Nellie Rault’s unsolved murder back in 1919, one hundred years ago, inspired my murder mystery Murder Now and Then set in two time zones, 1919 and 2019. As I explained in my talk the other day, Nellie continues to haunt me in various ways with unsolved mysteries today including a strange email from the Luton Paranormal Society! When I first found her grave in St Mary’s churchyard Haynes, Bedfordshire, her cross was at such a precarious angle, it looked as if she was trying to get out. If you look closely at this photo the horizon is not horizontal ~ the ground is actually flat and not sloping at all ~ I’ve turned the camera off kilter!
When a friend of mine went looking for Nellie’s grave a couple of months back, to his dismay the cross has fallen over altogether. After asking me if I’d be interested in helping to raise the money to restore it, which I immediately said yes to, he wrote to the parish council. He had a nice email back saying that, because it is a Commonweath War Grave from WW1, the commission would visit and lay the stone flat on the ground.
Much to my friend’s surprise he received another email a couple of weeks ago saying that Nellie’s grave had been mysteriously restored
in the night and that the Parish Council had no idea who the benefactor was. I promise it wasn’t me but nevertheless I’m pleased it is restored so well. Above is a photo of the grave is in all its glory! The ground is flat as you can see.
Murder Now and Then can be ordered from Waterstones or bought from Amazon.