Strong Poison (1930) by Dorothy L. Sayers (read by Ian Carmichael)
As I mention in my previous review of the audio version of the first of Sayers's books to feature Harriet Vane, this is a perennial favorite. I love listening to Ian Carmichael read the story. I love going back to the beginning of his romance with Harriet and the beginnings of the changes and growth in his character. But most delightful for me this time was following the adventures of the minor characters, Miss Climpson and Miss Murchison. It's worth the price of admission to see Blindfold Bill teach Miss Murchison how to pick the lock of a certain deed box:
"Deed-box, that's nuffin'. That ain't no field for a man's skill. Robbin' the kids' money-box, that's what it is with they trumpery little locks. There ain't a deed-box in this 'ere city wot I couldn't open blindfold in boxing gloves with a stick of boiled macaroni."
"I know Bill; but it isn't you who's got to do it. Can you teach the lady how to work it?"
And, course Miss Climpson (with her CAPITALS and italicized letters to Lord Peter) describing her adventures through the tricks of fake table-turning and ouija board manipulation to find the will of an old lady--the contents of which may just hold the answer to who really murdered Philip Boyes, since we jolly well know that Harriet Vane didn't. Her details on the behind-the-scenes in the jury room are also most exciting.
I hope I never get tired of the Lord Peter Wimsey books. The language is so rich and delightful; it never seems to lose its flavor, no matter how many times I read them or listen to the audio novels. And I always feel like I'm visiting with old friends when I sit down and sink into one of the stories. ★★★★★
First line: There were crimson roses on the bench; they looked like splashes of blood.
Last line: "If she'll have me," said Lord Peter Wimsey.
Deaths = one poisoned