PorterGirl : Sinister Dexter – The Bursar

In recent years, the position of Bursar at old College has been fraught with danger. Senior Bursar was electrocuted by a deliberately mis-wired kettle and Junior Bursar was forced to flee to Tuscany after his murderous rampage was uncovered. Perhaps deciding that two Bursars are more trouble than they’re worth, The Master has seen fit to replenish this post with just the one Bursar – newcomer Professor Dexter Sinistrov.

We first met Professor Sinistrov in The Vanishing Lord, where he was an unsettling presence in the College and suspected to be involved with the disappearance of the priceless Lord Layton portrait. Noted for his odd haircut, wandering accent and pointy shoes, The Bursar is known to be an old university chum of The Master. He is a professor of chemistry and has spent many years undertaking protracted research in Russia, which no doubt assisted his endeavours in poisoning Hawkins Master Lord Bernard and attempting the same with Hawkins Head Porter. 

The Bursar did little to enamour himself to Deputy Head Porter by seeming to stalk her through the cloisters at every opportunity. The purpose of this behaviour was unknown at the time, although his reasoning becomes clear in Sinister Dexter. Deputy Head Porter did voice her concerns to Detective Chief Inspector Thompson, but he dismissed them with typical withering disdain, citing ‘being creepy’ as not a police matter. This could prove to be a rare error of judgement on his part and we must hope it does not come back to haunt him. 

Despite his underhand nature and penchant for poisoning people (which The Dean believes makes him a perfect fit for The Fellowship), the biggest concern about The Bursar is his wilful decimation of the catering budget. This has resulted in sausages being delayed and the Porters’ Lodge having to survive on just three tea bags and not a single biscuit. Under ordinary circumstances this would have driven Deputy Head Porter to a vocal of protest of righteous indignation, but there is something about The Bursar that makes her incredibly nervous. Could it be the rumours about his involvement with the Russian Secret Service? The Dean’s claims that he is a witch? Or the growing realisation that he has something against her personally? 

As the true reasons behind The Bursar’s arrival gradually unravel, it becomes impossible to know who or what to trust. One thing is certain, however. If the tea and biscuit situation is not resolved soon, there are going to be consequences

31 thoughts on “PorterGirl : Sinister Dexter – The Bursar

  1. Woebegone but Hopeful April 24, 2018 — 8:34 am

    Pointy shoes eh?…..Very sinisterly 1960s retro.
    He’s a wonderfully creepy character Lucy.

    1. I have to confess that I rather like him as a character. I wouldn’t want him to make me a cup of tea, but he certainly brings an element of delightful menace to the cloisters.

    2. Woebegone but Hopeful April 24, 2018 — 8:43 am

      That’s the secret- getting a villainous you kind of admire and is not all moustache twirling ‘Bwahaha- In me power’

    3. Always so tempting to write a moustache-twirler, I must say. But I think The Bursar is just the right side of pantomime villain.

    4. Woebegone but Hopeful April 24, 2018 — 9:02 am

      Yes he is , just the right side, only oozing slightly.
      If you must have ‘one of those OTTP types’ in the story, they should only be there for two purposes;
      1. To show how the real expert villain works in comparison.
      2. For the hero(es) to knock about (physically or mentally, doesn’t matter).
      And, never, ever give them to chance to spout at great length their god-complex.
      (Only very successful and fashionable authors can get away with that)

    5. I hope I have avoided the pitfalls. I think he is pitched well for the general theme of the book and hope that people secretly like him a bit. He also is forced to admit his failings at one point, which gives him a more human edge. The bad guys are the most fun to write, without a doubt.

    6. Woebegone but Hopeful April 24, 2018 — 9:14 am

      Ah that’s good, a villain who from time to time says ‘what was I thinking’ or ‘Oh bother!’ is credible.
      I like bother good and bad, as long as they make mistakes, get angry, opinionated , forget things and distracted; like ordinary folks

    7. He certainly gets knocked down a peg or two and not necessarily by the heroes. But I can’t say any more for fear of spoilers! 😉

    8. Woebegone but Hopeful April 24, 2018 — 9:24 am

      👍 👍 👍

  2. S s s s ausages d d delayed? Off with hiss head m’dear….

    1. Quite right! No one should keep a girl from her sausages!!

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