Special Sub-Topic: Strong Poison
|What was the vocation of Philip Boyes, Harriet Vane's ex lover?|
Writer. Writers and painters feature frequently in Dorothy L Sayer's mysteries, and one of Lord Peter's lady friends, Marjorie Phelps, makes her living as a sculptress. However, musicians appear to be above suspicion as regards their criminal tendencies: though Lord Peter plays the piano and sings madrigals...
|Which members of the jury held up the expected verdict for six and a half hours, and led the foreman of the jury to exclaim "We shall never agree, my lord, not if we was to stay here till Domesday."|
The elderly spinster, the stout sweet shop proprieter and the bearded artist. "One woman and half a woman and about three quarters of a man" according to Lord Peter. The tough thin spinster (who ran Lord Peter's pet charity "My Cattery") was Miss Climpson, who based her decision on the prisoner's demeanour, and would not be moved. She was supported by the sweet shop proprieter (who was ready to vote with the majority until she took a dislike to the foreman's attempt to bully her) and the artist, who thought that Boyes was a conceited prig and anyone who disposed of him was doing a public service!
|When Lord Peter proposed to Harriet in prison, she eyed him remorsefully. How many proposals had she already received from "imbeciles who wanted to marry anyone who was at all notorious"?|
Forty six. Slightly tricky, this answer. His proposal brought the total to forty seven, so she had already received forty six.
|With whom had Philip Boyes been staying at the time when he died?|
His cousin Norman Urquhart. Philip Boyes had moved into his cousin's house after the break up of his affair with Harriet. He did travel to Harlech with his friend Ryland Vaughan, and his health improved during that time, but he returned again to stay with his cousin after that holiday. He had never met his great aunt, and he and his father did not see eye to eye about his morals, so he was hardly welcome at the vicarage in Tweedling Parva.
|In which tea shop in Windle did Miss Climpson strike up a profitable friendship with Mrs Wrayburn's nurse?|
Oriental Cafe. Miss Climpson dismissed the Lyon's tearoom ("plain Lyon's without orchestra or soda fountain") and first of all tried the Central, without success, despite the fact that it was "large, well lighted and melodious". Ye Cosye Corner was opposite the bus stop, and provided a suitable place from which to observe the comings and goings of the town, but it was in the Oriental ("three very small rooms of irregular shape, dimly lit by forty watt bulbs in Japanese shades and further shrouded by bead curtains and draperies") that she ran her quarry to ground.
|Which of these poisons did Harriet NOT purchase in her researches for her latest novel?|
aconitine. "Death in the Pot" by Harriet Vane, which was published by Trufoots, and gallantly completed by the author while she was in Holloway awaiting trial, entailed obtaining poison, to prove how easily the ordinary person could get hold of such substances. She succeeded in obtaining arsenic twice: commercial arsenic to get rid of rats, and arsenical weedkiller. She gave different names for each purchase (Mary Slater and Edith Waters) and co-incidentally the dates of the purchases roughly corresponded to gastric attacks suffered by Philip Boyes. She also obtained strychnine and prussic acid (the latter ostensibly for photographic purposes). However her attempt to obtain aconitine was not successful.
|Bill Rumm, one of Lord Peter's more unusual acquantainces, provided Miss Murchison with useful tips on breaking into a locked deed box. However, what was the alluring supper which Mrs Rumm provided for her visitors after the service and the instruction session?|
Trotters and cheese. "Eight beautiful trotters they is, and with a bit of cheese they'll go round easy"... yum yum!
|Which poetry book, together with Dixon Mann's "Forensic Medicine" and the "Trial of Florence Maybrick" helped provide Lord Peter with the murderer's identity?|
A E Housman "A Shropshire Lad". In "Terence, this is stupid stuff" (A Shropshire Lad)
"There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all that sprang to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white's their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
-- I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old."
|Miss Climpson sets up a seance to find out where Mrs Wrayburn has hidden her will, using a control called Pongo. At the end of the sitting the alleged location is given an initial letter "because it opened up a particularly wide field of search." What was the initial letter chosen by Miss Climpson?|
B. The letter was B. "By a little ingenuity, that useful letter could be twisted to fit almost any hiding place in the house. The things that were neither bureaux, beds, bags, boxes, baskets nor bibelot tables could usually be descibed as big, black, brown or buhl, or at a pinch as bedroom or boudoir furniture ..." In the end the combination to the safe was found in a "black book", so everything turned out for the best! Nice one, Miss Climpson!
|The roses on the judge's bench at the first trial were "crimson, like splashes of blood." What flowers were on the judge's bench at the second hearing, where Miss Vane was acquitted?|
Gold chrysanthemums. The flowers looked "like burning banners" as the prisoner was discharged without a stain on her character. However, Lord Peter was not there to share in her rejoicing. He drove off the moment the verdict was given.....
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