Hello, and welcome to my 2022 A to Z Challenge! For a detailed explanation of my theme this year, see my theme reveal. But basically, I am exploring classic mystery novel murder motives, by making up a victim (Sir Adam Bracegirdle Clutterbuck) and then coming up with 26 characters who wanted to kill him. It is part genre exploration and part world-building exercise.
Today’s suspect is Wilhelmina.
Wilhelmina is an attractive young widow. She lives in the big, empty-looking house just outside of Clutterbuck Parva, where she has come to forget. But she cannot forget.
Wilhelmina is alone. She is mysterious. She still wears black, three years after his sad decease. She is often to be seen, lurking elegantly in the cemetery, her dark hair ever so slightly stirred in a wind that always seems to be blowing. Her grief makes her seem forever untouchable.
Except, of course, to a vulgarian like Sir Adam. He took one look at Wilhelmina, decided that she looked really good in all that black, and has been in hot pursuit ever since. To achieve his wicked ends, he has thwarted her every attempt to do anything. For example, Wilhelmina is an enthusiastic amateur archeologist. There are barrows on some common land near Clutterbuck Parva that Wilhelmina would very much like to dig up. It would be interesting, and take her mind off of her grief. But Sir Adam got wind of her application to dig, and he promptly sat on it with all of his considerable heft. Privately, he told her that his objections would magically disappear, if she’d only…
Well, she definitely won’t. She told him so. He decided that she was a fun challenge. She doesn’t want to be a fun challenge. She wants to be let alone, and to be allowed to pursue such harmless activities as will provide at least a temporary relief from her sorrow. But every activity she thinks of, there is Sir Adam, blocking her way, smirking coyly. Really, it is quite sickening.
Might Wilhelmina have decided that poisoning Sir Adam’s whiskey was the best way out of her troubles?
And that’s it for Wilhelmina! By the way, it looks like Josephine’s suspicions were justified… Sir Adam is interested in someone else. Probably, the fact that Wilhelmina is unwilling just makes his interest all the more passionate.
Can you see Wilhelmina as a murderer? Or is she better as a red herring? How might Wilhelmina’s existence influence your views on Josephine’s role in the mystery? Might Wilhelmina make an interesting second victim? Let me know in the comments (or, as always, feel free to just say hi!).