November 14, 2017
Last week, I put up perhaps my favorite Cocktail Talk
of all time – or darn close! It’s so good (you’ve read it right? If not, get you there
), that I figured it’d be the only quote here from Colin Dexter’s sixth Inspector Morse book, The Riddle of the Third Mile
. But then I remembered (much like Morse remembering another obscure fact) that there was a second quote, also amazing. Not quite as amazing, but darn good, and has such a sweet phrase for what I’m thinking is more-or-less (Morse-or-less) a Martini. Check it out:
‘What’ll it be, Morse? No beer, I’m afraid but gin and tonic, gin and French?’
‘Gin and French-lovely!’ Morse reached over and took a cigarette from the well-stocked open box on the table.
The Master beamed in avuncular fashion as he poured his mixtures with a practiced hand.
— Colin Dexter, The Riddle of the Third Mile
November 7, 2017
Funny enough (in the curious meaning of the word), though I’m a serious devotee of the television shows Lewis and Endeavor, and a little-less-but-still-enthusiastic about the show they come out of, Inspector Morse, even with all that, I haven’t read much of the original books by Colin Dexter that inspired them all. For no good reason! Lately, though, I’ve caught up on my Morse reading, a bit at least. Including reading The Riddle of the Third Mile, the sixth in the series, and in typical fashion it’s clever, smart, fun, and driven by the personalities of Morse and his sergeant Lewis. There are corpses, pints, Oxford, puzzles, and all the goods, including an intriguing drink menu (!) when one character stops at a naughty club in London. Check out this line-up (I never knew Cointreau was an aphrodisiac. And pulse-quickening Campari!):
She made a note on the pad she held. ‘Would you like me to sit with you?’
‘Yes, I would.’
‘You’d have to buy me a drink.’
She pointed to the very bottom of the card:
• Flamenco Revenge – a marriage of green-eyed Chartreuse with aphrodisiac Cointreau.
• Soho Wallbanger – a dramatic confrontation of voluptuous Vodka with a tantalizing taste of Tia Maria.
• Eastern Ecstasy – an irresistible alchemy of rejuvenating Gin and pulse-quickening Campari.
–Colin Dexter, The Riddle of the Third Mile
September 18, 2012
So, here’s a kind of a funny story about British TV and this set of quotes. Randomly, when I was living in Italy (which, as an aside, did not suck. It was, between us, as far from sucking as possible), I watched a fair bit of British TV, including some shows on the Alibi Channel. Those who know me (like you) know I like the mysteries of all types, so no surprise. One show I caught and got hooked on was called Lewis. It’s about a sort-of everyman police detective and his literary-minded sergeant solving crimes in Oxford. It’s literate without being nose-turned-uppity, serious but funny, lovely and reverent towards the city. And the murders are good, too. Anyway, I didn’t know at first but it’s a spin-off of a long running British hit, the Inspector Morse mysteries, in which Lewis is the sergeant and the very literary (and booze-and-lady-lovin’) Morse is the main man. These shows started out based on a series of books by a guy named Colin Dexter, and I just picked up and read my first one, The Dead of Jericho. And that’s where these quotes are from (oh, it’s a dandy read, too).
Yes several time already, in the hour or so that followed the brisk, perfunctory ‘hullos’ of their introduction, their eyes had met across the room—and held. And it was after his third glass of slightly superior red plonk that he managed to break award from small circle of semi-acquaintances with whom he’d so far been standing.
. . .yet others lift their eyes to read the legend on a local inn: ‘Tarry ye at Jericho until your beard’s be grown.’ But the majority of the area’s inhabitants would just look blankly at their interlocutors, as if they had been asked such obviously unanswerable questions as why it was that men were born, or why they should live or die, and fall in love with booze or women.
–Colin Dexter, The Dead of Jericho