False Friends IV

Murder, She Wrote 001

  1. We smoothly negotiated London’s clotted lunchtime traffic. 
  2. We navigated a roundabout and proceeded down a narrow, pockmarked macadam road that eventually gave way to dirt. 
  3. The access road was lined with poplar trees. 
  4. That bears no relationship to reality at all. 
  5. I am beginning to develop a case of cabin fever. 
  6. I was shaken to my very core. 
  7. I’d heard him go off on tangents like this, and I found them trying. 
  8. She was dressed in a camel’s hair skirt. 
  9. I was assured that he could spirit me from the hotel through a rear entrance. 
  10. Ten minutes later he had me two blocks away and was helping me into a taxi. 
  11. He was wearing an army surplus camouflage jacket. 
  12. It would be my pleasure to treat the eminent J.F. to tea. 
  13. He’d hung his umbrella on a coat tree. 
  14. Let me be the judge of that. 
  15. He sat there and moved his head back and forth, as he was wont to do. 
  16. She is a veritable fountain of information. 
  17. With that question, the owner put him on the line. 
  18. Let me bounce an idea off you that I’ve had. 
  19. Each of my books stands on its own, so there are very few recurring characters. 
  20. I understand you have been getting into Inspector Coot’s hair. 
  21. She didn’t recognise me and started to give me a bit of her lip. 
  22. Leaving Great Britain violated the condition laid down that all those who were at the manor the night M. was murdered must remain in Britain, so the Inspector placed an immediate call to institute an all-points bulletin. 
  23. He is a count? – He bills himself as such. 
  24. I was very angry but managed to hold myself in check. 
  25. I didn’t get much sleep – the manuscript saw to that. 
  26. I’ll see to it that you have coffee. 
  27. Lunch is on me. 
  28. They drove off in an unmarked police car. 
  29. As the young man was about to race by us, M. threw a body block, sending him sprawling to the concrete. 
  30. I know this is terribly short notice. 
  31. You should give him the benefit of the doubt. 
  32. I scanned the page but nothing jumped off at me. 
  33. I am going to be running late here at the office. 
  34. Anger flashed across his face. 
  35. Behind that pleasant feminine facade, you are a tough duck, Mrs. F. 
  36. I will fill you in on the details later. 
  37. It is unpleasant to be on the receiving end of it. 
  38. She is not exactly ugly, but you have to admit she is long in the tooth. 
  39. We dropped in on him in the morning. 
  40. I might take you up on that. 
  41. There were still sleep granules in the corners of his eyes. 
  42. He’d tried to tame his hair, but without much success. 
  43. His hair went in a dozen directions, and there was a healthy growth of stubble on his cheeks. 
  44. Let’s get a snack, just to tide us over till lunchtime. 
  45. It’s not a pretty sight. – I assure you you won’t have a fainter on your hands. 
  46. He quickly calculated pounds to US dollars. 
  47. I folded up the pull-out couch and put away the blankets. 
  48. Her denial certainly hadn’t held water with me. 
  49. I haven’t made much headway in that direction. 
  50. She occasionally lapsed into quiet sobbing. 
  51. He milked that case to the limit. 
  52. He operates barely on this side of the law. 
  53. I let the comment pass. 
  54. They were obviously hardened criminals hell-bent on doing away with me. 
  55. Someone placed my necklace there to cast suspicion on me. 
  56. That might shed some light on the motive, but financial gain always heads the list. 
  57. Care to venture a guess?
  58. He is in his own house – of course he is entitled to do that.
  59. She served crustless finger sandwiches. 
  60. His seemingly sincere interest put me at ease. 
  61. He said he was only a phone call away. 
  62. I still don’t know what I will do, I think I am going to play it by ear.
  63. I will stay a discreet distance away. 
  64. The change happens in a series of discrete steps.
  65. I was about to call it a night, but in the end decided to take a walk. 
  66. Give my best to everyone. 
  67. He replaced the phone in its cradle. 
  68. I can stake my reputation on it. 
  69. The press was laying siege around the hotel. 
  70. Her hair was pulled into a French braid. 
  71. I know him by reputation. 
  72. He was holding a stub of a pencil in his hand and licked the lead before writing her name on a piece of paper. 
  73. A succession of people arrived at the house. 
  74. Their pleas fell on deaf ears. 
  75. His little speech caused my heart to sink. 
  76. I dabbed at my eyes. 
  77. He hung on every word she said. 
  78. He is still very young – a bright but misdirected talent. 
  79. My mind raced as we perused the menu in search for a palatable main course. 
  80. He was driving at grand prix speed. 
  81. She used them to excess – perfumes were her abiding passion. 

Murder, She Wrote 002

  1. His pained expression mirrored his thoughts. 
  2. I hadn’t wanted to place him in physical jeopardy. 
  3. He made a snap decision. 
  4. An Emergency Medical Services ambulance parted the heavy traffic with its piercing siren. 
  5. He’s a stiff, said the policemen, waving away the paramedics. 
  6. The driver had started the engine. 
  7. Thank you for coming forward. 
  8. His sarcasm was not lost on me. 
  9. I am entitled to such a courtesy. 
  10. It amounted to what I considered to be an appalling lack of interest on the part of the police. 
  11. It was beyond me that they could take so cavalier a position. 
  12. A policeman, as well as a pathologist, has to assume a detached, perhaps even callous attitude toward death, but that man had carried it to extremes. 
  13. Luckily, a taxi pulled up. 
  14. I was sitting in the grimy backseat of a New York taxi, driven by a madman with a dead foot who had trouble shifting gears. 
  15. Once he’d turned state’s evidence, he needed protection. 
  16. The bemused smile on his lips turned to a hard line. 
  17. Could you get Mrs. F. coffee, maybe some Danish, the inspector told his assistant. I said I wasn’t hungry. 
  18. You are a material witness to a murder. 
  19. The wall was dirty, and what paint was left hung in flaky sheets. 
  20. I am a little short of cash. 
  21. The phones are ringing off their hooks. 
  22. I realised I had overstayed my welcome. 
  23. I am sure this is just a mistake, and that it will be straightened in short order. 
  24. I thought of him being murdered on Fifth AVenue, could see the blood, hear the report of the weapon. 
  25. He took a swig from the bottle and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. 
  26. His remarks captured the attention of others within earshot. 
  27. She was causing a scene. 
  28. We stood beneath the canopy but the gaping holes afforded little protection. 
  29. That’s a fair assumption. 
  30. I broke into a sweat and my throat went dry. 
  31. I pulled a handkerchief from my pocket and pressed it against the wound to stem the flow of blood. 
  32. Don’t pride yourself on being important enough to be followed. 
  33. You are a professional thorn in my side. 
  34. The inspector led me to an unmarked vehicle and held open the passenger door for me. 
  35. Here in New York you don’t police by the book. 
  36. It doesn’t matter what all these knee-jerk liberals say about respecting individual rights. 
  37. He turned off the ignition and faced me. 
  38. I removed my coat and sat in a chair. 
  39. R. went into a sneezing frenzy. 
  40. The newspaper article was bylined by B.J.

Murder, She Wrote 003

  1. I felt a cough brewing up deep in my lungs. 
  2. I will check you into hospital, my physician said to me. 
  3. He eventually gave me a clean bill of health. 
  4. This was sure to whet my appetite. 
  5. I’d gotten packing down to a science. 
  6. The wheels momentarily touched the concrete strip, bounced off it, then hugged it for good as the captain reversed the engines to help stop the aircraft before running out of runway. 
  7. I had just gotten in line when I saw him. 
  8. She looked younger than when I had last seen her. Maybe living on a tropical iskand arrests the aging process. 
  9. In the height of the season there are no vacancies, so you have to book well in advance. 
  10. Here he was, with his ex wife, and no one raised an eyebrow. 
  11. They screamed bloody murder. 
  12. She was mercurial, shifting rapidly from mood to mood. 
  13.  Then there was the additional pressure of attempting to salvage a failing business that was buffeted from all sides. 
  14. He was trying hard to put a positive spin on a very negative story. 
  15. She closed her eyes tightly against tears. 
  16. My grandfather swore by that straight razor, old-fashioned or not, it’s the best way to get the job done. 
  17. I shouldn’t have accepted an envelope from a process server. Who knows what legal consequences that might have. 
  18. I carefully unsealed the envelope, which was easy since it had come partially open on its own. 
  19. She had already instituted divorce proceedings against her husband. 
  20. The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on me. 
  21. I had to remember the tight deadline – I couldn’t afford to waste any more time. 
  22. I had at the top of my TO DO list to call J. and arrange to get together, but she beat me to it. 
  23. He evidently harboured a deep dislike for Walter, and I detected a hint of annoyance in his voice. 
  24. You have to tell her in person. 
  25. J. was waving at me, so I asked him what was the matter, my hand over the mouthpiece. Then, suddenly, a dial tone pierced my ear. I had been disconnected. 
  26. It might be my final opportunity to take you up on your very generous dinner invitation. 
  27. I’d make a go of it. 
  28. A point-and-shoot camera on a strap dangled from his neck. 
  29. But this small newspaper obviously couldn’t afford the luxury of such a person. W., who wore many hats, also functioned as the keeper of the morgue. 
  30. But you should never rest easy until there is a confirmation from those you can trust. 
  31. The axiom that you can’t tell a book by its cover came to mind. 
  32. He poured each of us a glass of wine, and held his up in a toast: Here’s to seeing you again. 
  33. I am simply extending the courtesy of letting you know. 
  34. I heard you ask the detective last night whether they’d found the murder weapon. Take it he said they hadn’t. 
  35. He slid half glasses on his nose. 
  36. My attempt to sound startles fell flat. 
  37. From my vantage point in the corner, I could see her across the hotel lobby as she plucked the envelope from a honeycomb of boxes and tore it open. 
  38. You will see that they each get that message. 
  39. Maybe when all the dust has settled, we can sit down like old times. 
  40. I don’t think there’s necessarily a cause and effect at play. 
  41. They claim to have ghost written his books. 
  42.  I want to put a stop to it. 
  43. I think we’d better have a little talk. – Yes, that would be in order. 
  44. He had a temper for certain. 
  45. A knowing laug came from him. 
  46. He negotiated a sharp turn and barely avoided a head-on collision with a van.
  47. Small wonder a midnight phone call might be forgotten if the medical examiner was a seventy-year-old physician with a drinking problem. 
  48. He focused on his shoe tops. 
  49. This gets whoever did kill W.M. off the hook
  50. His best days are behind him. 
  51. You have become a stone in my shoe. 
  52. A number of cars lined the narrow street on both sides. 
  53. My voice was now heavy with defeat. 
  54. You are right on both counts. 
  55. It finally dawned on me. 
  56. My greeting was half heartedly returned. 
  57. He can be destructive at times. 
  58. SHe stood and told C. with hard eyes tha he, too, was expected to leave. He got the message and walked away with her. 
  59. You look especially lovely today. Your vacation must be agreeing with you. 
  60. He looked at the sky, which had lowered even more as the wind increased. 
  61. He left S. and me standing alone at the now vacant table. 
  62. Oh, it is not the sort of weather for nature walking. – Nonsense, I predict the sun will be shining by the time we get there. Game?
  63. The road became increasingly narrow, hilly and winding. 
  64. He held a flattened hand over his eyes and squinted. 
  65. They have boats for hire here. How are your sea legs?
  66. I narrowed my eyes and trained them on the cruiser. 
  67. Salt spray stung my face as we gained on the cruiser. 
  68. Holding on to low metallic railing, I inched forward to the front of the boat. 
  69. He is now in custody. 
  70. Then I realised there was a grander scheme at foot. 
  71. She is facing legal trouble for withholding evidence. 
  72. They were all consumed by greed. 
  73. I just hope that that journalist follows through and exposes all the shenanigans that have gone on. – I second that. 
  74. C. decided to pull out his trump card. 
  75. When money this big is involved, those other niceties go by the wayside. 
  76. We need to buy a rack of lamb. 
  77. C. was an unwelcome partner in the inn by virtue of the written agreement he had with W. 
  78. He was known to harbour dislike for W.
  79. He was believed to be dead. 
  80. It wasn’t hard to put that plan into action. 

Murder, She Wrote 004

  1. I’d like one egg, over easy, please.
  2. He glanced down at an index card before he spoke. 
  3. She tried to initiate a round of applause, but the audience sat quietly. 
  4. This time, her applause was joined by a scattering of others. 
  5. This is a prestigious and community-conscious organisation.
  6. I did not sell the mansion without attaching strings. 
  7. His speech was worthy of a standing ovation. 
  8. Let me elaborate, and put you at ease. 
  9. It’s not my style to draw attention to myself. 
  10. A black stretch limousine with blackened windows that had been idling in the circular drive approached the group. 
  11. You are very much in the minority. 
  12. I have called an emergency town council meeting. 
  13. You and I are on opposite sides of this fence. 
  14. She was a woman possessed. 
  15. She was acting like a true commander-in-chief of our town. She rallied the troops: We are on the eve of war. The enemy is poised on the other side of the hill for a frontal assault. 
  16. The most immediate danger was a threatened strike by our garbage collectors. 
  17. Join our elected officials in mounting an effective counterattack against this assault on our treasured way of life, a threat to our children. 
  18. She could barely contain her annoyance. 
  19. It was a conservative community, steeped in what would probably be considered old-fashioned values. 
  20. Being on the spot like that offended me, as did the assumption that I had come to my senses. 
  21. All the construction workers wore hard hats.
  22. Every motel within ten miles was booked to capacity. 
  23. He chose not to look this gift horse in the mouth. 
  24. We continued to be friendly, although I could discern a certain coolness on his part. 
  25. Maybe the black-tie party to be held that night at the mansion would provide the perfect opportunity. 
  26. Why all the tight security?
  27. He was sixty-something. 
  28. She was short and borderline chubby. Nevertheless, she had chosen to wear a pencil skirt with sensible brown shoes. 
  29. What is your specialty? – Family medicine. – Not enough of you to go around. 
  30. He quickly launched into one of his condemnations of psychiatry. 
  31. I think there is more to it than that. 
  32. Dance? – Rain check. 
  33. He ate oysters on the half shell. I chose deviled eggs. 
  34. He was tall, his black hair plastered to his head, with closely cropped salt-and-pepper beard and probing black eyes. 
  35. The doctor asked me to escort you on a more comprehensive tour of the facilities. 
  36. If the town merchants expected a lot of business from the institute, they were in for a disappointment. 
  37. We drove down the driveway toward the main gate where we were stopped by a uniformed guard who scrutinised us, wrote down the licence plate number, and waved us through. 
  38. My voice was thick with sleep. 
  39. I pulled my plaid flannel sheets and down comforter over my head and pressed my ear against the earpiece. I shuddered and sank deeper into the safe, warm, secure world of flannel and goose-down feathers. 
  40. By the time I was ready to leave, my phone had rung off the hook – so much for catching a few hours extra sleep. 
  41. I placed the phone in its cradle. 
  42. She’d suffered from a painful terminal disease. 
  43. They both were sensitive, high-strung, emotionally complex. 
  44. I try to watch what I eat. 
  45. The press had gotten wind of it and had already besieged my hotel. 
  46. Dark floor-to-ceiling wood-panelled bookshelves lined the other two walls. A sliding ladder provided access to the upper shelves. He was sitting in a high-backed leather chair. 
  47. She was well liked. 
  48. They were ahead of her in terms of creative output. 
  49. His demeanor, and the ability to look me straight in the eye throughout his explanation, earned him credibility. On the other hand, there was coldness that was off-putting. 
  50. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. 
  51. She had been reduced to a guinea pig of sorts. 
  52. I thought the authority for an autopsy would rest with the jurisdiction in which the death took place. 
  53. The wishes of her family are being honoured. 
  54. Sorry to barge in on you in this way. 
  55. I will see you out. – No need. I dropped bread crumbs on our way here. I will just follow them. 
  56. Some quiet thought is very much in order. 
  57. We did discuss the suicide – just in passing. 
  58. Can I tag along?
  59. We stopped at a door with yellow tape across it that read: “Crime scene.” M. held up the tape and I ducked under. 
  60. We shook hands. 
  61. That’s out of my hands, I am afraid. 
  62. He had landed a few small parts in films.
  63. Give me a murder plot to unravel, and I leave no clue unturned; ask me how many pies I need for Thanksgiving dinner, and I inevitably arrive at a hung jury. 
  64. How could she own a bakery and still maintain her pencil-thin figure will always be an enigma to me. 
  65. Bear with me for just a minute, and I will explain everything. 
  66. I looked up at the wood-beamed ceiling. 
  67. Everything came under the watchful eye of the inn’s owner who wore many hats: bartender, host, waiter, and even busboy when the crush was on. 
  68. This was hardly an atmosphere conductive to writing. 
  69. Sure I can’t smoke here? You are a VIP. Pull rank. 
  70. I ran all the errands on my list. 
  71. I had studied ancient history in college, but a refresher course couldn’t hurt. 
  72. C.’s only reservation, which he proclaimed in his theatrical, overblown fashion, was that many doctors look upon the stage hypnotists with scorn. 
  73. He is the quintessential early-morning person – he is always up at the crack of dawn. 
  74. Leaving for Boston at 5 A.M. on Saturday morning “in order to beat the traffic” seemed a bit much. 
  75. By six everybody and his brother will be on the road. 
  76. We were Boston-bound at 5:05. 
  77. It has become a particular favourite of late. 
  78. I believe in indulging myself in a hotel’s better rooms when travelling once I’ve committed to the cost of staying in a hotel. 
  79. The holiday season was in full swing. 
  80. I returned to the hotel delighted that I’d gotten such an impressive start on my list. 
  81. It was a good thing he had reserved a table for us, because when we arrived, there was a block-long line outside. 
  82. We were spirited to a table directly in front of the tiny stage. 
  83. “Cheers”, I said. We clinked rims. 
  84. Their enthusiasm was catching.
  85. He wore a black dinner jacket and a red bow tie. 
  86. Six straight-back chairs were lined up behind him. 
  87. Stand up, Jess. Take a bow. 
  88. He won’t hypnotize anyone. These are plants in the audience. 
  89. I hesitated but his expression said that I should accommodate C. 
  90. He took his bows and strode from the stage. 
  91. It never dawned on me that this might be a fake. 
  92. I raised my eyebrows at S. 
  93. I’d received a primer in hypnosis before. 
  94. The doors of the elevator slid open. 
  95. His answer brought forth a capping of hands. 
  96. C’s eyes were shockingly blue. Paul Newman had nothing on him, at least in the eyes department. 
  97. He didn’t strike people as a reticent man. 
  98. I had grown wiser with the passage of time. 
  99. Most writers are inarticulate when it comes to public speaking. 
  100. I don’t like hard sauce very much. 
  101. “You are going, aren’t you?” “Not on your life.”
  102. He hasn’t been there, no to my knowledge at least. 
  103. He was a lovely person with a strong work ethic. 
  104. The minute snow starts to accumulate, J is out there shoveling for his regular customers. I’ve awakened more than once in the predawn hours to the steady scrape of his shovel. 
  105. I’d extended the invitation to him at the last minute. 
  106. “It is really scary”, he said in mock terror. 
  107. Much to the chagrin of C, I stormed her bakery at closing time last night. 
  108. Oh, he said in mock terror. 
  109. He cleared his throat. 
  110. An uneasy silence spilled over the table. He might have been better served leaving out mention of the Institute, considering the ominous series of events that had recently occurred there. 
  111. Time to carve the bird, isn’t it? May I do the honours?
  112. Everyone on the staff is outstanding.
  113. If we were all ears before, our auditory receptivity was now at its peak setting. 
  114. M. pulled off the winding road and parked on the shoulder. 
  115. I was never sold on that suicide theory. 
  116. See? Susan said with animation. 
  117. It fits me like a well-worn slipper. 
  118. Speculation ran rampant in town. 
  119. S. brought up my name as a suspect. 
  120. He didn’t have to tell me about her stupid comment, but he knew I’d find out eventually through the active Cabot Cove grapevine. 
  121. I did feel it warranted calling you. 
  122. I might have to file a missing person’s report. 
  123. You might be jumping the gun. 
  124. Your lack of a sense of urgency in this matter is disconcerting. 
  125. He leaned back, folded his hands across his chest, and fixed me over half-glasses. 
  126. He hung up – the phone went dead. I screamed his name but there was only a dial tone. 
  127. Just sit tight for a few minutes. 
  128. He slammed the receiver down into the cradle and spun around in the swivel chair. 
  129. His sudden change of tune threw me off guard. 
  130. He came across a red BMW parked there, the engine still running. 
  131. I hate to break the news to you. 
  132. That will soften the blow, if only a little. 
  133. A newscaster, whose voice testified to his youth, gave the headlines. 
  134. J. navigated a curve, and the taxi slid in the direction of a snowbank from a previous storm. He turned in the direction of the skid and brought the car under control. 
  135. Walking is more my cup of tea. 
  136. J. pulled up behind M.’s car, whose flashing red lights, turning in concert with the lights of the other police vehicles, created an eerie, colorful show as their beams were caught by the snowflakes blown by the wind. 
  137. You drive easy now. Get her home in one piece. 
  138. He put the taxi in reverse. 
  139. Sheriff M. called to say that Mr. H.’s possessions could be released to you. 
  140. I will spend more time on damage control. 
  141. I’ve got 35 years of experience driving in this neck of the woods. Not even a fender-bender all this time. 
  142. The detective gave me his personal effects.
  143. There was a laptop in a padded case. 
  144. J. showed up the minute the snowfall showed signs of abating. It took the better part of the day for him to dig me out sufficiently so that I could reach the mailbox. 
  145. The clearing weather meant that M’s department, in concert with a state team of officers, could resume their search. 
  146. Ice is a foot thick on the river. 
  147. They will be hanging on every word he says. 
  148. We’ve got twenty-five inches. The airport is still closed. – You just confirmed my decision to stay put. 
  149. I fished through an outside pocket of the case and pulled out an AC cord, found the tiny extrusion into which one end was plugged, and inserted the other end into a wall socket. 
  150. I put on my duck boots. 
  151. The art of writing is applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. 
  152. I can’t take credit for that clever comment. 
  153. From the sounds of the applause, I’d say you have them in the palm of your hand. 
  154. It is getting messier by the moment. 
  155. That note in his car. I don’t buy it. He was not suicidal. 
  156. Maybe he’s assumed a new identity. 
  157. The published product bears little resemblance to the draft. 
  158. One of the cardinal sins of fiction writing is to tell the reader what the character is all about. 
  159. I put a match to the newspapers, kindling, and logs I’d stacked in the fireplace before leaving this morning. 
  160. Your seminar was a resounding success. 
  161. I summarily dismiss reports of UFOs. 
  162. Keep looking for him, on the outside chance you’re right. 
  163. I intended to indulge myself by sleeping a little later that morning, but M’s call at seven dashed that intention. 
  164. As we stopped at an intersection with stop signs for all, a tan Jeep with Massachusetts plates ignored its sign and barreled through. 
  165. M. turned on his siren and flashing lights, taking pursuit. The driver quickly pulled over. 
  166. The driver had begun to cry – she was pleading with him not to give her a ticket. 
  167. What were her parting words?
  168. We made small talk while we were waiting. 
  169. He opted for oatmeal, eggs over-easy, a double side-order of bacon, and a muffin. 
  170. He asked me what kind of flowers you liked best, and whether you were partial to perfumes or chocolates. 
  171. You want me to go to dinner with him on a ruse, under false pretenses, in order to coax information from him. 
  172. It is something that will put my mind at rest. 
  173. Regarding her murder mystery seminar – let’s milk it for all we can, trade off on her name as much a s possible. I suggest we open it to the public and charge top dollar. 
  174. They were on the postage-stamp sized dance floor. 

Murder, She Wrote 005

  1. I didn’t catch the humidity reading but my damp skin told me that the air had reached its saturation level. One more percentage point of moisture and the dam would burst. 
  2. The weather was expected to remain that way throughout the weekend and into a good part of the next week. 
  3. I am packed well in advance of a trip. 
  4. My iced tea had earned quite a following in town. 
  5. My heart always skips a beat when I see him. 
  6. I just wanted to pay a social call. 
  7. He dramatically wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. 
  8. One can hardly breathe with the humidity, even though the fans are going full tilt. 
  9. He asked in the same sort of serious tone used when reading someone his rights. 
  10. The car will overheat if I hit traffic – it’s been acting up lately. 
  11. This is, hands down, the best iced tea I have ever had. 
  12. He is a friend of long-standing. 
  13. The waiter brought a platter of cold cuts and assorted salads. 
  14. She’d made a name for herself as the author of children’s books. 
  15. Besides running her own successful public relations business, she moon-lighted as a freelance restaurant reviewer.