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Funeral Note

The feedback for Funeral Note has been astounding, so I hope that correspondents can accept this as a collective response. I thank everyone for their constructive comments. Now I must explain something. The book isn’t so much a ‘Whodunnit?’ more of a ‘Whogotdun?’, but I have played by the accepted rules. There is a very big clue, and I’m surprised that so far only Cheryl Horne has got it. (Well done, Cheryl.) Alongside there’s another way of solving the puzzle, and I’m amazed that so far nobody has got that. If there is a cliff-hanger, it’s one word. ‘Why?’

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. GILLIAN
    July 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Hello
    Maybe …”Lady in red”
    Kindest wishes to you and yours
    Gillian

  2. Laura
    July 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I opted not to go straight to work this morning and went to a local coffee shop first where I finished the last 30 or so pages. I am tantalised by the “cliffhanger” which has been floating around my head all day!! I’m with Gillian above though. I think the lady in red too… Can’t wait for the next one! Kindest regards, Laura

    • July 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

      You skipped work for Skinner? He doesn’t know whether to feel pleased or guilty.

  3. Paul Reid
    July 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    When can we expect the next installment?

  4. Patricia wright
    July 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    that long????

  5. Fiona
    July 8, 2012 at 1:09 am

    mmmmm…….. I think I need to go back and read it again more carefully. Normally I pick up on clues but I am not so sure this time I have got it right. speak to you again in a while.

    • GILLIAN
      July 8, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Good morning,
      This could run and run, I was one of those lucky people who by ordering with AJ at Campbell Books, which I have to tell everyone is an excellent service, read Funeral Note back in May which now seems a long time ago, and wrote to you pleading for it not to be one of my favourite characters, I then passed the book to my brother who on reading assured me that I was wrong!!! I then downloaded it to my kindle and read it again just like Fiona is about to do… but unless Cheryl tells us all the answer we still have to wait. Please note QJ I still didn’t tell your fans either of my choices, so I guess I am as bad as you. You could of course write just to me with the answer and put me out of my misery, I promise not to tell!!!
      Byeee

  6. Patricia wright
    July 9, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    The lady in red probably deserves it but I don’t much care for Eileen either and have no idea what motivates the author so guess it’s hanging in the air until next summer,.

  7. July 10, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Eileen? ‘The author’ certainly isn’t motivated wo kill his wife. Aileen, though, she way be another matter.

  8. Patricia wright
    July 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Sorry about that, Eileen but I DID mean Aileen-a fish of another feather!

    • Glennys
      July 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Just finished reading ‘Funeral Note’. Started off being very unsure whether I was going to enjoy/cope with all the first person stuff but in the end thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next ‘Bob Skinner’

  9. Derek Rhind
    July 22, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I too read Funeral Note way back in May. Decided that I would then read all 22 books, in order, again, having first read them in a random order. Great how it all fits. I wasn’;t sure if I would enjoy Skinner 22 in the third party format, but it turns out I really found it enjoyable. As to whogotit, I re read a few times. The ladies changing outfits, and seating locations was cleverly done, but I feel we have seen the last of Toni Field. I may be wrong, but Aileens death would have been too easy an answer to Big Bobs maritial problems, and I’m sure QJ wouldn’t see Paula off in her 30 odd week of pregnancy. But I may be wrong…..

    • Barbara Macdonald
      July 27, 2012 at 12:12 am

      phew, thanks derek, i skipped to the end and went ohhhh noooo, but i like your version of events and will keep it foremost in my mind until summer 2013….

  10. Bridget Perkin
    July 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I feel the victim can’t be Paula, because she would then be reminiscing from beyond the grave; this seems unlikely. I also think that there are several “red herrings” in the form of dress colour confusion, dress style (Paula could be misinterpreted as wearing uniform), seat allocation confusion and personal appearance similarities – Paula and Toni both have red hair. The hit men are clearly professionals and would make quite certain of their target beforehand. However, I can only at this moment choose between Toni and Aileen, Aileen seeming to be the most obvious choice and so, most likely to be the wrong one. A re-read is a requirement, obviously.
    I was interested to read the foreword to Funeral Notes and agree that enough information is given on the characters for the story to make sense for new readers, while not boring regulars. I could list some series where this is not the case and much of the narrative is repetition! However, I am also prompted to revisit the series, to fill in the gaps which I have forgotten. This should help fill the time until the official solution to the Who and Why questions appears.

  11. Dot Hicks
    August 6, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Right, so we are still stuck with Ms de Marco then

  12. Bridget Perkin
    August 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I have re-read the novel rather quickly, but am none the wiser. I wonder if we should expand the suspect list?

  13. Jamie Lyall
    September 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    phenomenal read. very brave move with the format and structure, but i thought it worked brilliantly. cracking cliffhanger ending, too, it’s been bouncing round my head since i finished the book this afternoon. at 18, i am probably one of the younger Skinner fans, and having read the whole series, i know who i want to be on the receiving end of the bullet. Look forward to the next installment, and how the shooting affects the characters, as well as the next Primavera release in a few months. Well done Mr Jardine, once again.

  14. Marcia
    October 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

    As Toni Field is referred to as “the wee red dragon” on page 383, could she be the one? As the common theme amongst the women at the concert was the discussion around the colour red and in the end neither Aileen nor Paula wore red to the concert.

  15. Bridget Perkin
    October 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    The question is why, as QJ says above, and he should know! Toni is a red-head, which may explain the reference mentioned. We are told that a political leader is a potential target, which strongly points to Aileen. Why assassinate Toni?

  16. Marcia
    October 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    As Toni is Cheif Constable of Strathclyde and aiming even higher that could be construed as political. Or could it have been mistaken identitiy? Because at Aileen’s suggestion the original seating arrangements were changed so that she would not be sitting next to Toni who was there as a replacement for the First Minister’s wife who was unwell.

    • Bridget Perkin
      October 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      I don’t think mistaken identity works with professional hit-men. I would tend to see Toni as the victim as Aileen seems too obvious. I wish someone would put me out of my misery and whisper the answer in my ear!

      • Marcia
        October 4, 2012 at 12:45 am

        I have been thinking about it again. Although initially it was said that they were expecting a political hit; is this necessarily the hit they were expecting? Could it as another option be Paula because she looked out of the window and saw the fire, the hitmen saw her and thought she saw them? And the planned political hit job is yet to happen given that the news came from London via MI5 and that hit could well be going to happen in London just that they bought the guns in Scotland wellm away from where they plan to hit. I agree that Aileen would be too obvious.

  17. Bridget Perkin
    October 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    That’s a good point I hadn’t considered, but if it’s Paula, I find her final recall of the events difficult to accept, unless we are privy to her dying thoughts and this seems an unlikely literary device.

    • Marcia
      October 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      At the end she said “and everything has gone dark or black” sorry can’t remember exactly, so it could be a possibility

  18. Denboy
    November 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Don’t think Toni was intended target as operation planned well ahead and she was not expected to be there. Maybe qj hasn’t decided yet?

  19. Bridget Perkin
    November 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Apart from my belief that Paula’s recollection of the event excludes her as the victim, if Marcia’s idea (above) is correct that Paula was identified as a witness, a public execution like this seems unlikelyand over-the-top; an unnecessary risk by the hitmen. Another point is that Bob is told, “She’s dead” and as Aileen is the woman most closely associated with him, he would immediately think of her, as the informant might intend.
    Roll on June!

  20. November 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    June is definitely not dead. She was sat in the second row behind Clive Graham.

  21. Bridget Perkin
    November 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Somebody wittier than I had better think of a response to that!

  22. Eddie Darroch
    February 6, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Funeral Note is one of the best Skinner’s in years. Great work!

  23. Wilma Nicholson
    April 17, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I have just finished reading Funeral Notes. A bit later than most but because of my life getting in the way of my reading, seemed to have missed it when it came out! I think I know whogotit… could it be our Maggie?? I loved the format by the way and the mention of West Calder, which is where I was born and brought up 🙂 I live in Canada and am gradually converting my friends into QJ fans.

  24. jim storie
    May 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    To date I haven’t got very far with the story, so I am aware that I might be jumping the gun with my criticisms.

    • May 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      You’re spot on, Jim. Rarely have I seen the gun so spectacularly jumped. Come back when you’ve finished the book, or not. Until then, don’t waste my time, please

  25. wisconsinus
    May 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Ohhh, “…don’t waste my time” sounds like Wm Buckley. Have been in US and came back to Wales house. Have been reading Gregory gal’s novels of ye olde England, however decided I needed a break to see what Skinner was up to. Jardine books sadly not available in our US library.

    • May 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Who is Wm Buckley?

      • wisconsinus
        May 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm

        William F. Buckley, American extreme conservative and commentator and author, also founder of very right wing National Review. And, now dead. I was joking because I really don’t see you in this way. However, he would have been quick to tell someone not to “waste his time”. Of course I’m a liberal. Buckley was a Dick Cheney type of Conservative, only an intellectual. Also member of Skull and Bones Society, as was George Bush, only Buckley had brains. Not sure he had a conscience, however.

  26. Keith Turnbull
    June 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Finished the book yesterday, I think an excellent read and over coffee this morning I was convinced it was Toni Field, now I am begining to wonder!

    • June 7, 2013 at 10:00 am

      Pray for the Dying is out. The mystery is revealed.

  27. GILLIAN
    June 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Hello
    Please, Please, everyone be careful not to give any hints, as some of us are awaiting our book.
    Kind regards
    Gillian

  28. Bridget Perkin
    June 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    You can tell me……though the blurb suggests that the victim was not Aileen after all.

  29. Bridget Perkin
    June 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    For those who, like me, can’t wait, you can have a peek into the book on Amazon. (I’m the impatient sort of reader, who tends to look at the last pages shortly after starting a book, which can save going back to look for the missed clues afterwards!) Looking forward to reading the book properly now.

  30. fgraham558
    June 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Ahhh so we know now. Another fantastic read as usual, Thank you.

  31. Bridget Perkin
    July 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    On re-reading Funeral Note with care and attention, I think a major clue to the identity of the victim is in the Foreword, where the structure of the novel is explained.

  32. Bridget Perkin
    August 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I have finished reading Pray for the Dying , so the cycle is complete. Presumably both books were planned together? How on earth do you think of the plots?

  33. Bridget Perkin
    August 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    So at what stage did you know who would be the victim, and then, why she was killed? I believe J.K.Rowling knew what all the Harry Potter stories would be before she started!

  34. August 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

    If you believe that, what is the gender of the fairies at the bottom of your garden? She may have had a concept of a school-boy wizard’s seven year battle against the forces of evil, but there was a hell of a lot of flesh to be added to those bones.

  35. Bridget Perkin
    August 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I’ll let you have the last word.

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