This is the opening scene of my new novel, which comes out on March 27.
The most obnoxious man is missing, and someone is stealing important landmarks in Windy Mountain. In this humorous mystery, elderly-tourists-to-be Oodles and Wish-Wash get sidetracked having to do some amateur detective work.
This is the third in the Windy Mountain Tasmanian Tiger series.
OODLES thought Father O’Boring looked a bit too cheerful as he threw the first sod into the grave.
The wrinkled old priest looked like he was going to do a jig because he had outlived Oodles’s mate, who was only 83.
But what happened next took the glint out of Father O’Boring’s Irish eyes.
The priest stepped backwards into a wall of mourners. ‘What in da devil’s name, Jesus, Mary and Joseph?’
The noise was coming up from the wooden casket!
Oodles sat up bolt upright in bed, his pyjamas soaked in sweat.
He realised after a moment where he really was, and that someone was actually banging on the front door.
‘Hold your horses, I’m coming,’ Oodles threw on his dressing gown and slippers, and shuffled into the hall. He chuckled to himself. Who would even wear pyjamas to a funeral!
He passed the grandfather clock on the way from the bedroom, which was at the back of the house. Who’d be visiting at 7.15 on a Monday morning?
‘For crying out loud. I’m not as fast as I used to be.’
When he opened the door, and the blaze of colour hit him, it all made sense. Only it didn’t.
‘What are you doing here? I just had a dream about you.’
‘Not that kind of dream, you muppet. I dreamed you had died and Father O’Boring was on the verge of doing a jig around your grave.’
‘You’ve got a short memory then.’
He was right. Father John O’Rourke, aka Father O’Boring, age 92, had died in the arson attack on the old wooden church two years ago. It was a nasty business, but it had cleared the way for Oodles and Wish-Wash to buy the Tasmanian Tiger Museum.
Wish-Wash was a large, rotund man, whose skin had the colour of linseed putty and grey stubble was an almost permanent feature of his face. He dressed a lot better these days, except for the days he wore those black trousers with the pink and white blotches that made him look like the back end of a pantomime dairy cow. Today though he was wearing a tie with horizontal stripes and a shirt with vertical rainbow-coloured hoops.
He now lived in the flat above the museum premises, so what the heck was he doing here?
‘I’ve won a holiday to Ireland,’ Wish-Wash blurted. ‘I want you to come on the trip with me.’