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Dustin LindenSmith

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Mystery excerpt

I'm reading a book by the excellent mystery author P. D. James called A Taste For Death, the central character of which is her famous detective, Commander Dalgliesh. Apart from her well-constructed plots, I really enjoy reading some of her dialogue. It's all terribly British, and often entertaining. Take this excerpt, from an interview conducted by Dalgliesh with a former colleague of a former Member of Parliament who has mysteriously turned up dead, ostensibly by suicide. Dalgliesh has discovered that only a few days before his death, this Member of Parliament had actually resigned his post, possibly from outright frustration at his own inability to change a system which he abhorred. Dalgliesh wishes to know if his reasons for resigning might be related to why he was killed.

Dalgliesh asked: "Did he explain his reasons? I take it that he did tell you in person, he didn't merely write."

Musgrave answered: "Oh, he saw us all right. Actually deferred writing to the Chancellor until he'd told us. He said that it wouldn't be right for him to continue as our Member. It was time that his life took a different turn. Naturally I asked what he meant by a different turn. 'You're a Member of Parliament,' I said. 'You're not driving a bloody bus.' He said that he didn't know yet. He hadn't been shown. 'Hadn't been shown by whom?' I asked. He said 'God'. Well, there's not much a man can say to that. Nothing like an answer like that for putting a stopper on rational discussion."

I thought that line was clever. Sometimes just the word 'God' can turn people off.

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kumaraka December 17th, 2001
I just watched a Hercules Poirot (Agatha Chrstie's character) mystery movie.

Great stuff.. it felt very British.. I think Agatha Chrstie was british..

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