September 15, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Strong Poison

strong-poisonRecently, as anyone on the street would be happy to tell you (though, perhaps, talking to people on the street isn’t your cuppa, and for that matter, maybe not always a good idea, you know), I’ve had a fair amount of Cocktail Talk posts featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, Dorothy Sayers’s nearly-a-duke detective. Because of that, I’m not going to say any more about him, or her, cause you could just click that link in the last sentence, go read the past posts, and only lose say, .5 calories in the clicking. Whereas if I went into it all again, I’d wear my fingers to the bone. To the bone, I tell you.

Wait, where was I? Oh, right, Strong Poison, where Lord Peter falls in love with a woman (an author, which is what did it – everyone loves authors) who’s been convicted of murder. And he of course has to get her off the dock and into freedom so they can enter the world of bliss known as matrimony. Sweet stuff, outside of the poison. Best of all, there’s a scene with Martell brandy, which I’ll detail in the below quote:

Well, then I see he wasn’t drunk, so I mixed him a double Martell with just a splash of soda and he gulps it down, and says, ‘That’s better.’ And the other gentleman puts his arm round him and helps him to a seat. There was a good many other people in the bar, but they didn’t notice much, being full of the racing news.

–Dorothy Sayers, Strong Poison

August 18, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Busman’s Honeymoon

busmansLast week, we had a little Cocktail Talking from the Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey book Whose Body?, and there I mentioned the four-pack of Lord Peter I’d picked up. Wait, what’s that you say? You missed that? Well, go read it now.

Welcome back! This week, we’re on to Busman’s Honeymoon, when Lord Peter and his new wife find a body, naturally, in the house they’ve picked up for their honeymoon. Bodies everywhere! And, as usual, my Lord’s wondrous butler, Bunter, is around, helping out, taking photos, and bringing the drinks. Which at one point leads to a little fun talk about sherry. Though I’m not sure I agree about these cocktails he mentions.

‘Sherry,’ he said, pleasantly, ‘had always appeared to me a most agreeable wine. I was so glad to read in the newspaper that it was coming into its own again. Madeira, too. They tell me that both sherry and madeira are returning to favour in London. And in the Universities. That is a very reassuring sign. I cannot think that these modern cocktails can be either healthful or palatable.

— Dorothy Sayers, Busman’s Honeymoon

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August 11, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Whose Body?

whosebodyI picked up a box set of Dorothy Sayers not long ago, a four-pack of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, and it’s been fun. I can’t plow through a bunch of Lord Peters in a row, due to there being a bit too much French in some of them (hah, I kid). No, no, it’s that, while I like them (and Whose Body? is my favorite of the bunch), I’m not so into them that I wanna read four in a row. You dig it. Whose Body? does start with a naked, unknown, body in a bathtub, and takes some interesting turns, so I can heartily recommend it. Especially because of the below quote, that reminds us what being gentlemanly means.

One of the young ladies came up to me and said, didn’t I dance, and I said ‘No,’ so she said wouldn’t I stand her a drink then. ‘You’ll stand us a drink then, darling,’ that was what she said, and I said, ‘Wasn’t it after hours?’ and she said that didn’t matter. So I ordered the drink – a gin and bitters it was – for I didn’t like not to, the young lady seemed to expect it of me, and I felt like it wouldn’t be gentlemanly to refuse when she asked.

–Dorothy Sayers, Whose Body?

August 6, 2010

Cocktail Talk: The Queen’s Square (Or, Another View on Young People I’ve Come to Agree With)

Dorothy Sayers isn’t an author I’ve read a lot of, even though she’s a mystery grande dame, whatever that means. I think it’s cause I don’t like her name (well, honesty hurts), or that having a love for one English drawing room mystery writer is enough (and I’m a Christy guy). All of which is stupid, cause not only have I enjoyed the few stories of hers that I’ve read, but she also wrote the poems, translated the divine Divine Commedia, was a generally nice lady, and her most well-known sleuth’s name is Lord Peter Wimsey. Lord Peter Wimsey is a fantastic name. So, Dorothy, here’s to me finally taking the plunge with you in a larger way, starting with this quote from her story “The Queen’s Square,” a quote I give to you cause it’s about gin and the youth of today (or everyday) who can’t get enough of that juniper stuff.


“You could,” retorted the old lady, “if you looked after your stomach and your morals. Here comes Frank Bellingham–looking for a drink, no doubt. Young people today seem to be positively pickled in gin.”


–Dorothy L. Sayers, “The Queen’s Square”

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