Thursday, August 23, 2007


In Mystery Muses the writers mention some of the great lines in their chosen inspirational crime fiction books.

Such as :

Raymond Chandler's "You can't convict a couple of million bucks of murder in this man's town" from Trouble is My Business.

Daphne Du Maurier's "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again" from Rebecca.

and Robert B Parker's "The office of the university president looked like the front parlor of a successful Victorian whorehouse" from The Godwulf Manuscript.

I wonder if there was ever an unsuccessful Victorian whorehouse.

I am inclined to remember characters in crime fiction more than lines, which is probably a symptom of my failing memory. What is strange that I can remember two little passages from The Thirty Years War which I first read half a century ago.

"Of the army, twelve thousand lay on the parched field of Breitenfeld and the long road to Leipzig, seven thousand were prisoners in the Swedish camp that night and soldiers in the Swedish army by the morning."


"But the Cardinal and his agents had overreached themselves, and the King of Sweden had signed the Treaty of Barwalde with his eyes open. With the help of French money he would shortly make himself independent of French policy: exploitation is a game that two can play."

Treachery, secrecy, death, bribery, and deceit.

Who says history is dull? No wonder so many people read both history and crime fiction.


Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Gibbon's footnotes alone supply enough humor to keep an intelligent reader laughing for years.

And the opening paragraph of The Decline and Fall would make a fine crime-novel opening, with its hints that not everything is as rosy as it may appear:

"In the second century of the Christian Æra, the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilized portion of mankind. ... Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury. The image of a free constitution was preserved with decent reverence: the Roman senate appeared to possess the sovereign authority, and devolved on the emperors all the executive powers of government."
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Love Work, Hate Lordship, And Seek No Intimacy With the Ruling Power"

4:54 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Silvio Berlusconi would have been very much at home back then, in fact most politicians fancy themselves as Roman senators. We trip over the crime scene tape while they tell us everything is fine.

7:49 AM  

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