The telephone rang in the sleek, city office of Victor Eldridge. As he reached to answer the pain came again with a deep, resounding blow that made it difficult to breathe. He braced his hands against his desk, waiting for it to pass as it always did. The ringing phone, mixed in the wake of his agony, was almost beyond bearing.
Victor Eldridge was not a religious man, but what he experienced now was as much of a prayer as he would ever utter. Please, let this be the end of it. Please let the pain stop.
He did not care how.
The ringing and the pain faded at the same moment, and it seemed as if the room echoed with both. He stayed frozen in position, his breathing shallow.
He straightened slowly and leaned back in his chair. There. His breath became deeper and he could feel his heartbeat slowing to its normal pace. His reason returning from the chaos of suffering, he began to think. He had much to do but very little time. The pain was gone. For now. But he knew it would come again.
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From The Bluestocking Salon:
Miss Jane Marple was born in an English cathedral close, a gentlewoman and lifelong resident of the village of St. Mary Mead. While most women of her generation devoted themselves to homemaking, Miss Marple leveraged her unflappable constitution and needle-sharp understanding of human nature into an unorthodox career in criminal justice. Weathering criticism and scorn from those who question the intellect and skill of spinsters, Miss Marple has quietly cultivated a sterling reputation as “the finest detective God ever made,” unmasking criminals from all walks of life and earning the respect of Scotland Yard’s top brass. Her tireless work over the years has saved countless lives…and laid the groundwork for a presidency rooted in fairness and fearlessness in the face of evil. Thus it’s only natural that Miss Marple would choose former police officer Hercule Poirot as her estimable running mate. Monsieur Poirot’s devotion to law and order shapes all aspects of his life, work, and moustaches, and his little grey cells and sophisticated worldview are matched only by his reputation across Europe and the Orient as one of the most unique personalities in law enforcement. United in their quest for truth and justice, voters can rest assured: Marple and Poirot are on the case.
I’ve always loved the kind of murder mystery in which bodies are decorously laid out on the library floor without a lot of fuss and bother, and the rest of the books concern witty conversation and much drinking of tea–or tisanes. When I was living in Austria, I polished my German by reading translations of Agatha Christie novels. It was extremely helpful, but also led to a rather peculiar vocabulary.
I’m pretty sure that my taste for series of books in which readers can re-visit the characters like old friends came, in large part, from my affection for Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.
Miss Marple for President!