was (Past Simple) vs. had been (Past Perfect)
6. Murder at the old farm
Marilyn walked along Balmoral Avenue. All the houses were the same. They had all been built two years before. She walked round the corner into Osborne Way. There was one older house at the end of Osborne Way. It had been there before the estate was built. An old man was working in the garden.
'Good evening,' said Marilyn.
'Good evening,' he replied. 'It's a lovely evening, isn't it?'
'Yes,' she said. 'Er … have you lived here for a long time?'
'Oh, yes, my dear,' he said. 'I've been living here for thirty years.'
'Do you remember the old farm … the one that used to be here before the estate was built?'
'High Trees Farm? Of course I do. I used to work there.' The old man walked over to her.
'Who lived there?' said Marilyn.
'Why are you interested in High Trees Farm?' he said. You're from one of the new houses, aren't you?'
'Er, yes,' said Marilyn. 'I'm very interested in history … the history of this area.'
'Well, the farm belonged to old Giles Varley. He lived there by himself - since his wife died, that is. He was a strange man. Nobody liked him very much. I didn't. He used to be a very difficult boss, you see. Everything had to be in the right place. “Don't put that on the shelf!” he used to say to me. “Put it in the cupboard!” And the house . . . I've never seen a place as clean and tidy as that house. His wife had always been a very tidy woman, and he wanted to keep the house the same. Yes, poor old Varley.'
Как измениться контекст, если в предложении His wife had always been a very tidy woman past perfect заменить на past simple: His wife was always a very tidy woman?