Bookish selfie…

A snapshot of my reading week in quotes…

….Lanching handed her the Express. The story had made the front page, but more than half-way down. Birdie wrinkled her nose, then gave Grail a pitying look. ‘You poor darling. Below the fold.’
….The account began:

….Burley Glaswegian Charlie Hockley – His Worship to the 14,482 inhabitants of this quiet little market town – today threw to the floor of his Mayor’s Parlour one of the ceremonial white kid gloves that go with his office. The Chief Citizen of Flaxborough was issuing a challenge to a duel – probably the first public ‘calling out’ in this country for more than a century.
….For Mayor Hockley believes that his township has been grossly libelled by a recent article in a Sunday newspaper (not the Sunday Express) and considers it his duty on behalf of his fellow citizens to challenge the journalist responsible and demand ‘satisfaction’. . .
….The mayor is widely believed to have been promised the loan of a pair of authentic duelling pistols together with lessons in their use.
….The man named by Mayor Hockley in his challenge, London columnist Clive Grail, was last night not available for comment.

* * * * *

….In the Rhodian room of the Colossus restaurant in Holborn one long and three shorter tables were set in the form of a capital “E”, and round them were gathered some fifty men and women ranging in age from an exceedingly venerable party with a white beard, who was sleeping fitfully at one end of the top table, down to three young gentlemen of fifteen plus (of a type normally described in police reports as “youths”) who had collected at a point furthest from the eye of the chairman and were engaged in a game of blow-football with rolled-up menus and a battered grape.
….Miss Mildmay looked up as a bread pellet struck her on the cheek and remarked in a clear voice: “If you hit me again with one of those things, John Cove, I shan’t type any more of your private letters for you in office hours.”

* * * * *

….“We will demand of the King,” said Sir Louis Lundin, “my advice being taken, that the body of our murdered fellow citizen be transported into the High Church of St. John, and suitable masses said for the benefit of his soul and for the discovery of his foul murder. Meantime, we shall obtain an order that Sir John Ramorny give up a list of such of his household as were in Perth in the course of the night between Fastern’s Eve and this Ash Wednesday, and become bound to present them on a certain day and hour, to be early named, in the High Church of St. John, there one by one to pass before the bier of our murdered fellow citizen, and in the form prescribed to call upon God and His saints to bear witness that he is innocent of the acting, art or part, of the murder. And credit me, as has been indeed proved by numerous instances, that, if the murderer shall endeavour to shroud himself by making such an appeal, the antipathy which subsists between the dead body and the hand which dealt the fatal blow that divorced it from the soul will awaken some imperfect life, under the influence of which the veins of the dead man will pour forth at the fatal wounds the blood which has been so long stagnant in the veins.”

* * * * *

….‘Two young adventurers for hire. Willing to do anything, go anywhere. Pay must be good. No unreasonable offer refused.’ How would that strike you if you read it?”
….“It would strike me as either being a hoax, or else written by a lunatic.”
….“It’s not half so insane as a thing I read this morning beginning ‘Petunia’ and signed ‘Best Boy.’” She tore out the leaf and handed it to Tommy. “There you are. Times, I think. Reply to Box so-and-so. I expect it will be about five shillings. Here’s half a crown for my share.”
….Tommy was holding the paper thoughtfully. His face burned a deeper red.
….“Shall we really try it?” he said at last. “Shall we, Tuppence? Just for the fun of the thing?”
….“Tommy, you’re a sport! I knew you would be! Let’s drink to success.” She poured some cold dregs of tea into the two cups.
….“Here’s to our joint venture, and may it prosper!”
….“The Young Adventurers, Ltd.!” responded Tommy.

* * * * *

I sat in the last row of the public benches. Despite its importance, the Court of Appeal was held in a small room, and it was packed. The court reporters were choosy about which cases they covered but this one was a guaranteed front-page splash. A murderer was always news. A murderer of women was even better, especially if the women were beautiful, especially if they had everything to live for, especially if they met a horrible end at the hands of a perverted stranger. But best of all was a gruesome series of murders combined with a miscarriage of justice. That was a story that had everything.

* * * * *

Hmm… crime week, it seems!
So… are you tempted?

26 thoughts on “Bookish selfie…

  1. You can’t go far wrong with Jane Casey and Agatha Christie, FictionFan! The Casey really does sound good, and I hope you’re enjoying it. Oh, and you have Smallbone Deceased, too! Yes, I’d say you’re having a criminally good reading/listening week.

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    • The Casey is going very well – should finish it tonight! And I thoroughly enjoyed Smallbone Deceased – the BL are either getting better at choosing which books to republish, or else my brain is getting more in tune with vintage crime, but I’m finding them more consistently good now than at the start of the series. Yes, a great week’s reading, this week, happily… 😀

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  2. The books by Colin, Agatha, and Jane for sure! As for Smallbone, I’m hoping Miss Mildmay goes ballistic and starts hitting people with her typewriter, rather than continuing to type letters while being pelted.

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    • Hahaha – the women in Smallbone Deceased have a lot to contend with from the young (male) lawyers but I reckon they give as good as they get… 😉 Yep, it’s been a good week for crime in the FF household!

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  3. Ooh, a Tommy and Tuppence mystery — can’t go wrong with one of those, FF! That’s one I haven’t read so I might have to see if I can find a copy, too. The blurb from Cruel Acts sounds intriguing, but I’d need to learn more before committing.

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    • This is the very first Tommy and Tuppence book when they’re very young and it’s a lot of fun. It’s years since I read it too, so happily I don’t remember what happens! Cruel Acts is excellent so far, but then I always love Jane Casey’s books. Should be finishing and reviewing it soon… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m tempted by several, of course, but not taking the bait! I’m currently immersed in my own crime novel which is keeping me busy enough. 😉

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    • Yeah, I didn’t really plan it – it just seemed to happen! But they’ve all been great reads so I’m not complaining. Hugh Fraser – Hastings from the TV series – is narrating this one, and he’s perfect for them… 😀

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