Tuesday, February 14, 2017

TNB Love (& Murder!) in Bloom: Mysterious Wisdom on Love & Marriage & Other Related Subjects

February is the month of love--what with Valentine's Day on the 14th and all. So, it's no surprise that the Tuesday Night Bloggers have decided to focus on Love (& Murder) and whatever comes to mind when we think of those things during this shortest of months. Brad over at Ah Sweet Mystery Blog is our host this month and I'm quite sure I saw him go by with a bouquet of sweetheart roses with a tag that said "To My Dearest Agatha" on it. I'm also fairly certain that malteds (with straws for two) and heart-shaped sugar cookies are replacing our usual tea and scones as we gather round the table. So...if you've got a mystery with romance (or a romance with mystery) that you'd like to share or some thoughts on the evil that men and women do in the name of love, then pull up chair, grab a sugar cookie, and tell us all about it.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men...and bloggers. Well, my plans for this week's TNB post have gone awry. So...in honor of Valentine's Day, I give you tidbits on love and marriage that I have picked up from authors in the mystery field and their characters.

You know what we say about marriage.  We say it’s like the kitchen clock.  If it goes better lying on its side or even standing on its head, leave it alone.  As long as it ticks and keeps time, keep your hands out of the works.
                                                Chief Inspector Luke
                                                The Estate of the Beckoning Lady
                                                —Margery Allingham

I envy those women who just love normally and nobly with their bodies. Then they’re only engulfed by a sort of lovely high tragedy. The hero persists. That’s at least decent. Once you cultivate your mind you lay yourself open to low tragedy, the mingy, dirty little tragedy of making an ass of yourself over an ordinary poor little bloke.

The Fashion in Shrouds
— Allingham

Oh, Albert, my dear good ape, do try and understand.  You’re a sensible, reasonable, masculine soul.  If you fell in love and something went wrong you’d think it all out like a little gent and think it all quietly away, taking the conventional view and the intelligent path and saving yourself no end of bother because your head plus your training is much stronger than all your emotions put together.  You’re a civilised masculine product. 

Valentine to Campion
The Fashion in Shrouds
— Allingham
Mr. Suzman had been a notable womanizer in his time, and his time was not yet up.
                                                A Hovering of Vultures
                                                —Robert Barnard

Her glass was empty again, and it needed refilling, as did her heart.  She knew he could refill her glass, but in the matter of the heart, his credentials were questionable.
                                                The Bette Davis Murder Case
                                                —George Baxt

“Men are so odd when they’re in love,” she reflected.  “They seem to think that the very act of being in love gives them certain proprietary rights; certainly the right to be jealous.  At least they don’t actually think it, because they can’t think at all when they’re in that state, poor dears.”
                                                Jean Norwood
                                                Trial and Error
                                                —Anthony Berkley

He was the sort of person who makes you supremely interesting to yourself—only a great man can do that, or your lover….
                                                Georgia Cavendish
                                                Thou Shell of Death
                                                —Nicholas Blake

This woman has lived with Angus Campbell for forty years.  She knows him inside out.  She sees through him with that almost morbid clarity that our womenfolk exhibit in dealing with our vagaries and our stupidities.  It doesn’t take her long to understand where the hanky-panky lies.
                                                Dr. Gideon Fell
                                                The Case of the Constant Suicides
                                                —John Dickson Carr

…he realized that the very sight of this girl had made him want to reach for a cocktail; some women have that effect.  Such glamour must have attended all the great sirens of the ages.  In its absence there are unfulfilled romances. If, when Dante met Beatrice that famous time on what’s-its-name bridge, Beatrice had smiled at him and whispered, “Look here, I could do with a slug of Chianti,” then the poor sap would have tried to find out her address and telephone number instead of merely going home and grousing about it in an epic.
                                                The Eight of Swords

Never confide in a woman. If she lo—likes you, she’ll never give you away. But she’ll do some tomfool thing trying to help. Then you’re for it.
                                                Larry Hurst
                                                The Nine Wrong Answers

…it is one of the great consolations of nature that a man, however unattractive, will find that he is attractive—even what appears to be madly attractive—to some woman.
                                                Hercule Poirot
                                                Hallowe’en Party
                                                —Agatha Christie

And after all, Edward had never told her that he loved her.  Affection, kindliness, he had never pretended to more than that.  She had accepted the limitation, and not until she had realized what it would mean to live at close quarters with an Edward whose mind and heart had Henrietta as a permanent quest, did she know that for her Edward’s affection was not enough.
                                                The Hollow

Let Edward love Henrietta as an intangible and unpossessable dream.  It was warmth, permanence, stability that was his real need.  It was daily companionship and love and laughter at Ainswick.
   She thought, “What Edward needs is someone to light a fire on his hearth—and I am the person to do that.

I wonder if husbands know as much about their wives as they think they do.  If I had a husband, I should hate him to bring home orphans without consulting me first.
                                                The Man in the Brown Suit

…men never understood how difficult it was to resist a flirtation at times, especially with an old flame, although it meant absolutely nothing at all.
                                                Dancing with Death
                                                —Joan Coggin

But, you know, quite a lot of people are happily married, only you don’t hear so much about them as you do about the unhappy ones. They don’t put it in the papers when people are happy together, only when they are not.
                                                Lady Lupin

Apart from anything else, a little enforced abstinence makes the eventual impact much more violent and exciting…
                                                The Headmaster
                                                Love Lies Bleeding
                                                —Edmund Crispin

H: As I said before, you must not make assignations with young women.
JHW: No, sir.
H: Nor must you, on leaving this room, go round complaining about obscurantist repression of wholesale desires….God forbid that you should be permanently celibate.  But the term lasts only twelve weeks, and if you can’t abstain from the opposite sex for that length of time without suffering psychological damage, then your brain is an altogether feebler instrument than I’ve hitherto believed.
                                                The Headmaster, J. H. Williams

     “You’d like some beer,” she [Daphne Savage] stated unarguably, and Fen at once conceived a high opinion of her intelligence….

     “There are few young women,” he observed dreamily, “who know that one wants beer, and that one wants good beer, and that one wants it in a pint glass.  I envy the man who marries you.”

PR: …I wish you felt the way I do about Peter.
MD [GF]: For the way you feel about him there’s a sound biological reason from which I’m luckily exempt.
                                                Penelope Rolt, Mr. Datcherly [Gervase Fen]
                                                The Long Divorce

Thin and dark, with that certain indefinable air of bookishness that she had always found appealing….
                                                Dreaming of the Bones (146)
                                                —Deborah Crombie
[about relationships]
Men aren’t very good at working things out for themselves, you know.  Sometimes you have to give them a prod.
                                                Rosemary Kincaid
                                                —Crombie (252)

…suddenly Kate felt a surge of love for him [Reed], his honesty, his reasonableness: the fact that he cared rather than wanted to argue about it.
                                                An Imperfect Spy
                                                —Amanda Cross

You want adventure.  I want it too….But the truth is, my dear Kate, marrying you and living with you was, or so it seemed to me, all the adventure that I needed.

My dear, I don’t want to be taken care of, and I can’t say that your angelic qualities are the ones which, above all others, have overwhelmed me.  Couldn’t we share a world and a certain amount of time?
                                                Reed Amhearst
                                                The James Joyce Murder

I had other things on my mind on the hills, as I have now.  England was chiefly notable for the fact that you were not there.

KF: Do you think the sign of a happy marriage is the knowledge of when the other is ready to talk?
RA: I think it’s more the sign of friendship, to be honest.  Occasionally, married people are friends.
                                                Kate Fansler, Reed Amhearst
                                                 No Word from Winifred

I don’t believe any relationship can succeed that doesn’t offer both partners solitude and independence as a matter of course.
                                                Sweet Death, Kind Death (61)
                                                —Cross (63)

“Oh, go along home with you!  There’s a beautiful girl waiting for you with dinner, and a few other things, I imagine.  And don’t look so shocked.  I’ve heard of sex.  Ask Alan.”
   I was able to get out the door on the strength of that astounding idea.  I don’t know why the young always think they invented it.  Where did they think they came from?
                                                Dorothy Martin
                                                The Victim in Victoria Station (75)
                                                —Jeanne M. Dams

There's a light in a woman's eyes that speaks louder than words.
                                                The Hound of the Baskervilles
                                                —Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.

Woman’s heart and mind are insoluble puzzles to the male.
                                                Sherlock Holmes
                                                “The Illustrious Client”

How she got anyone to marry her—let alone an earl—beats me.  She had all the sex appeal of golf clubs.
                                                Baroness “Jack” Troutbeck
                                                Carnage on the Committee
                                                —Ruth Dudley Edwards

Maybe you new men are immune to this, but in my day, someone telling you you were God and could do anything went a long way.
                                                Ralph Babcock

I shouldn’t have thought Henry could do the necessary. However, there’s no doubt that sex is a department that is always full of surprises.  The most unlikely people are at it, at the most unlikely ages, in the most unlikely condition….
                                                Robert Amiss
                                                Publish & Be Murdered

RW: I’ve always found him very pleasant and considerate.
IW: So are a lot of con men, aren’t they?  I believe they make excellent husbands.
                                                Ruth Winter, Ingrid Winter
                                                The Pretty Pink Shroud (25)
                                                —E. X. Ferrars

MB: Those were the days of courtship. Everything he did was nice.
PM: Go on.
MB: I don’t know how to describe it. You get starry-eyed and every minute that you’re with a man is just like heaven. Then you marry him, and in place of being happy you find that you’re terribly fed up with the whole thing. The glamour vanishes, and you see the man as a very ordinary individual.
                                                Mrs. Blevins; Perry Mason
                                                The Case of the Grinning Gorilla (173)
                                                —Erle Stanley Gardner

But no dispute now ensued.  As with many happy married couples, neither probably paid much attention to what the other said.
                                                Death by Water
                                                —Michael Innes

…certainly falling in love is irrational, and love itself is impersonal—impersonal even though in no other human relationship is it so certain that one particular individual is utterly indispensable and another just as utterly out of court.
                                                What Happened at Hazelwood?

Lovers give themselves away.  Even if they are sitting across a room from each other.
                                                The Tenth Life (61)
                                                —R Lockridge

Humanity was frequently exasperating; particularly humanity in love.
                                                Death of a Tall Man
                                                —Frances & Richard Lockridge

Darling.  Is it all right if I love you very much?
                                                Susan Heimrich
                                                With One Stone
                                                —F & R Lockridge

Isn’t he ever going to learn?  Learn that if there isn’t enough me to take care of myself, there isn’t enough me to matter—not enough me to love, to be loved?  That it takes two for this—not one and a fraction; not one and something that breaks if you drop it?

He stooped, took her face between his hands, and kissed her hard on the mouth.  He felt her come to life beneath his lips.  Then he let her go.
   “And don’t think I shall ask you to forgive me,” he said.  “…I’m your man and you know it….When I kissed you just then you seemed to meet me like a flame.  Could I have imagined it?”
   “It was as if you shouted with your whole body that you loved me.  How can I not be arrogant?”
   “How can I not be shaken?”
                                                Roderick Alleyn, Agatha Troy
                                                Death in a White Tie
                                                —Ngaio Marsh

It is a neo-Freudian myth that the best way to learn a foreign language is in bed. Whatever the origin of human speech, it was not sexual, for making love is one of the few social situations where words are totally unnecessary.
A Question of Time
—Helen McCloy

He felt very talkative, as most older men do when a young girl looks as delightfully listenable as Titania.
                                                The Haunted Bookshop 
                                                —Christopher Morley

After a certain number of years I doubt if many men do notice their wives’ appearance very often, unless someone else draws their attention to it.
                                                Tessa Crichton
                                                Dead on Cue
                                                —Anne Morice  

She thought, I’m a fool, but Daniel hurt, in trouble, touches my heart and always will. You couldn’t get over the tenderness you had for someone you had loved deeply, even if the love itself was gone.
                                                Compartment K
                                                —Helen Reilly

A man who marries again doesn’t deserve to lose his first wife.
                                                A Guilty Thing Surprised
                                                —Ruth Rendell

Wexford was a modest man with a humble idea of his own attractions in so far as he ever thought about them.  To his own wife he seemed to be unfailingly attractive after 30 years of marriage, but this was something to be thankful for and dismissed rather than speculated about.
                                                Speaker of Mandarin
                                                —Ruth Rendell

Dora was there to meet him on the platform at Kowbon Station.  She had missed her husband and guessed he had missed her but they had been married, after all, for more than 30 years and so she was a little surprised by the ardour of his embrace.

Bad enough to make mistakes, without going ahead and marrying them.
                                                Dennis Dennis
                                                My Kingdom for a Hearse
                                                —Craig Rice
            Almost all women, I have found, although not overconscious themselves of the charm and attraction of their husbands, are of the conviction that these husbands exert a dangerous fascination over other women, and that this charm, which does not reveal itself in the home circle, is used abroad with occasionally disastrous effects.
                                                “Sight Unseen” in
                                                The Confession and Sight Unseen
                                                —Mary Roberts Rinehart
H:  All my life I have been wandering in the dark—but now I have found your
     heart—and am satisfied.
P:  And what do all the great words come to in the end, but that?—I love you—I
     am at rest with you—I have come home.
                                                Harriet and Peter Wimsey
                                                Busman’s Honeymoon
                                                —Dorothy L Sayers

HV: I suppose one oughtn’t to marry anybody, unless one’s prepared to make him a full-time job.
MdV: I suppose not; though there are a few rare people, I believe, who don’t look on themselves as jobs but as fellow-creatures.
                                                Harriet Vane, Miss de Vine
                                                Gaudy Night
                                                —Dorothy L Sayers

You have had the luck to come up against a very unselfish and very honest man.  He has done what you asked him without caring what it cost him and without shirking the issue.
                                                Miss de Vine
                                                Gaudy Night

But when you have come to a conclusion about all this, will you remember that it was I who asked you to take a dispassionate view, and I who told you that of all the devils let loose in the world there was no devil like devoted love….I don’t mean passion.  Passion is a good stupid brute that will pull the plough six days a week if you give him the run of his heels on Sundays.  But love’s a nervous, over-mastering brute, if you can’t rein him, it’s best to have no truck with him.
                                                Lord Peter Wimsey to Harriet Vane
I do know that the worst sin—perhaps the only sin—passion can commit is to be joyless.  It must lie down with laughter or make its bed in hell—there is no middle way.  Don’t, for God’s sake, ever think you owe me anything.  If I can’t have the real thing, I can make do with imitation.  But I will not have surrenders or crucifixions….If you have come to feel any kindness for me at all, tell me you would never make me that offer again.

P: Harriet, you know that I love you: will you marry me?
H: Tell me one thing, Peter, will it make you desperately unhappy if I say no?
P: Desperately?…My dear, I will not insult either you or myself with a word like that.  I can only tell you that if you will marry me it will give me very great happiness.
                                                Peter, Harriet

(On why he would want to marry Harriet)
Why? Oh well—I thought you’d be rather an attractive person to marry.  That’s all.  I mean, I sort of took a fancy to you.  I can’t tell you why.  There’s no rule about it, you know.
                                                Lord Peter Wimsey
                                                Strong Poison

H: …by the way, you’re bearing in mind, aren’t you, that I’ve had a lover?
P: Oh, yes.  So have I, if it comes to that.  In fact, several.  It’s the sort of thing that might happen to anybody.  I can produce quite good testimonials.  I’m told that I make love rather nicely—only I’m at a disadvantage at the moment.  One can’t be very convincing at the other end of a table with a bloke looking in at the door.           
                                                Harriet, Peter

Women do want romance in their lives, and there is so little of it about.
                                                The Documents in the Case
                                                —Dorothy L. Sayers & Robert Eustace

Dearest, do you really want to be married to the sort of unsatisfactory bloke I am?  It is extraordinarily brave and dear of you.  You will have a devil of a time.  I want to warn you now that when I say I want you to keep your independence and exquisite detachment, I don’t mean it.  I shall try to mould you into a mirror of myself, fatally and inevitably.  When I say I am not jealous either of your work or your friends, I am lying.  When I promise to look at things from your point of view, I am promising what I cannot perform.  When I declare myself ready to discuss everything fully and freely and have a situation mette, I am pretending to be more honest than a man ever is or can be.  I shall be reticent, inconsistent, selfish, and jealous.  I shall put my interests before yours, and the slightest suggestion that I should put myself out to give you peace and quietness to work in will wound my self-importance.  I know it.  I shall pretend to give you your freedom, and make such an unholy martyr of myself that you will take up your chains for the sake of a quiet life.  You will end by hating me, and leave me for some scamp of a fellow who knows how to handle women.  And you will be quite right from your point of view.  I have been trying to look honestly into the thing, and I want to warn you.  You think I am “different,” but I am not.

To keep a husband you have to let him be a little wild sometimes.
                                                Emily Bryce
                                                Glass on the Stairs
                                                —Margaret Scherf
Most of the joy of being in love with a pretty woman is the envy we arouse in all our intimates.
                                                Death Under Sail
                                                —C. P. Snow 
…for almost anybody it is just the most difficult thing in the world to realize that someone you love is not in love with you.  With the most honest of people, the feats of self-deception that can be performed are quite amazing.
…Sam never got over loving Margarita. I don’t hold that to his credit. I see no more virtue in keeping on loving a person who has proved unworthy than I see in hating a person who has turned out to be blameless, or in continuing to do any other unreasonable thing.
                                                The Desert Moon Mystery
                                                —Kay Cleaver Strahan
If there is anything that will make two people duller to all other people than being engaged to each other, I am sure I don’t know what it is.

Love, though, mercy knows, I know little enough about it, can’t be measured with a pint cup like flour.
                                                Mrs. Magin

Ever notice how it’s all the time the best-lookin’ an’ the ugliest that cause the most trouble.  Give me a medium good-looker any day.  They don’t go around confusin’ things.
                                                Asey Mayo
                                                Death Lights a Candle
                                                —Phoebe Atwood Taylor

They stood still for a moment. There was at once too much and too little to say, and none of it could be said within earshot of half the village streaming home.
                                                The Key
                                                —Patricia Wentworth

If men knew how very foolish they appear when they allow a silly young woman to twist them round her little finger, it would at any rate preserve them from exposing themselves to ridicule in company.
                                                Miss Doncaster

Eliza, ejecting a queen wasp from a honey pot, remarked with a rasp in her voice that, insects or men, it was all one when there was honey about, they were bound to trap themselves no matter what came of it.
                                                Through the Wall (59)


Peggy Ann said...

That was a lot of fun, Bev! Happy Valentines!
I moved my blog to Wordpress so you won't see Peggy Ann's Post anymore it will be Peggy's Porch.

Jacquie said...

These are great, Bev! Thanks so much for the compilation. No wonder my favorite Valentines are mysteries!

Clothes In Books said...

What a great idea for a love post, and what a wonderful collection. After all, where better place than crime stories for advice on love and happy marriages....??!!