Monday meanderings: The Man in the Queue

Posted: May 13, 2013 in All things literary
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I’ve been re-reading some old novels, several of them by Josephine Tey, one of two pseudonyms for Elizabeth Mackintosh, a Scottish author.  Her most famous book, starring Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, is “Daughter of Time.” 

“Daughter of Time” in 1990 was named  by the British-based Crime Writer’s Association  as the greatest mystery novel of all time.  Another of her books was number eleven on the list of 100 books. 

But these quotes, which I enjoyed, come from “The Man in the Queue.”  Despite some obviously older-sounding language, as they were written in the 30’s-50’s, they brought a smile to my face.  As the second pertains to Monday, I thought it appropriate.  If you have a chance, pick up one of her books and let me know what you think.

“Give me a leg up,” said Grant, and was hoisted onto the roof of the outhouse.  As he drew his foot from the painty clasp of his assistant, he said, “I might tell you that you are conniving at a felony.  This is house-breaking and entirely illegal.”

“It is the happiest moment of my life,” the artist said.  “I have always wanted to break the law, but a way has never been vouchsafed me.  And now to do it in the company of a policeman is joy that I did not anticipate my life would ever provide.”

“The Man in the Queue”,  Josephine Tey

“No time is wasted that earns such a wealth of gratitude as I feel for you,” said Struwwelpeter.  “I was in the depths when you arrived.  I can never paint on Monday mornings.  There should be no such thing.  Monday mornings should be burnt out of the calendar with prussic acid.  And you have made a Monday morning actually memorable!  It is a great achievement.”


(“Struwwelpeter” is the painter, based on his hair look.)

(from Wikipedia)

(from Wikipedia)

  1. fun quotes. Interesting language. The pic looks like edward scissorhand.
    Happy prussic monday

    • Good morning, Randy. I think Edward was taken from this guy. As for the language, it’s the language of the time, more formal but in many ways, I think, much more rich than what we use now.

      Enjoy your day!


  2. Prussic acid for Monday mornings … not bad, cool idea.