Three years later, the doctor chances to overhear Lord Peter Wimsey and his good friend, Detective-Inspector Parker of Scotland Yard, discussing a similar case as they sat at an adjacent table in a restaurant. The doctor interrupts their conversation to introduce himself and tell them of his own experience.
Lord Peter, of course, is immediately interested.
‘He’s the one who really does the work. I make imbecile suggestions and he does the work of elaborately disproving them.’
Evidence of foul play begins to show itself once Wimsey gets involved with the death of the old lady’s maid and then an attempt is made on Wimsey’s life. However, although there is a suspect, there doesn’t appear to be a motive.
Wimsey wants to introduce Parker to ‘a friend of his,’ ‘- rather an experiment…quite comfortably fixed in a little flat in Pimlico…’
Much to Parker’s surprise, Miss Climpson was not a love interest but a middle-aged single lady with Edwardian-styled iron-grey hair, covered by a net, who would have made a very good lawyer but had never had the education or the opportunity.
She was a kind of ‘inquiry agent’ for Wimsey: his ears and his tongue. Wimsey believed Miss Climpson to be ‘a manifestation of the wasteful way in which this country is run,’ and that women like her who are ‘providentially fitted’ for work carried out by ‘ill-equipped policemen’ are allowed to go to waste.
Sayers doesn’t write down to her readers. Her characters and plots are rich and full of detail with frequent allusions to literature and sundry interests leaving the reader with a knowledge of such diverse topics as advertising, bell-ringing, Shakespeare, and architecture.
Towards the end of this book, Wimsey is looking for Miss Climpson and stops at the church she attends during the week to see if she is there. Not finding her, on impulse he asks the priest, Mr Tregold, for advice on a moral problem, a ‘hypothetical case,’ that involved killing a person who was going to die, who was in awful pain, kept under morphia etc.
The Lord Peter Wimsey crime series are in print and available here.