[[quoteright:348:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/9781405519229_5587.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:348:[[{{Tagline}} A big novel about a small town.]]]]

->''They were all perfectly ridiculous, Samantha thought, sitting here in front of Shirley’s commemorative plates as if they were in the Cabinet Room in Downing Street, as though one bit of tittle-tattle on a Parish Council website constituted an organized campaign, as though any of it mattered.''

''The Casual Vacancy'' is a 2012 LitFic novel by Creator/JKRowling, and her first book outside of the [[Literature/HarryPotter Harry Potter-verse]].

It's TwentyMinutesIntoThePast, and the little English town of Pagford is in shock. Barry Fairbrother, a popular member of the local [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parish_councils_in_England parish council]], has dropped dead of a brain aneurysm on his wedding anniversary. Though everyone is impacted by his death, the ensuing drama and election to fill the [[TitleDrop casual vacancy]] Barry left behind reveals a town that is tearing itself apart over what to do with a housing project known as "The Fields", that is outside the jurisdiction of both Pagford and [[TheRival the neighbouring larger town of Yarvil]]. The novel follows a [[RotatingProtagonist rotating]] cast of characters as egos are bruised and family tensions boil over, and meanwhile, a certain mysterious someone [[spoiler:or three]] is posting townsfolk secrets on the local website...

''The Casual Vacancy'' was met with interest when first announced in April of 2012. Upon its release, the critical response was strictly LoveItOrHateIt, with some enjoying the change of writing style, while others complained that it was too different from her older work. Sales were respectable, but still far less than ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows''.

[[WordOfGod Rowling has said]] that a [[TheFilmOfTheBook Film Of The Book]] would be highly unlikely given its structure; however, the BBC plan on turning the novel into a TV miniseries instead.
----
!!''The Casual Vacancy'' Provides Examples Of:

* AbusiveParents: Simon and Colin, but ''especially'' Simon. Parminder too, [[EducationMama of the emotional variety]], to her dyslexic daughter, Suhkvinder.
* AcceptableTargets:[[invoked]] In-universe with [[spoiler:Fats]] by the end of the book. The community holds him responsible for [[spoiler:Robbie's drowning]], so abusing him has become "a duty and a pleasure."
* AdultFear: Fair warning, parents - after reading this book, you'll never [[spoiler: let your toddler near a quiet country river]] again.
* AgonyOfTheFeet: Happens deservedly to Simon Price after he aims a kick at his son Andrew and misses.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Ruth Price did... and now she's paying for it.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited:
** [[spoiler: Gavin and [[ComfortingTheWidow Mary]]. To say that it backfires would be a massive understatement]].
** There's also [[spoiler:Parminder who was secretly in love with Barry Fairbrother]].
** Colin and Tessa Wall are still together. [[spoiler:So are Miles and Samantha Mollison who reconcile once Howard Mollison has another heart attack and is in critical condition]].
** Throughout most of the book, Gaia barely knows Andrew exists. [[spoiler:The end of the book shows her warming to him and the two of them planning to go out once Andrew's family moves to Reading.]] She's fully aware of him taking an interest in her, as she notices him staring at her constantly, and this quote is very telling: "''She was worth much more than Fats Wall, she knew that. If it had even been Andy Price, she would have felt better about it.''"
* AndSomeOtherStuff: The hacking scenes are not elaborated on beyond the vague description of "SQL injection".
* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: Behind closed doors, the Mollisons don't make much of an effort to look sorry for Barry Fairbrother's death.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Um, here's a hint for you Gavin: if you've lusted over a woman for years, do ''NOT'' tell her how you feel when [[spoiler: she's just been widowed]].
* ArrangedMarriage: The town finds it fascinating that Parminder and Vikram had one.
* AttentionWhore: what motivates quite a few people in Pagford is their desperate need for attention.
* BigFun / FatBastard:
** Howard, [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation depending on your point of view]].
** Also depends on who you are. If Howard genuinely likes someone then his affability is genuine, if he doesn't he's just acting jolly and friendly to wind that person up.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Shirley.
* [[spoiler: BittersweetEnding: Hooray, the local election is over, Andrew and Gaia are making plans to go out in Reading, and some of the citizens of Pagford are starting to like each other! But Krystal, Robbie and Nana Cath are dead, Terri has completely broken down, Fats has become a self-loathing pariah, Colin and Simon's lives have been ruined by their own sons, Gavin is alone and miserable, Kay might be unemployed, Simon is still abusing his family, and Howard is still in the hospital recovering from his heart attack, his condition stable but his ultimate fate unknown.]]
* BlackComedy
* BookEnds:
** The book begins and ends with [[spoiler: a casual vacancy, due to Barry's death and Parminder's resignation respectively]].
** Also, [[spoiler:Barry's funeral near the beginning, and the funeral of Krystal and Robbie at the end. At both of them, "Umbrella" by {{Rihanna}} is played.]]
** Additionally, the Winterdown rowing crew gets a bookend. Early in the book, at Barry's funeral, the rowing team all pay up to give Barry a proper coffin, except for Krystal. In the very last scene of the book, [[spoiler: at the funeral for the Weedons, everyone on the rowing crew pays for nice coffins except for Krystal, because she's dead. Also, Krystal is the only member of the rowing team who's absent at Barry's funeral. At her funeral the absent ones are Barry's daughters, whose [[TheResenter mother]]'d discouraged them to go]].
** [[spoiler: It's heavily implied that the final Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother post was made by it's creator, Andrew Price.]]
* TheBully: Fats, to Sukhvinder. He's mean and cowardly.
* BreakTheHaughty: [[spoiler:Fats, Howard and Shirley.]]
* ChekhovsGun:
** Oh come on, this is Creator/JKRowling we're talking about. What else were you expecting? [[spoiler: Though to be fair, the way that the various guns come together in the final act is quite different from ''Harry Potter'', and can best be described as a cross between ForWantOfANail and DisasterDominoes]].
** [[spoiler: The watch that Krystal steals from Tessa early in the book. Terri finds it in Krystal's room and sells it to Obbo for £20 with which she buys a stack of smack and hashish, which is heavily implied to be the same stash Krystal uses to kill herself.]]
** [[spoiler: The remains of the computer that Simon throws into the river cause a gash in Sukhvinder's leg when she tries to rescue Robbie, which leads to her parents finding out about her cutting.]]
** [[spoiler: The_Ghost_Of_Barry_Fairbrother, who wreaked havoc during the election, shows up one last time a few days later to expose Howard's affair with Maureen.]]
** [[spoiler: Andrew's Epi Pen is nearly used by Shirley to murder Howard, until he gets a heart attack of his own accord. It stays as a small source of guilt for Shirley, until she quickly suffers from AesopAmnesia.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler: Patricia Mollison is mentioned early on but doesn't show up till near the end, long enough to drop the bombshell that Howard has been having an affair with Maureen before leaving, giving The_Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother one last bullet to fire.]]
* ButNotTooGay: [[spoiler:Patricia Mollison]], who is mentioned in the story repeatedly and identified as a lesbian and in a relationship, but whose partner is only discussed, never shown on-screen.
* CityMouse: Gaia Bawden
* ClusterFBomb: All over the place. Terri and her daughter Krystal are especially adept at it.
* ComfortingTheWidow: [[spoiler: Gavin, who had always been in love with Mary, tries to [[AnguishedDeclarationOfLove tell Mary how he felt just weeks after Barry's death]]. It does not work. '''[[{{Squick}} At all]]'''.]]
* CosmicDeadline: A DoubleSubversion. The election plotline that has driven the story thus far is resolved with 100 pages to go, and considering the large cast of characters, you're led to believe there will be a long, slow denoument. The book complies for a while with everyone [[spoiler: celebrating Miles' election win and Howard's birthday]], and then [[WhamEpisode WHAM!]] In the span of 75 pages, [[spoiler: [[LongList The_Ghost_Of_Barry_Fairbrother strikes again, Samantha takes her Mrs. Robinson antics too far, Gavin's attempt at widow-comforting goes horribly wrong, Shirley finds out about Howard's affair and almost KILLS him before he suffers his second heart attack, Krystal decides she's had enough, tries to run away with Robbie and Fats, Robbie drowns in the river, Krystal commits suicide out of despair, and everyone gets their character arcs resolved and the town is changed forever]]]]. Hope you like your explosive endings, folks!
* UsefulNotes/CouncilEstate: The Fields, which is under the jurisdiction of two councils, though neither wants it anymore.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Edgier, and just as dark, as Rowling's [[Literature/HarryPotter previous work]]. The only thing that's less dark is [[spoiler: the body count]].
* DecoyProtagonist:
** Assuming you [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil hadn't read any press coverage or the summary on the inside jacket]] [[SelfDemonstratingArticle (or the description at the top of this page, for that matter)]], you might be forgiven for thinking Barry Fairbrother was the main character [[PlotTriggeringDeath at first]].
** But then again he just may very will be, [[PosthumousCharacter even in death]].
* DespairEventHorizon: Terri completely loses it when she finds out [[spoiler: Robbie has drowned]]. We don't see her reaction to learning about [[spoiler: Krystal committing suicide]], but presumably she got worse.
* TheDogBitesBack: Each of The_Ghost_Of_Barry_Fairbrother posts is a result of [[spoiler:the attacked Council's candidates or members' abuse of his or her children (though in Fats' case [[KickTheSonOfABitch "abuse" may be a bit of a stretch]]). Only Patricia doesn't post the entry herself, but she's the one who spills her father's secret to the teenagers who eventually publish it, after being treated badly by her parents at a party]].
* DisasterDominoes: The last 50 or so pages of the book could be considered this, with the ChekhovsArmory serving as the dominoes. It's astounding how ''everyone'' seems to be nearby or at the scene when [[spoiler: Robbie and Krystal die]]. [[JustifiedTrope Then again, it IS a small town, and there had been another tragic accident around the same time]].
* {{Doorstopper}}: At 503 pages, it's shorter than the last four ''Harry Potter'' books, but still quite hefty. On the other hand, its pages are larger than the North American/British edition of any of the ''Potter''s.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Krystal Weedon, after she realizes that Robbie's death was all her fault]].
* {{Epigraph}}: The start of each "part" gives relevant quotes from Charles Arnold-Baker's ''Local Council Administration, Second Edition'' (such as the definition of a [[TitleDrop casual vacancy]]).
* {{Expy}}: The_Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother posts seem to be this of [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince The Half-Blood Prince's potion book]] both are mysterious entities in written form that are personified by the characters in an almost legendary way as if both are some sort of mythical being.
* {{Facebook}}: Plays an unsurprisingly large role in the lives of the younger Pagfordians.
* FanserviceWithASmile:
** The reason Howard Mollison hires Gaia as a waitress.
** Later crosses into {{Squick}}. At first, Howard seems a mostly harmless fat old man that likes to look at pretty young girls because he's not getting any at home. Then, once [[spoiler: his affair with Maureen gets exposed]], it becomes clear that he may have had a far more substantial agenda on Gaia.
* FetishFuel:
** [[invoked]] Samantha gets hot at the idea of an ArrangedMarriage.
** Don't forget Colin and his thing for [[spoiler: touching kids.]]
*** Which due to his OCD doubles as ParanoiaFuel as it's implied he actually hasn't done it.
* FlippingTheBird:
** "I DI'N' DO NOTHIN', YOU PRICK!"
** The British two-finger salute is mentioned a few times, but no one actually does it.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** When we are first introduced to Howard Mollison, there's a lengthy monologue about how his weight means he probably hasn't seen his penis in years, and the community wonders whether Howard has ever used it like he should. [[spoiler: His weight leads to his second heart attack in the final act, while his penis has been busy in the mouth of his partner, Maureen.]]
** Terri's MamaBear instincts, and particularly the fear of losing Robbie, are stressed to be one of the only things that can motivate Terri into kicking her drug habit. [[spoiler: The last time we see her, having lost both of her children, she has crossed the DespairEventHorizon without so much as a backward glance.]]
** [[spoiler: Fats' adoption]], [[spoiler: Colin's OCD pedophilia]] and [[spoiler: Parminder's crush on Barry]] are [[{{Subtext}} indirectly]] addressed near the beginning of Part 2. It's subtle enough that a first-time reader will probably miss them and without giving too much away to spoil the plot for attentive readers, making this more of a [[RewatchBonus Reread Bonus]].
* FunetikAksent:
** Characters from Yarvil get a accent similar to [[Literature/HarryPotter Hagrid's]], with plenty of apostrophes and missing h's, to distinguish them from the Pagford folk.
** See {{BritishAccents}} for more information.
* GloryHound: Andrew suspects that [[spoiler: Fats took the credit for all of The_Ghost_Of_Barry_Fairbrother's posts when he only wrote one of them]] for this reason.
* GreenEyedMonster: [[spoiler: How Mary Fairbrother feels about Krystal Weedon.]]
* TheHeroDies: To many Fielders, that's what Barry's death feels like.
* HollywoodHacking: Surprisingly averted- SQL injection is shown mostly realistically (if vaguely), and is actually one of the first tools a real hacker would use against a website (due to its ease of execution and difficulty of authorities to trace).
* {{Hypocrite}}: Two people get called out for their own, more socially acceptable, substance abuse while they're advocating for the closure of the addiction clinic. Dr. Parminder Jawanda [[spoiler: is accused of hypocrisy in her motives for her pro-Fields advocacy by The_Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother.]]
** Kay cares little about her daughter's friendships and love life, when tearing her off her social circle in London, and when Gaia's now long-distance relationship fails, Kay says something like "some boy's dumped her" (though she regrets her words as soon as they come out). Did we mention that Kay's motivation for moving and dragging her daughter along, is a pursuit of a man? A man who obviously does his best to avoid her advances?
* [[spoiler: InfantImmortality: Averted with Robbie.]]
* InfoDump: A section called ''(Olden Days)'' between Parts 1 and 2 explains the history of Pagford, the animosity between Pagford and Yarvil, and why the Fields are such a big deal.
* IsntItIronic:[[invoked]] Krystal has no idea what the lyrics to ''Umbrella'' mean, but she likes them.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Really this is a flaw that a lot of characters share. Gavin in particular exhibits this, allowing his girlfriend, Kay Bawden, to uproot her and her daughter's life to move to Pagford despite not actually loving her. Colin too but [[spoiler:his SuperOCD]] gives him an excuse.
** Kay herself is quite an offender, seeming to jump at the opportunity of a relationship with Gavin despite his efforts to communicate to her that he does not love her despite the extreme inconvenience it causes for her daughter.
** Mary Fairbrother, Barry's widow, surprisingly gets hit with this. She was disapproving over how much time her husband spent on Krystal Weedon, the counsel, and his other projects; disagreeing with him about whether anyone in the Fields was worth anything. She is treated sympathetically for most of the novel, considering that Barry didn't seem to pay her much attention, but reaches mean-spirited levels when she refuses to attend [[spoiler: Krystal's funeral, both forbidding her children from going and despairing that Krystal will be buried anywhere near Barry.]]
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Obbo, the drug-dealing child rapist whose actions inadvertently cause the deaths of Robbie and Krystal, gets off with zero repercussions whatsoever]]. Though not as bad as [[spoiler:Obbo]], this also applies to [[spoiler:Simon]]. [[spoiler:Although he loses his job because of his petty crimes, he gets another job in Reading and shows no signs of stopping his [[DomesticAbuser domestic abuse]] of his wife and sons]].
* KilledOffForReal: [[CaptainObvious Aside from]] [[PlotTriggeringDeath Barry]], [[spoiler: Nana Cath, Robbie, and Krystal]] are dead, [[spoiler: Howard]] is in stable but critical condition, and [[spoiler: Terri]] might as well be dead [[spoiler: considering what she's lost]].
* KissingCousins: Krystal had sex with one of her cousins, Dane, at 14.
* KissingUnderTheInfluence:
** A drunk Gaia and [[spoiler:Fats]].
** Same with [[spoiler:Samantha and Andrew]].
* {{Leitmotif}}:
** {{Rihanna}}'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iQRXuAo6Eg "Umbrella"]] appears to be one for Krystal and the rowing team, to the point where [[spoiler: they request that it be played at Barry Fairbrother's funeral as the casket is led out of the church.]]
** [[spoiler: It gets played again at Krystal's funeral.]]
* LackOfEmpathy: Fats is deliberately trying to invoke this in his effort to be more "authentic." Some of the adults display this naturally.
* LadyDrunk: Samantha.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: There are less characters here than in Rowling's [[Literature/HarryPotter previous work]], but they still number in the double digits, and several of them can count as protagonists in their own right.
* MeaningfulName:
** Another SignatureStyle of Rowling's.
** Simon Price is obsessed with [[OnlyInItForTheMoney making money]] and getting into politics so he can save money. While the Price part is obvious, ''Simon'' means [[GloryHound "reputation"]] as well as [[AttentionWhore "to be heard"]] in Hebrew.
** His son ''Andrew'' means "warrior," and he is one of the most aggressive characters in his war against his father.
** Gaia Bowden. Gaia means earth and is often portrayed in fiction and mythology as mother earth and nature which is fitting with Gaia's natural, unspoiled beauty.
** The drug dealer and all-around criminal, Obbo. "Yobbo" is a British slang term for a thug.
* MrsRobinson:
** Samantha is a wannabe, to the point where [[spoiler: she tries to force herself on Andrew.]]
** She also has fantasies about members of a boy band her daughters like.
** Averted with her lusting after Vikram Jawanda who is either her age or older.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler:After three-year-old Robbie drowns in the river while his sister, Krystal, and Fats are having sex in the bushes nearby, Krystal is DrivenToSuicide via heroin overdose. Fats, meanwhile, completely crosses the DespairEventHorizon and becomes a shell of his former self. Samantha Mollison, who remembers having seen Robbie alone by the river but, absorbed with her own problems, did nothing about it, decides to become TheAtoner and join the Parish Council to see if she can keep the Bellchapel Addiction Clinic open]].
* NaiveNewcomer: Kay Bawden
* NeverSpeakIllOfTheDead / SpeakIllOfTheDead: Played with. [[spoiler: The book notes that Robbie is seen as a martyr because of his very young age and the way that he died, while Krystal's suicide by jabbing a drug needle into her arm tarnishes her postmortem reputation, and she's remembered by all but the old rowing crew as a worthless junkie.]]
* NietzscheWannabe: Fats.
* NoGuyWantsToBeChased: The reason why Gavin prefers [[spoiler:Mary]] over Kay.
* NotMeThisTime: Krystal's done a lot of authority-defying things, but [[spoiler: laughing at Cubby's breakdown when he's announcing Barry's death at the school assembly]] is not one of them.
* ParanoiaFuel:[[invoked]] For the inhabitants of Pagford, [[spoiler: the postings of The_Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother on the Parish Council's website certainly count.]]
* ParentalAbandonment:
** Krystal Weedon is fatherless and her mother is neglectful.
** Subverted with Gaia Bowden whose father left her mother when she was conceived, though it's heavily implied she's in contact with him and knows that he is married, has some children, and where he lives.
* ParentalSubstitute:
** Krystal Weedon sees Barry Fairbrother as this because she knows almost nothing about her birth father who is also named Barry. He seems to treat her nicely and saw something special in her.
** Steve, Kay's longtime boyfriend for 8 years was this to Gaia teaching her to ride a bike and attending parents nights at her school. Kay latching onto Gavin is heavily implied to be a desperate attempt, after her split with Steve, to try and make Gavin this to Gaia.
* [[spoiler: PedoHunt: An interesting variation, where the pedophile's desire for closeness to children is obssessive-compulsive. Regardless, when The_Ghost_Of_Barry_Fairbrother reveals Colin's secret, his chances for a council seat drop to zero.]]
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: Parminder and Vikram. Parminder insists that their parents arranged their meeting but did not force them to marry each other.
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Three guesses who.
** PosthumousCharacter: Ok, four guesses.
* PurpleProse:
** Lots of extraneous detail and similar padding.
** It also gets invoked [[RotatingProtagonist depending on who's got the POV spotlight]]. When the narrator channels Fats, the text becomes ripe with pretentious, self-centred SesquipedalianLoquaciousness. When Andrew becomes the focus and [[LoveInterest Gaia]] walks into the room, don't expect to hear about anything else.
* PyrrhicVictory: [[spoiler:Howard Mollison succeeds in both getting his son, Miles, to join the Parish Council, and gets the responsibility for the Fields foisted onto Yarvil's shoulders. Afterwards, however, his affair with his business partner, Maureen, is discovered by his wife, he suffers a second heart-attack which renders him in critical condition and dumb, and he may or may not be aware that his wife was preparing to kill him for his infidelity. Also his daughter-in-law plans on joining the Council and getting the Bellchapel Clinic to stay open.]]
* ReallyGetsAround: Krystal is referred to as "the school bike."
* RotatingProtagonist: The point of view switches constantly, sometimes mid-chapter. The main protagonists appear to be (in no particular order) Howard, Fats, Tessa, Andrew, Krystal, Ruth, Gavin, Kay, Miles, Samantha, Parminder and Sukhvinder. Krystal becomes the unofficial heroine for a decent chunk of the story, Andrew gets a large amount of focus too, and has a large influence on the story, but even then the POV still rotates.
* [[SirSwearsALot Sir/Lady Swears-a-Lot]]: Plenty of characters, but especially Krystal, who uses ''fuck'' the way most people use a comma. [[LampshadeHanging Several characters comment on this.]]
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: They do exist, but they ''suck''. And the social workers are the first to admit it.
* SourPrudes: Shirley Mollison, to the point that [[spoiler: her husband has had an affair for more than a decade.]]
* StealthPun: The citizens of [[TheRival Yarvil]] are known as Yar''vilians''
* SuperOCD: [[spoiler: Colin]]
* TakeUpMySword: Colin ''thinks'' he ought to do this for Barry's pro-Fields movement. His wife tries to talk him down to no avail.
* TextualCelebrityResemblance: Gaia's boyfriend Marco looks like Creator/JohnnyDepp.
* TwentyMinutesIntoThePast: It's unclear as to ''when'' the novel is supposed to take place, although there is a grave with a date-of-death of 2008 on it, Benazir Bhutto is apparently a topical reference, and {{Facebook}} plays a notable role in some of the subplots. The Nintendo DS is also mentioned at one point. Rhianna's "Umbrella" plays into it as well which was released in 2007 the same year when Rowling released ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows''.
* TheUnfavorite: Poor Suhkvinder. It's also implied that Patricia is this to Shirley.
* UnfortunateNames: Krystal [[DoubleEntendre Weedon]]. Played with since Krystal doesn't really mind, and even joins in the joking herself.
* UnproblematicProstitution: Dear fucking ''god'', is this ever averted. One look at Terri Weedon should tell you that much.
* UnusualChapterNumbers: The novel is split into parts, most of which are numbered[[note]]an InfoDump on the history of Pagford called (Olden Days) gets its own section between Parts 1 and 2[[/note]]. Part 1 and 2 are split into days, which each have their own set of short chapters[[note]]except for the first Friday, which is one long chapter[[/note]], and the chapter count resets to I at the start of a new day. After a TimeSkip, the days-of-the-week numbering is dropped, and instead chapter counts reset after each part. [[MindScrew Got it?]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler: We never find out who Fat's birth parents are.]]
* WhiteSheep:
** A weird non family example, but Barry Fairbrother could qualify as he seems to be really the only character who generally cares about the people of Pagford. He was really the only one who didn't see Krystal Weedon as some town bicycle bully. His allies Parminder and Colin are really only taking up his sword because that's what he would want, not necessarily because they think it's the right thing to do.
** Patricia Mollison could qualify. While a minor character, she doesn't quite seem as bad as the rest of her family.
* WomanScorned: Although she later doubts she would have gone through with it, [[spoiler:Shirley Mollison]] plans to ''kill'' her husband at one point when she discovers he's been cheating on her. She even brings the murder weapon home.
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:Howard Mollison]].