Cocktail Talk: The Scent of Murder
Though this book was eventually (and is, I suppose) better known as The Gracie Allen Murder Case, and made into a movie of the same name (starring, wouldn’t cha know, Gracie Allen), I love it that my copy is still called The Scent of Murder. Called such because at least three characters work in a perfume factory. I also love that the crime solver is named Philo Vance (played in the movies of course by William Powell, who plays a cocktailing and high class mystery solver better than anyone), and that he’s a bit of a dandy, though tough, too, but with a thoroughly rich, East-Coast-or-English, knows-his-wines-and-colorful-waistcoats-way about him. Really, though people die, this is a somewhat lightly and bubbly read. All that alone would lead to me wanting to drop this quote down for you. However, the real reason is that I think it should inspire you to sip some Chartreuse this weekend (I can’t think of better advice to give).
We had finished our coffee and were sipping our Chartreuse when Sergent Heath, looking grim and bewildered, appeared at the door leading from the main dining room to the veranda, and strode quickly to our table.
–S.S. Van Dine, The Scent of Murder
If only my name were Philo. I’d be way cooler. Also, “looking grim and bewildered” describes, perfectly, my three-year-old daughter when she wakes up in the morning.
Hah, whatever. You have the cutest daughter in the world, so I can imagine bewildered but grim? And I’m calling you philo from now on. Just be sure to come back with some witticisms and cognac.