Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart was out of sorts. In his normal working day at least three murders would be solved by him and his team. Taggart had been sitting in his office in Pitt Street in the centre of Glasgow since he came to work that morning carrying a feeling that all was not right in the big city he called home. Something was amiss.
The phone on Taggart’s desk rang.
“Taggart,” he barked.
“Aye, Jim, aye”, said The Biscuit, otherwise known as Superintendent Jack McVitie, and Taggart’s boss.
“That’ll be me away then”, said the senior man.
“Away where, sir.”
“To the big dinner.”
“Wit big dinner.”
“Where have ye been Jim? Don’t ye keep up with what’s going on?”
“Solving three murders a day for 30 years takes up a lot of time, sir.”
“You mean you didn’t know that Interpol’s annual conference is being held in Glasgow this week? There’s over 1000 detectives from all over the world in the city right now.”
“I think that must explain why there’s been no murder inquiries today. I’ve never known such a quiet day. I’ve sent the squad home. All these smart cops must have cleared up today’s murders before I got out of bed.”
“Ach, it’s nothing to do with them. They are all out on the lash, experimenting with the finest 17-year-old malts provided free by distillers who can spot a generous final salary scheme at 1000 yards,” said The Biscuit, thinking fondly of his own excellent index linked pension.
“So, who’s been getting the perpetrators into the jail?”
MaVitie put his mouth closer to the phone. “Tell nobody,” he said. “It’s a posse from the Scottish Crime Writers Club.”
Taggart exploded. “Those people” he shouted.
“Don’t tell me, Ian Rankin and Val McDarmid, with Denise Mina showing them around Glasgow, collecting clues and putting decent thugs off beheadings, drownings and good old-fashioned stabbings. They’re a bluddy menace that lot.”
Taggart finished the call with his boss. He sat back in his chair, wondering how the honour of Police Scotland could be rescued. Having award-winning crime writers with international sales and TV options solve murders before Glasgow’s finest was up and shaved, was a terrible embarrassment.
“Hello Bludger,” said Taggart into his phone. Sergeant Angus “Bludger” McCudy ran Police Scotland’s specialist unit – employed whenever senior officers wanted to let the high and mighty know not to get above themselves. Taggart explained the difficulties the whodunnit crew were causing the Force. “We need it sorted, Bludger.”
“I’m yer man Jim. How can I help?”
“There’s been a murder. Last night, First Minister Hamza Yusaf murdered a curry in the Koh I Noor in Gibson Street, Glasgow. Can you get 15 men, a tent, some spades and lots of hi-tech kit out to his house right away? I’ll alert the press and see you there.”
From Bylines Scotland 1st January 2024: The New Year’s Honours list includes an OBE for Glasgow’s Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart, for services to policing in Scotland.
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