AN INCIDENT IN RHODES
A VICTORIA FOLEY MYSTERY
DONALD HARRY ROBERTS
Donald Harry Roberts on Shakespir
An Incident In Rhodes
Copyright 2017 by Donald Harry Roberts
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
The occasion was so special Mrs. Victoria Foley could hardly keep her wits. When her husband
Larry arrived home from his errands she said in a narrowly controlled voice. “It’s all set up. I
have booked a vacation to Rhodes in the Greek Islands. It’s a complete package tour and James
and Laura-Anne Breckenford are coming with us.”
Larry, in his solid, controlled version of enthusiasm smiled and replied, “Excellent dear.
Excellent. But I thought James and Laura-Anne were….well….having troubles.”
“Yes, but I think they are trying to work things out and if they take the right leads they will make
it.” Victoria responded in a positive frame.
“That’s great. We should have a wonderful time.” Larry replied.
For the next several weeks Mrs. Foley organized the vacation, that meaning….. she did all the
packing because Larry was in many ways a very typical male. He did not look at the details of
travelling, especially to foreign countries. She and Laura-Anne, (never just Laura) made sure that
the trip to the airport was all arranged and that they would arrive in plenty of time. “There is
nothing worse than having to hurry on occasions like this. One nearly always forgets to do
something, or leaves something behind, especially James who is for-ever distracted by his work.”
“I am sure things will come along just fine.” Victoria assured.
But on the eve of their departure James Breckenford seemed more distracted than usual. He
seemed worried and nervous, pacing the house like a caged cat. It made Laura-Anne quite
There was a cool quietness between the Breckenfords as the limo drove the group to the air port.
In her usual good natured way Victoria tried to lighten the mood and for a time it seemed she had
succeeded. James managed a few smiles and stopped talking about this deal and that deal for the
latter half of the drive from Belleville to Toronto…. And Larry turned things a little better with
his always jovial commentaries, this time talking about trying to communicate with the natives in
Rhodes. His attempt to speak a few words in Greek made every one laugh.
Things went along good until they were well on their way and cruising 35000 feet over the
Atlantic Ocean. “James. Please. Put that away. We are on vacation. We need this time to …..” Laura- Anne was saying in a pleading voice. But all she managed to do was cause James to go
off in a huff.
“That man!” Laura Anne spouted miserably under her breath, nearly in tears. “Some days I could
just wring his neck.” She spoke just loud enough for passengers seated nearby to hear her threat. Victoria heard her as well. “Now, now Laura- Anne. Be patient with James. He will come
around.” She consoled.
“I will believe it when I see it. He is a stubborn man.” Laura-Anne replied moodily. “And I think
it will take more than a holiday in Greece. He is too hard a man to understand such subtleties. I
wish he was….”
Laura-Anne did not finish her wish having seen her husband emerge from the lavatory. As he
returned to his seat he said. “You will never tell me again when or when I can not do business.”
Then he dropped into his seat and no one uttered another world until the plane landed. It was on
the way to a connecting flight to Rhodes Island that James paused for a moment, took his wife in
his arms and whispered something in her ear. A smile, sad though it was, formed on her lips,
then she whispered something back, and it seemed they had at least come to some kind of peace
“Well then. Let’s get on our way to Rhodes. I am looking forward to a tour of The Palace of
Grand Masters.” Said James Breckenford cheerfully. “A little too cheerfully.” Victoria thought
but let it slide hoping her natural senses that something was amiss would prove wrong. “ Pray
that all will go well.” She thought, with a quick glance skyward.
And so for the flight to Rhodes and checking into their hotel rooms all went along peacefully.
Even at dinner the mood between the Breckenfords was amiable and they managed a play full
quip with one another.
“Well I think after a long flight and probably some jet leg we should turn in and get a fresh start
in the morning. All the arrangements for the tour of The Palace of the Grand Masters are made.
Apparently it will take most of tomorrow.” Victoria suggested.
At 8 am members of the Palace Of The Grand Masters tour were gathering. Laura-Anne was
standing with Victoria and Larry Foley waiting for James to arrive.
“Isn’t it just like him to be late.” Laura-Anne groaned disheartenedly. “He went out about an
hour ago for a quick walk.” Her words barely trailed off when suddenly she turned a grayer
colour of pale and stood there staring.
“What is it?” Victoria asked urgently.
Across the room stood a tall elegant looking man with silver hair and glimmering blue eyes. It
was the last person Laura-Anne expected to see so far away from home.
“I can’t believe he would come all this way to….to…..well…..to stalk me.” She said in a hoarse
whisper, just loud enough for Victoria and Larry to hear but no one else.
Larry took to foot across the room but before he could reach the man he was gone, vanishing it
seemed into the crowd. Larry glanced about quickly trying to see which way the man went but
there was no sign of him. Still looking about he went back to where the girls were standing.
Just then James arrived apologising for being late but giving no reason for it. He saw the worry
on his wife’s face and said. Goodness Laura-Anne. I wasn’t that late.
“It has nothing to do with you James.” Laura snapped and headed for the exit door where the bus
to the palace was waiting.
“Well what is it then? James called after her, but it was Victoria who explained what had
Victoria saw Laura-Anne move from the lobby into a small courtyard off to the left of the main
entrance way. A few minutes later Malcolm emerged from an elevator and followed Laura-
Anne, Victoria over run with curiosity followed him, which I suppose some people might call
snooping into other people’s business but under the circumstances, given what had happened
earlier Victoria could be forgiven and even justified in her….eavesdropping.
By the time she found the two, standing only a few inches apart she quickly noticed they were
having a heated conversation with angry looks on both their faces. Though she did not like that
they were arguing Victoria thought it was better than the alternative.
Suddenly Malcolm tried to hug Laura but she pushed him away and quickly looked around.
Victoria moved a little closer and was able to hear what Laura-Anne was saying, “Stop Malcolm.
Someone might see what you are doing and get the wrong impression,” to which Malcolm
replied, ”Then do as I want tonight so we can be together.”
Though Victoria saw Laura-Anne shake her head no she missed what was said and what
happened next because a group of people came through and blocked her view and crowded her
out of the way. When she tried to get sight of Malcolm and Laura-Anne again they were no
where to be seen. It was only when she returned to the lobby that Victoria came across Laura-
Anne making her way toward the elevators. She caught up to her and asked, “Are you okay?”
Laura-Anne was nearly in tears and shook her head no.
Laura-Anne was almost asleep when she heard her husband get out of bed and dress. She
glanced at the clock. It was just past 1 am. At first she was going to ask him where he was going
at that time of night but decided to wait until he was out the door then quickly dress and follow
him. What was whirling around in her mind frightened and angered her. If the notion proved to
be true she would……”No….don’t think like that girl! There is probably a very good
explanation.” She thought, but was not convinced it was sound. What could have a good
explanation in the middle of the night?
Laura-Anne was entering the hall-way when she heard the elevator hiss shut. She quickly made
for the stairs and hurried down three flights to the lobby. James had just reach the main entrance
when she arrived. In the next second her worst fear materialized.
The woman was young, barely in her twenties Laura-Anne guessed. “How could you?” She
sobbed as her husband and the young woman exited the hotel.
Laura-Anne considered going back to the room but anxious anxiety drove her on. She wanted to
know exactly how far this evil tryst was going.
“Did you see Victoria. Did you see who my husband was with?” Laura-Anne asked with an
uncontrollable quaver in her voice. “I am going to……”
“Now, now Laura-Anne. Don’t say such terrible things. Come with me. I’ll stay with you for a
while.” Victoria urged and directed her friend toward the elevator.
Breakfast at 8 am. Victoria, Larry and Laura-Anne met in the dinning room for the first serving
two minutes before the hour. James, according to Laura-Anne, had gone off early as
usual, “Probably to see that young woman.” She suffered.
“Well we can get started and I am sure he will show before breakfast is done.” Larry replied not
quite catching Laura-Anne’s implication. Then the light went on. “What woman?”
“We don’t know the answer to that dear. At least not clearly. It could all be very innocent.”
Victoria replied then went on to explain the details. When she was done Larry frowned but kept
his thoughts to himself.
Their breakfast was just arriving when a hotel porter entered the dinning room followed by a
man in a gray business suit accompanied by two uniformed police officers. They came straight to
“This is Inspector Papadopoulos. He wishes to speak to you.” He announce not pointing out any
one in particular at the table.
Larry Foley stood from his chair and inquired. “Good morning Inspector. Is there a problem?”
He plied his knowledge of Greek…..The police officer stretched his lips into mirthful grin and
“Indeed Sir!, The Inspector spoke in English….nearly perfect. “Do you know a man named
James Breckenford?” he inquire.
“Yes we do.” Larry was answering but before he could go on Laura-Anne got to her feet quickly
and explained. “That’s my husband.”
A practiced, sad expression came across the Inspector’s brow. “Please have a seat Madam.” He
Laura-Anne reclaimed her chair but kept an anxious stare fixed on the Inspector.
“It is with greatest regret Madam that I must inform you that your husband’s body has been
discovered at the rear exit of the hotel. I am afraid it appears not to be accident or any other
mishap. He has been murdered.
“Murdered!” Laura-Anne wailed out in horror so loud the entire room started and fixed their
gaze on her as she vaulted from her seat.
“Murdered.” She repeated. This time in a softer voice over-written with grief.
Laura-Anne was in her room laying on the bed when she came to. For a moment she thought she
had just experienced a horrendous nightmare. Somewhere deep inside she almost felt a sense of
relief. Then it all came back as she opened her eyes and saw Victoria looking down at her.
“It’s alright Laura-Anne. You are in your room.” Victoria said softly.
“Then it is true. It is not a dream. James is dead. James was m…m…murdered.” Laura-Anne
replied curiously rather than grievously.
“Yes. “ Someone else answered. A man.
Laura-Anne glanced toward the voice and her Gaze fell on the frowning brow of Inspector
Papadapoulis. “As soon as you are able I need to ask you some questions.” He announced in a
matter of fact tone.
“Of course Inspector.” Laura-Anne replied and rose to a sitting position. “I am fine. I…..I could
“Really. I have several people that say they saw you leaning over the body of your husband and
you were holding something that looked like a knife. Which I could guess would be the letter
opener he was stabbed with.”
Laura-Anne’s face turned ashen.
“We require you to accompany us to the police station Mrs. Breckenford for more questioning.”
Announced Inspector Papadopoulos. At that two uniformed officers took her by the arms and
guided her away.
Inspector. This is completely unnecessary. I am sure Laura-Anne has a perfectly good
explanation.” Victoria interjected.
“Maybe, but as it stands, it seems Mrs. Breckenford is our main and possibly only suspect.” The
“Not at all. You must know that there is another party that may have considered killing James.
His name is Malcolm Thurlow, and then there is the young woman Laura-Anne and I saw with
James late last night.”
“That could be true, but there were no witnesses that say they saw anyone else near the body.
And….we have the murder weapon which is being examined for finger marks this very moment.
We need to compare them with Mrs. Breckenford’s. I must say I will surprised if her prints are
not on the letter opener.” The Inspector advised coldly, obviously having already made up his
mind about Laura-Anne Breckenfords involvement in her husband’s death…..murder.
“Now Madam. Please leave us to our work. I will speak with you later. In the mean time you can
give your statement to this officer.” The inspector instructed nodding toward another uniformed
It took fifteen minutes for Larry and Victoria to give their statements. Then Victoria turned to
her husband and said, “Larry. We had better locate a lawyer. You can do that while I look into
Come the next morning Victoria heard Laura-Anne had been officially arrested for the murder of
her husband. By then however she was convinced that even though Laura-Anne had been
witnessed at the crime scene she had nothing to do with James’ death. And…she was fairly
certain who had plunged the letter opener into his heart.
“I need your help husband. I need to get something from Malcolm Thurlow’s room.”
“Now look here Wife. You are treading on dangerous ground. If the killer doesn’t get to you the
police just might.”
“The good lord will look out for us Larry. But we must look out for our friend or she will be
railroaded straight into a Greek prison. I know she is innocent. I just need the right tool to point
the Inspector in another direction than Laura-Anne.”
“What. What did you get up to yesterday?” Larry demanded to know.
“I was connecting some dots….you might say…..dots that added up to a pack of lies and miss-
“You really are a character Mrs. Foley.” Larry said over a chuckle.
“I suppose that is why you love me Mr. Foley. I keep you on your toes and every now and then
throw in a little excitement.”
“A little? Do You think.”…….Ok….What is you want to do?”
“I have to get into Malcolm Thurlow’s room.”
“Very well. But how do you propose to do that?” Larry inquired.
“Ah….With this.” Victoria replied producing a key card.”
“Where on earth did you get that?” Larry burst out in surprise.
Victoria gave him a shadowy grin and looked side-wise into thin air and said, “He always
provides in need Husband.”
Victoria did not find what she was looking for. Instead she found something better. She tucked
the item in her purse and hurried from Malcolm Thurlow’s room feeling a little…..just a
smidgeon….guilty for her clandestine ways. But to save her friend she had to do something and
what she retrieved would at least divert suspicion away from Laura-Anne and cast the shadow on
She was was just getting off the elevator at her home floor when someone in blue-jeans and a
gray hoodie attacked her. She was knocked to the floor and felt something tugging on her purse,
but Victoria held on tight and managed to scratch the hand of her assailant.
She was almost free when suddenly she caught the glint of a knife blade and she screamed as
loud as she could, which was considerable considering how frightened she was.
At that very same moment a giant shadow came out of nowhere, grabbed the assailant and
literally tossed the body down the hall, though the attacker was not harmed and made an escape
through the stair well door.
Victoria fell back and hit her head. The next thing she remembered was waking in her room
staring into her husbands worried eyes and saying…”I smell jasmine.” Then. “Thank you for
“But it was not me dear. I found you unconscious, though I did carry you back here.”
“Oh…well….someone did and whoever it was I say thank you.” Replied Victoria.
“Was the break and enter worth it?” Larry asked in a joking way.
“More than worth it. I have been provided with enough to shift suspicion away from Laura-Anne
and maybe even enough to…..”
Victoria did not finish. Just then a knock came to the door and Inspector Papadopoulis let
“I must talk with you.” He said in a demanding tone. “Malcolm Thurlow has been found dead in
Directly behind the Inspector came two a uniformed officer escorting a young woman. “That’s
her. She was in Malcolm’s room. She stole something. I found Malcolm in the bathroom with a
letter opener in his chest.”
The smell of Jasmine filled the room. “Larry. Check her hand. She is the one who attacked me.”
Victoria cried out and sure enough there was a scratch on her hand. “She was in the Malcolm
Thurlow’s room. She must have been to have seen me take this.” Victoria accused as she picked
a small, leather bound book from her purse. “This is a journal. It proves…..”
“Give me that.” Inspector Papadopoulis demanded and snatched the journal from Victoria’s
hand. “I will be the one to determine what this does….or….does not prove.”
The Inspector immediately found a chair and settled into it and began examining the journal
making sounds that inspired some realisations about the case. Then, after fifteen minutes he
closed the book and tucked it in his suit-coat pocket. “We will release Mrs. Breckenford as soon
as possible. It appears she did not kill her husband, according to several entries in this.” He
announced patting his pocket. “But now we must determine who killed Malcolm Thurlow. I
suggest everyone remains here until I look into a couple of matters. Jane Starden here” he
nodded at the young woman the uniformed officer was escorting, “will come with me.”
Victoria Foley took her husband’s hand and squeezed it gently as her eyes rested on the sobbing
widow of James Breckenford. “It is a sad thing that such horrible things happen, but I suppose it
is all part of his plan.”
“Do you think anyone could love another so much they are willing to commit murder?” Larry
“My dear. After reading passages from Malcolm Thurlow’s journal I am most certain that whatever he felt for Laura-Anne it was nothing wholesome. At best it was a very dark and evil
“So it was him that killed James….hoping that Laura-Anne would turn to him.” Replied Larry.
“Yes it was.” Victoria agreed.
“But the police say that Jane Starden killed Malcolm Thurlow. How on earth did that work into
it?” Larry queried ponderously.”
“This whole affair has nothing to do with earth. It seems….sad as it is….. she and James were
having an affair. It took some doing but the police got her to admit she had witnessed Malcolm
killing James. Then in an act of rage she murdered Malcolm.” Victoria explained.
“But how did you figure all this out My Dear?” Larry asked with a quirky grin.
“I did not husband. I was just given the means to stir the pot so that Inspector Papadopoulis
could find the truth. It is a shame the naked truth has played such a harsh roll in Laura-Anne’s
life, but I believe the good Lord will guide her to a new happiness.”
“ I guess our vacation didn’t turn out quite the way we planned Husband. We will try again next
year.” Victoria said with a breeze of a smile.
“Yes we can but it seems my wife, something always happens to change the plans we make and
somehow you and we get swept up in some intrigue.” Larry Foley said over a little chuckle..
Victoria Foley looked up. “Sometimes my dear his plan is up ended by darkness and he uses
people like us to right the wrongs of evil. THE END
Breakfast at 8 am. Victoria, Larry and Laura-Anne met in the dinning room for the first serving two minutes before the hour. James, according to Laura-Anne, had gone off early as usual, “Probably to see that young woman.” She suffered. “Well we can get started and I am sure he will show before breakfast is done.” Larry replied not quite catching Laura-Anne’s implication. Then the light went on. “What woman?” “We don’t know the answer to that dear. At least not clearly. It could all be very innocent.” Victoria replied then went on to explain the details. When she was done Larry frowned but kept his thoughts to himself. Their breakfast was just arriving when a hotel porter entered the dinning room followed by a man in a gray business suit accompanied by two uniformed police officers. They came straight to the table, “This is Inspector Papadopoulos. He wishes to speak to you.” He announce not pointing out any one in particular at the table. Larry Foley stood from his chair and inquired. “Good morning Inspector. Is there a problem?” He plied his knowledge of Greek…..The police officer stretched his lips into mirthful grin and responded. “Indeed Sir!, The Inspector spoke in English….nearly perfect. “Do you know a man named James Breckenford?” he inquire. “Yes we do.” Larry was answering but before he could go on Laura-Anne got to her feet quickly and explained. “That’s my husband.” A practiced, sad expression came across the Inspector's brow. “Please have a seat Madam.” He instructed gently. Laura-Anne reclaimed her chair but kept an anxious stare fixed on the Inspector. “It is with greatest regret Madam that I must inform you that your husband’s body has been discovered at the rear exit of the hotel. I am afraid it appears not to be accident or any other mishap. He has been murdered.