When supermarket employee Nelson Grant is found bludgeoned to death next to a half empty crate of bananas, the case seems a complete mystery. For Nelson Grant was well liked by his colleagues, so who could possibly want him dead?
But then Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd and her team discover that the crate contained more than just bananas and the case suddenly acquires a whole new dimension.
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Some background information:
- Bloody Bananas is a novelette of 12300 words or approximately 45 print pages. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- Bloody Bananas also marks the twelfth appearance of Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd, her assistant Detective Constable Kevin Walker and forensic medical examiner Dr. Rajiv, Police Constable Martin Jackson and Charlotte Wong, scene of the crime officer and DC Walker’s girlfriend, reappear as well.
- The inspiration for Bloody Bananas were several cases of cocaine packages being found in banana crates shipped to Aldi supermarkets in Germany and Switzerland. And indeed, these cases are mentioned by DC Walker. And yes, people really did make jokes about Aldi now selling cocaine as one of their special offers.
- The bit about drug packages washing ashore on the Dutch and German North Sea coast, probably due to container that had gone overboard, is based on a real case as well.
- The comment and the barely concealed Schadenfreude that “someone is in big trouble right now” really was uttered by a police spokesperson after cocaine was found inside banana crates at an Aldi
- The Montrose’s supermarket chain is fictional, though it is loosely based on of the real life British supermarket chains Waitrose and Morrisons. Aldi, Lidl and Tesco, all of which are mentioned in the story, are real supermarket chains operating in Britain.
- Rex, the detection dog who also happens to be a highly qualified police officer, was named for the long-running Austrian TV series Kommissar Rex about a heroic police dog.
- Police surgeon Dr. Duncan Clifford, last seen in Dead Drop, is briefly mentioned in this story. PC Mary Girardelli, last seen in Mightier than the Sword, also reappears in this story, while her partner PC Khaled Hussein is briefly mentioned.
- Police Constable Martin Jackson also gets some long overdue romance in Bloody Bananas with supermarket worker and barista Cassandra Knotts.
- There are not a lot of pop culture references in this one beyond the fact that DC Walker likes watching American dramas about drug dealers, which I presume refers to programs such as Breaking Bad, Narcos and The Wire.
- The cover image is a stock photo of a banana by an unknown photographer. I found it on one of the free image sites and later could not locate it again, so I unfortunately cannot credit the photographer.