I am working on one of the initial chapters of THE WITCH AND THE HOUND novel, a high society lady has been murdered at night by a serial killer. Since there were so many servants in the house, how did they find her body next day? And how did they report the murder?
It is not as simple as in the modern era. She was murdered in her Withdrawing room, so the in-between-stairs maid went into the room to start the fire in the fireplace in the room and she got a look at the body. Shouts and screams. The Lady’s maid, which is the maid that attended the woman in question, comes down from the second floor and sees the poor maid scared, pale, frightened, etc. She takes a look at the body from the door of the Withdrawing room, gets scared and calls for the Butler. The Butler goes into the room and takes a cursory look at the body, shaken and pale he goes to the telephone (new fangled invention) and calls the Police Station, asking for a Constable to come over.
The Constable comes over, realizes she is a high society lady, the murder is horrific, and he is out of his depth. So he goes to the phone and calls for an Inspector to come over. The inspector appears and makes a cursory examination of the crime scene.
While he is doing that, his superior, a Captain of the Metropolitan Police in 1856 London, realizes that she is the widow of a man that used to be in Government, and was very influential. Now we are talking power, the case becomes very delicate.
So the Captain calls his superior, explains the ramifications, and they pass the problem up the chain of command ending in the Prime Minister’s lap, he promptly calls his Handler of spies, special inspectors and more, and gives the job to investigate to Special Branch.
So the scene is not simple since a number of persons are involved in the discovery and talking about the murder, who is passing the problem up the hierarchy, from the lowest maid in the house, all the way up to the Prime Minister, and back down to Special Branch.