. She bent towards the body with a pointed, nicotine stained forefinger, seemingly intending to poke Jenna back to life.

“Get AWAY from her Dawn, you can’t go touching the body. The police will go mental if we do that, just back away and call the pol….” He was interrupted by a shriek from Pepper who was still outside in the corridor, trembling like leaf on a tree.

“It’s ok Pepper, calm down we’re not in danger” said Bill.

“No no no no… didn’t you just hear that?” replied Pepper with a trembling voice “that cry? I’m sure I just heard someone cry out.”

“Jesus holy Christ this is feckin’ crazy, whit dae do ye mean cry oot?”

“I don’t now, it was a cry… didn’t you hear it… omigod I’m going mad?” Pepper’s bulging eyes flicked from Bill to Dawn looking for some affirmation that’s she wasn’t going out of her mind, she found none.

Bill took control “right let’s all get out of here. I’m going to lock the door behind me and Dawn, you’re going to call the Police right now. Tell them there’s been an accident and someone’s been shot dead, no need for any more detail than that. They’ll soon see what’s happened. I’m going upstairs to tell everyone what’s going on. This is going to be in the newspapers tomorrow, the management need to start planning. Pepper, I’m going to find someone to sit you with because I don’t think you should be alone. OK everyone? Let’s get moving”.

The police had arrived within 15 minutes and immediately took charge of the situation. Jenna’s body had been removed, the premises isolated with police at each entrance and exit. Everyone was told that they wouldn’t be allowed to leave until they’d been questioned. Until then, they were free to move around the building, except for the dressing room area. Holly Faraday was the only person allowed to leave, needing the hospital to attend to her damaged foot. As she was stretchered to an ambulance her colleagues caught sight of the injury, her foot was the size of a balloon and purple/black in colour, her big toe was a mess of congealed blood with the nail hanging precariously from its bed. Face deathly white, she managed a brave half-wave at the little crowd assembled in reception to see her off.

“I’ve tauld ye afair those pots an' pans in 'at scullery ur naethin' but mingin, she’s gonnae be lucky tae keep her fit” Said Dawn “and Ah intend tae go oot fer a ciggie, police or no feckin’ police”.

“At least Holly doesn’t have to wait around to be questioned like some common criminal” said Roberta “I mean, don’t these people know who I am?”

“Och yes hen, they know who you are “replied Dawn” you’re the one most likely tae hae murrdad Jenna, you’re the person arguin’ in the canteen yesterday ur am ah mistaken?”

“Oh per-lease don’t be so pathetic Dawn. As If I’d do something like that. I have too much to lose!. Look at me” Roberta pointed at herself with both forefingers, running them from her glossy mane of hair to the black wedge sandals on her feet “I’m the most popular presenter on UK shopping TV, I’m gorgeous, with a body to DIE for, I have a fabulous partner, gorgeous kids, a Pilates machine and a villa in Spain. If you think I’d risk throwing all that away and spending time in Holloway with a load of rug-munching lesbians you’re mad, darling.”

Roberta pirouetted away from her colleagues and headed for the lift. “Tell the police I’ll be in the management suite if they need me”.

Frances Jilks stood apart from the main group, watching the proceedings silently. If anyone had been closer to Frances they may have noticed her body was tense with anger and that her knuckles were white as she dug her nails into the palms of her hands. And anyone within earshot may also have heard her hiss under her breath “most popular? Not for much longer though… you stupid vain bitch”. She didn’t think anyone was close enough… but someone was. Someone saw, and heard it every word she said.

As the group dispersed Bill went on the hunt for Roberta. He found her in the ladies executive toilets on the 15th floor, perched on the marble sink unit, legs crossed feet pointed (always the dancer) with her wedge sandals hanging precariously from her feet. She was putting soft ringlets into her hair with a Bogii heat styling tool.
“Oh hi darling you sure you should be in here?”
“Sorry Roberta I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to talk to you about, well…. all this”
“Terrible isn’t it?” she said nonchalantly. “Hope they find who did poor whatshername in”
“But Roberta you have to realise that Dawn was right. You ARE number one suspect in this. After the row I heard about yesterday who else is going to be in the frame?”
“No idea darling, but it wasn’t me. And when the police have finished investigating Thingy’s murder I have no doubt that they’ll come to the same conclusion”. Roberta put in the last ringlet and fluffed her hair in the mirror “Hmmm not bad for my age eh sweetheart?” she winked at Bill and began rummaging through a Mowgli make up bag “now where’s that red nail polish? I’m sure it was in…. oh well never mind I’ll use this one”. She fished out an iridescent Finton Terry nail polish “mmmm Dragonfly Bling… my favourite” she smiled, and started to apply it to her expertly manicured nails.
“So who do you think it was?” asked Bill. “You must have some idea”.
“Well yes I have an idea but that’s all it is, I’m not sure I should be telling anyone though, not even you sweetheart. Let’s change the subject eh? How are you and Clarisse getting along? Has she started trying to breast feed you yet”?
Bill was aghast “Whaaaaat?”
“I KNOW! Isn’t it hilarious? After you told her about being born in the theatre in Paris yesterday she was a complete mess. Came running to me after my little performance in the canteen with Jenna to tell me about it. Silly girl was convinced it was you, she can’t even add up the dates”
“Roberta I need you to tell me slowly and clearly what on earth it is you’re talking about” said Bill.
“Sorry darling it’s just too funny. You see when Clarisse was a very young girl, starting out as a dancer in one of the seedier “tits out” shows in Paris, she got herself into a spot of trouble. Ended up having a kid. She was only a child herself so of course she couldn’t keep him… it was a boy, and he went up for adoption. You know what a mummy she is, with that massive brood she’s got now. When you told her your story, she convinced herself that you were her long lost baby”
Bill stared at her incredulously. “Roberta if this is a sick joke I don’t think it’s very funny”
“Darling, it’s not a joke, but it IS hilarious that Clarisse is too thick to work out that the dates don’t match. How old are you?”
“I’m thirty-one”
“Yes, you look younger, lucky boy, but if you’re thirty one and Clarisse is forty five then she would have had you when she was fourteen. Now darling, she was young but she wasn’t THAT young… get my drift? So it’s all a load of rubbish. But of course she had it in her head and was convinced so she came running to me, asking me to promise not to tell anyone. I was the only person here who knew about the baby. She spilled her guts over a glass of chardonnay ages ago. Can’t take a drink that one.”
“You said was…..?” asked Bill
“Sorry darling?”
“You said I WAS the only person who knew about the baby. The way you said it sounded like it wasn’t the just you anymore”
“Hmmm yes. I’m afraid I had to tell Clarisse that someone else knew too. She was distraught; I thought she was going to have a breakdown”
“Who was it?” asked Bill
“Well, think about it darling. Come on…. It’s obvious isn’t it? It was Jenna. Jenna knew.”

Bill left Roberta and headed back down stairs, mind racing. He passed the room the police were using as their centre of operations. The door was ajar and as he passed Bill heard voices. He slowed down and took a couple of paces backwards, so he was just outside the door but out of sight from the people inside. He put his ear against the crack and listened intently. A police officer was speaking, and the gaps between his sentences suggested he was on the phone.
“Yer thassit Guvnor we found it on the lawn outside. Right outside the wing where all the presenter’s dressing rooms are….. that’s right, all of them….Its soaking wet ‘cos of the rain, no idea if it means anything…… that’s right Boss, a claw hammer, wrapped in a scarf thingy, what’s it called again Mo?” Bill heard a woman’s voice answer from further inside the room “Yer it’s a “pashmina” apparently Guv. Says Kath n’ Co on the label. They sell it here apparently. And the hammer is missing from a toolkit that was on telly this morning. Yes I know Boss, the victim was shot in the ‘ead, not hammered. But the thing is there’s this stuff all over the par…mini cashmin… scarf thingy…….. We’re not sure yet but Mo reckons its nail varnish…. That’s right, red nail varnish. Mo says it’s by Finton Terry, is his best selling colour ever and it’s called…. What was it again Mo?”. Once again the woman’s muffled voice could be heard “it’s called Whodunit boss…. That’s right, its nail varnish, blood red in colour, and it’s called Whodunit”.

Next on bill’s list was Taffy. Jenna’s closest friend at the Channel. He found her in the Guest Lounge which was otherwise empty. The Channel had suspended live programming mindful of headlines the next day in the vein of “Carry On Selling!”. There was to be enough negative publicity coming out of this without making matters worse. Recorded programming was being broadcast, all guests had been told to go home or not turn up at the studios.
“Taff, I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling. I’m so very sorry”
“Thanks Bill, I really appreciate that”. She seemed stoic, unperturbed even. She was obviously bottling a lot up inside.
“What do you think happened Taffy? Why would anyone do that to Jenna?”
“Don’t tell me you didn’t hear about yesterday Bill? The argument in the canteen? How that bitch Roberta laid into Jen? I think it’s pretty obvious.”
“But what was it all about? What had Jenna done to Roberta?”
Taffy turned to Bill “Nothing! That’s what’s so ridiculous about this whole thing! Stupid Roberta thought that Jen was her mystery bully and instead of going through the proper channels shot her in the head! It’s absolutely bizarre! And she thinks she’s going to get away with it!”
“Mystery bully? What do you mean?”
“After the argument in the canteen Jen was shook up. She told me everything. That she’d found out that Roberta was being harassed here at the studios by some mystery bully. Leaving horrible notes, messing up her schedule, doing vile things in her dressing room, that sort of stuff.”
“But why would anyone do that?” asked Bill.
“Well, to get rid of the woman, of course. There are plenty of people who’d like to see Roberta exit stage left aren’t there? I could name four or five right off the top of my head. And that’s just the models. You must have seen what a bitch she is to them, and how she’s getting her daughter in on all the jobs. As for the presenters, don’t get me started”
“But Roberta thought it was Jenna so she killed her?”
“I know” replied Taffy “Talk about drama queen. The woman is truly ridiculous and I hope she goes down for a long long time. And good riddance”
“Are you one of the ones who wants to see Roberta gone Taff?”
Taffy looked down, a bright yellow curtain of hair extensions falling across her face.
“Course not…. I’m not that desperate. Not at all”
Without being able to see her expression it was impossible for Bill to tell whether she was lying.

Bill found Frances Jilks in the canteen, the remnants of a black coffee and packet of Ryvita minis on the table in front of her.
“Frances can we talk? I want to know what you think about everything that’s been going on.”
“Course we can babe but there’s no point in asking me anything. I just told the police it’s not my concern and that they need to let me leave but they don’t seem to believe me.”
“Do you mean they suspect you?” Bill asked “Really? Have they said that?”
“Well not in so many words but they’re not letting me leave. I’m a virtual prisoner!. They think Jenna was killed because she knew something that someone didn’t want to get out. And from that quite ridiculous performance between her and Roberta in the canteen yesterday it looks like they’re right.”
“So Jenna was killed to keep her quiet about something… what?” asked Bill “No-one’s got anything on Roberta have they?”
“Hmmm now let’s see babe…” Frances put her forefinger to her chin in mock puzzlement. “What could ANYone possibly have on Roberta Jones?” she laughed sardonically. “There’s a hell of a lot of jealousy in this place Billyboy, you’ll learn that if you stick around for long. Now I’m going to have to excuse myself babe. Little girl’s room and all that. I need to get rid of these Ryvitas or I’m going to be bloated for my next round of interviews….got to look my best! Laters babe.”
Frances gathered up her handbag and phone and headed off towards the restrooms. Bill pondered for a few moments. When she had held her finger to her chin he couldn’t help noticing her nail polish. It was bright, blood red.
Bill opened up his iPad and started jotting notes feverishly. Setting out facts and details along with suppositions and ideas. Then he made some lists

Dawn Hanson and Pepper Gorman (we all heard the shot together)
Holly Faraday (unable to walk)
Abigail Jeung and Finton Terry (on air)

Roberta Jones
Frances Jilks
Taffy O'Reilly
Clarisse Dutton
Jacky Johnson
Someone Else?

Clarisse’s Secret
Unhappy models
Who cried out?
What Frances said
Kath n’ Co Pashmina
A claw hammer
Nail polish
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Fantastic again BB. I just lost my computer for half an hour cos my OH wanted to know what I was laughing at and has been engrossed in the three Chiswick episodes, just glancing up every now and then to ask a question to make sure he knew who the charecters were. He really enjoyed it too. Thank you so much.
Shameless bump in case anyone missed it and wants to vote. I haven't finally decided on the ending yet, so you might change my mind!
Thanks BurlyBear for a fantastic read. Only got to read yesterday and it was really funny and hard to
put down. Think you could give "JuJu" as you call her a few hints with the book she"s writing. It was
fun , light hearted, and made me laugh. Thank you. :bow:

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