“09.22 Sunday, 2nd May 2045

The first thing Horatio saw on entering the drawing room was the admiral’s corpse lying prostrate on the sofa. He dared to hop death had come naturally, but an indefinable something about the room suggested murder.

As in every crisis of his life, Horatio’s first instinct was to panic and rum as fast and as far as his asthma would let him. This time, however, he sat down on a chair beside the nearby desk and breathed deeply five or six times. He took a suck on his Salbutamol inhaler as his huge brain kick-started itself into life.

He was tempted just to retrace his steps and leave by the front door. It took something approaching a full minute of cogitation before he leant over to the phone on the desk and dialled 112. If he was being set up for this, he reasoned, that at least might work in his favour.

‘Hello? Police? Hello. Listen, I’ve just found a dead body.'”