And Then There Was No One (Evadne Mount Trilogy, Book 3)
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The writer and professional controversialists Gustav Slavorigin is murdered in the small Swiss town of Meiringen during its annual Sherlock Holmes Festival, his body discovered with an arrow through the heart. With a price of ten million dollars on Slavorigin's head, almost none of the Festival's guests can be regarded as above suspicion.
politically incorrect, expression ‘vital statistics’ to swim up to the surface of one’s memory. She was also tall, far taller than me and, as I watched her swan through the bar of the Kunsthalle towards us, I thought of a blowsily voluptuous B-movie actress whose initials she shared, Mamie van Doren, with the crucial difference that Meredith was an academic, not a film star, a fact which somehow rendered her all the more eyeball-distendingly sexy. As for her behavioural charm, it was, I repeat,
adult population voted for Bush. If, then, we agree, as surely we do, that one definition of stupidity is satisfaction at the prospect of George Bush regaining the White House despite his uniquely calamitous first term of office, then we can already state without fear of contradiction that 30% of Americans are stupid. Now let us consider that 40% of the population which did not trouble to vote in the 2004 election and assume, for the sake of the argument, the likelihood of their being divided
personal reaction once the books were published, I would have written about it, vulgarly but honestly, that it made her sound as though she were farting through a trumpet. Somewhat to my surprise, though, I too liked her. We at once struck up a rapport. Even if, as soon as we had been introduced, she started calling me by my first name, standing on the absence of ceremony, so to speak, a liberty I myself never take with strangers, I found that on an unexpectedly wide range of conversational
panicky rush to the soft, fleshy twin towers, as it were, of the maternal bosom, no questions asked, no apologies tendered, and to this day, and with all that’s happened since, she can no longer look on America’s enemies with the complicit or half-complicit eye of an old lefty. Did you, perchance, observe the brooch on the lapel of her jacket?’ ‘Actually, since you ask, I did. I remember it had four or five words written on it. Something about American womanhood?’ ‘You really must learn to be
that seemed to me a curious coincidence. Then I noticed, next to it on the same table, Holmes’s violin, its bow laid diagonally on top of it. Another bow. Even curiouser. But, curiousest of all, I said to myself, was the fact that it was, so to speak, the wrong way round, as though in a looking-glass world or a parallel universe. In music-making, after all, the bow is a pendant to the violin and, in archery, the arrow is a pendant to the bow. ‘It was naughty of me, I know, but I picked up that