“Without mysteries, life would be dull indeed. What would be left to strive for if everything were known?” — Charles de Lint
Which Is Why I Enjoy Bird Watching
“My detective story begins brightly, with a fat lady found dead in her bath with nothing on but her pince-nez. Now why did she wear a pince-nez in her bath? If you can guess, you will be in a position to lay hands upon the murderer, but he’s a very cool and cunning fellow…” – wrote Dorothy Sayers as she plotted her first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery in the early 1920s.
When the book, “Whose Body” came out in 1923, the naked victim was male, but the pince-nez clue was still there. Many Lord Peter Wimsey books followed. I think I’ve read them all.
Along with writing the Wimsey mysteries, which like Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple books, continue to be popular today, Sayers was a poet, playwright and advertising writer.
One of the latter efforts included a toucan jingle for Guinness Beer: “If he can say as you can. Guinness is good for you. How grand to be a Toucan. Just think what Toucan do?”
This same kind of humor continues in the Wimsey mysteries, which is consistent with the character’s name-play on the word whimsy.
The joy of reading Dorothy Sayers’ mysteries for me is that it is all about figuring out whodunit before the killer is revealed.
It’s sort of the same with bird watching. You have to read all the clues – profile, coloring, beak size, and a jillion other field marks – if you want to make an identification before the bird flies away.
Bean’s Pat: She’s a Maineaic http://tinyurl.com/psgwdqx Einstein said what about anger?