Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mrs. Plant Talks, or...

...a rumination on 1920s mystery chapter headings.

I was just cleaning up an old copy of a 1920s Crime Club hardcover, and flipping through the pages I found that the titles of each chapter section were more than enough to entertain me on their own.

So, in hopes you too will get a grin out of these, please enjoy a selection of chapter titles from Anthony Berkeley's 1929 The Layton Court Mystery.

  • Mr. Sheringham Is Puzzled

  • Major Jefferson Is Reluctant

  • Four People Behave Remarkably

  • The Vase That Wasn't

  • Mr. Sheringham Becomes Startling

  • Mr. Sheringham Sees Visions

  • Mrs. Plant is Apprehensive

  • Lady Standworth Exchanges Glances

  • Hidden Chambers and What-Nots

  • Mr. Sheringham Amuses an Ancient Rustic

  • Mr. Grierson Becomes Heated

  • What the Settee Had to Tell

  • Mrs. Plant Proves Disappointing

  • Mr. Sheringham Is Dramatic

  • Mr. Sheringham Solves the Mystery (this one seems a bit premature)

  • Mrs. Plant Talks

  • Mr. Sheringham Is Disconcerted

  • The Mystery Finally Refuses to Accept Mr. Sheringham's Solution (see?)

  • Mr. Grierson Tries His Hand

  • What Really Did Happen

  • Not to leave you entirely in the dark, please allow me to produce a sampling of some quotes from within these pages:

    pg 31 But Roger had other things to do that dancing attendance attendance upon fainting and hysterical ladies.

    pg 80 In spite of himself he shivered slightly. "Ugh, you ghoulish brute!" he exclaimed.

    pg 169 "Oh, no!" Alec groaned. "Tea!"

    pg 167 "My God!" Alec shouted suddenly. "That isn't a cow; it's a bull! Run like hell!"

    Luckily for us, the book has not gone out of print. In fact, there is a reprint still going strong right now. Goody!!!

    1 comment:

    1. Ronald left this world as he entered it: on a frigid winter night, amid frantic screams and blood-soaked linens, while relatives stood nearby and muttered furious promises to find an punish the man responsible, - Rebecca Oas, Atlanta, GA

      Couldn't help but immediately think of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest as I read those. . .