- Meg Raymond
The other day, the puppy ran away with a pair of socks from the laundry basket and I thought “the wee bloke has scarpered." When he dropped them in my hand when I asked, I thought “oh, how spiffing!” I have fondly called my elderly jack russell terrier an “old trouser button” more than once.
What could possibly have brought on these linguistic oddities? Well, I have been reading Blotto, Twinks and the ex-King’s Daughter by Simon Brett. This British cozy mystery, set in the time period between the world wars, is full of wonderful phrases and boffing lingo.
Blotto is the nickname for Devereux Lyminster, the second son of the late Duke of Tawcester (pronounced “taster”). Blotto is handsome, athletic, and not very bright. His gorgeous sister, Twinks, is smart enough for the both of them. When a body is discovered in the library of Tawcester Towers, the dowager duchess wants the whole matter hushed up, and the police are loathe to upset her by actually investigating the death. So Blotto and Twinks set out to solve the mystery themselves.
Their exploits take them to Mittleuropia, where they have to wade through royal intrigue, love-struck princesses, challenges to duels, shifting loyalties and thrilling dungeon escapes.
This and other titles - mostly funny, mostly mysteries, and mostly set in early 20th century England - can be found in the book list The Upper Crust. Sit down in your best parlor, and have one of the housemaids bring you a pot of tea and a plate of toasted, buttered crumpets and enjoy! Leave the clean-up to the scullery imps.