Carole Boyd (Lynda Snell)
Ever since Eddie Grundy had the bright idea of entering the B&B business, declaring it a licence to print money, we have been awaiting the inevitable car crash that accompanies a Grundy scheme to make money. But so far, things have been going comparatively OK, apart from Lynda Snell getting somewhat outraged when she learned that Eddie has been poaching her customers.
Things weren’t quite so rosy last week, when the De Freitas family proved a bit awkward, demanding the sheets be changed and apparently getting through a remarkable number of toilet rolls (don’t go there). Eddie wasn’t sad to see the back of them, but even on departure day, they ignored the checkout time and didn’t depart till the afternoon.
As if the De Freitas’s weren’t bad enough, Eddie was receiving a stream of texts from another potential customer, one Harriet Vane. He is getting cheesed off with her enquiries about whether they can cater for gluten-free and whether there are any interesting things to see round Ambridge, or any gardens to visit, but the piece de resistance is when Harriet asks what Ambridge Hall is like as a B&B. “Flippin’ cheek!” Eddie tells Joe and later on we learn that Eddie told Harriet that, if she wants to pay too much for not a lot, she’s welcome to stay at Ambridge Hall.
Now, we have to ask ourselves if that was wise, although this being Eddie we are talking about, I think we can guess the answer to that. Consider – would a prospective guest ask a B&B what another B&B was like? I mean, really? Let’s go back a day or two – when Lynda was bending PCB’s ear about speeding traffic in the village, she then changed the subject; was it against the law to represent yourself as somebody else on the Internet, social media and suchlike? PCB’s considered opinion was that provided you are not doing it for fraudulent or potentially harmful reasons, he thinks it would be okay.
I put it to you that we could have discovered the secret identity of Harriet Vane, with Lynda checking up on the Grundys and creating a bit of mischief along the way. If we are right, then Eddie’s put down of Ambridge Hall was even more unwise. Is Lynda capable of such actions? Too damn right she is – you cross her at your peril.
I was looking for further pointers when I remembered that, when Lynda had her feud with the editor of The Echo, she submitted pieces under the anagrammatic pseudonym of Dylan Nells. Could Harriet Vane also be an anagram of something significant? Always assuming that I’ve spelt the name correctly, I’m quite taken with RATHER NAÏVE, which sums up Eddie to a T.