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In the novel The Clocks, Edith Waterhouse is James's sister. They live together at No. 18 Wilbraham Crescent in Crowdean. She was in the garden at the time a man was believed to have been killed in No. 19 and so did not see him arrive at the house. She did hear or see Miss Pebmarsh of No. 19 come back at about twelve thirty and then leave again at about one-thirty for her afternoon shopping. This time she passed by Edith's front gate. Inspector Hardcastle found this unusual as she would be walking away from Albany Street where the post office and shops were. Perhaps she was heading to the telephone box opposite No. 15.

Miss Waterhouse is described as "tall, angular, and the kind of woman with no nonsense about her who is extremely intolerant of nonsense in others." As Inspector Hardcastle notes, James Waterhouse may be a managing clerk at a firm of solicitors, but his sister spends her spare time managing him. On the day after the discovery of the dead body in No. 19, she dismissed her brother's concern for her safety. She would like to see anyone try to murder her, she declares. Even so, after her brother leaves for work, she takes the precaution of positioning a niblick by the front door.

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