“The ice-cubes tinkled in her glass as she took another sip.
‘What are you drinking?’
‘Gin and tonic. I’m not going to sit here alone all evening with a cup of tea.’
‘Don’t have too many. You know I don’t like smelling it on you.’
The elder Mrs McMillan had the distinctive odour of equal parts liquor and Shalimar. All her meals were cooked by a housekeeper, of similar vintage, and served in the sunless dining room of her modern red-brick flat in Point Piper. The windows were never opened, and the cave-like rooms smelt of cigarettes and furniture polish. Like an officers’ club inhabited by one old woman. Edie bit her tongue.”
Extract from ‘The Woman in the House Next Door’ – included in the showcase