Constable Pickwick poked his head into the laboratory. “Any answers yet?”

Professor Englebert Willoughby looked up from his microscope. “Well, the shell lodged in the deceased’s ear canal is a bivalve from the order Verbarostracoidea. They’re common worldwide. But you said you exhumated the body in Richmond Park?”

“Correct. Why?”

“The coral pulled from his throat is unique. It’s a Verbarmillepora, a genus of Hydrocorallia found only on reefs in the Indian Ocean. Somebody traveled a long way to bury your deceased in mid-London.” The professor inhaled a pinch of snuff. “You’ve got quite a mystery on your hands, Constable.”


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