[She] bought a very smart black autumn model suit with the new skirt and a most becoming shoulder line. She liked colours herself, and the brighter the better, but when all was said and done nothing set a fair girl off like black, and men fell for it every time. She could wear it at the inquest and at the funeral, and it would be just the thing for town. She supposed she had better have a hat – just a twist of something – and some veiling. A veil could be very becoming, only it mustn’t hide her hair.
She brought all the things home with her and tried them on again in her own room. Sometimes things were a ghastly disappointment when you did that, but these looked even better than they had in the shop. Good clothes gave you a pull when you were looking for a job, and with an off-white blouse and something in the lapel there wouldn’t be any need to look like a walking funeral.
As in the recent Ashenden there is one of those characters who has a ‘thankless’, highly dangerous and secret job, meant to be some kind of spying or James Bondery. As in Moving Finger, there is a man who lives alone, and a character called Barton. The village is Tilling, as in some of the Mapp and Lucia books.
In any other kind of book the detective, Miss Silver, would be headed for a speedy death from TB, as she coughs all the time – what’s that about? I counted 13 occasions when she coughed, from a ‘faintly reproving’ one, through a ‘slightly reproving’ one to one that ‘conveyed the impression that she was being discreet.’
Also, we are given far too much information about what she is knitting. She gets through several garments during her visit, including this - 'I am making a twin set for my niece’s little girl. The jumper is finished. This is the cardigan.’ (The picture to the left is a pattern from the excellent Free Vintage Knitting site, should you want to make it.)
More poison pen all over the blog at the moment, and you can click on the label below to see the entries.
The main picture is from the Dovima is divine phtotostream – I use this resource a lot, and a) am really grateful to Christine for the wonderful pictures and b) should point out again that the pictures are not all of the early supermodel Dovima, that is just the name of the collection.