Inspector Ian McFergus, formerly with the London police force, had never been satisfied with the "accident" verdict in Jacob Marley's death.
Recently retired, he now has the time to search through a cold and grimy mid-Victorian London in search of the truth.First, he must establish that the death was no accident. Then, starting with Ebenezer Scrooge, he checks out suspects.
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail
Inspector Ian McFergus had not been satisfied; not in the least satisfied. He had inspected Marley's body using all the due processes and checklists upon which the police division insisted and in which he had been trained. And he was not satisfied.
Marley's body had been found at the bottom of the stairs, dead. The inspector had walked around the body as required and had drawn a sketch as required. And however much it looked as if the old guy had simply tripped, Inspector McFergus had not been satisfied at the time and had been no more satisfied after the coroner had hauled the corpse, clothed in a shabby nightgown, away. Eating kippers and potatoes that evening, McFergus had barely concentrated on the food or upon his wife, Amy.
1. Ask the coroner again if there was anything unusual about the body.
2. Talk to Marley's housekeeper.
3. Talk to Ebenezer Scrooge, Marley's partner, the man who would now own Scrooge and Marley, Incorporated.
4. Talk to Scrooge's clerk, Bob Cratchit. (Sometimes underpaid clerks knew more than they let on.)