It’s been just over two years (what a two years though!) since I last posted my only-other-so-far Cocktail Talk from Cyril Hare, the early-to-mid-last-century English writer and judge – be sure to read that When the Wind Blows Cocktail Talk to discover his real name! – who was known for his subtle humor, classic stylings, and draw-you-in-mysteries. I just picked up, as I slowly find more and more of his work, Untimely Death, which starts on a vacation to Exmoor, and picks up his sometimes-used Inspector Mallett (retired here) along the way. There evocative landscape and character description, a murder (‘natch) that isn’t solved until the last chapter, twists, turns, and memorable characters. You’ll like it! Especially if you like sherry (and surely you must), as it’s a book that should be sherry accompanied – both when reading the below quote, and the rest of the book.
“I’ve been having a chat with the Detective Inspector,” he said. “Luckily we’re on fairly good terms.” He filled three glasses with sherry and handed them round. “Inquest’s on Thursday, it seems. At Polton. Your very good healths, sir and madam.”
The sherry was of a quality to command Pettigrew’s respect, but for the moment his mind was on lower things.
“What else did he tell you?” he asked.
–Cyril Hare, Untimely Death