George looked puzzled.
‘What sort of impact? Why, she hardly knew anyone.’
Max leaned across the table.
‘Look, George, I’ve got to talk very plainly. When I was here before, the few words you said about Hilda left me with the impression that she was a rather mild, harmless sort of woman, and that worried me. It worried me a lot. If she’d really been like that, I just couldn’t see why anyone should have wanted to kill her, and someone had to have done, if only for your sake. So I couldn’t accept the picture, and I set to work making my own inquiries about her – from people who hadn’t built up a defence mechanism the way you had.’
‘George, all the evidence I’ve got supports the view that your wife was an absolute pest. I’m sorry to have to say it, but that’s the truth. Far from being mild and harmless, she was a selfish, venomous, dangerous woman who aroused feelings of the strongest dislike in almost everyone she met.’
George was staggered by the sudden passion in Max’s voice.
‘Surely you’re exaggerating!’ he said.
‘I’m not, George. I’ll even go further. I think Hilda was the perfect murderee – a woman specially designed by Nature for a violent end!"
Right. Where is my shovel?
Also, I am on annual leave (ironic, I know), so surely it is not too early for drink, right?