I read little crime fiction, but during a recent few days away I had occasion to finish a P. D. James Adam Dalgliesh mystery A Mind to Murder. I was delighted to find in James occasional wry side comments regarding the human and social condition, a few of which seem sharable:
“His Marriage…had been doomed from the start, as any marriage must be when husband and wife have a basic ignorance of each other’s needs coupled with the illusion that they understand each other perfectly.”
“Her house was the centre for a collection of resting actors, one-volume poets, aesthetes posing on the fringe of the ballet world, and writers more anxious to talk about their craft in an atmosphere of sympathetic understanding than to practice it.”
“‘I was also with my brother-in-law who happens to be a bishop. A High Church bishop,’ she added complacently, as if incense and chasuble set a seal on episcopal virtue and veracity.”
“People did not automatically become kind because they had become religious.”
Finding such quips is one of the joys of reading. Unless, of course, the sting is aimed too much in my direction.
“‘I should be relieved if I could produce even an evangelical curate to vouch for me between six-fifteen and seven o’clock yesterday evening.'”
Yes. Even one of those, suspect as they may be, would do.