Even on Central Avenue, not the quietest dressed street in the world, he looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
"So this is it, is it? Through the swirling fog of Victorian London a young girl is hacked to death by Toad of Toad Hall!"
There is an old Polish proverb that says: "If you're not sure it's potato Borscht, there could be orphans working in the mine.""Okay, nobody move! All right, you weasels, grab some sky or I let the judge have it. You heard me, I said drop it!"
"That's right, my dear. I'd love to embrace you, but first I have to satisfy my sense of moral outrage."
"Spread the news . . . that he is back! To help the helpless! To befriend the friendless! And to defeat the . . . feetless!""Oh, no. Where's Roger?"
"Roger? He chickened out on me back at the studio."
"No, he didn't. I hit him in the head with a frying pan and put him in the trunk . . . so he wouldn't get hurt."
"Makes perfect sense."
"If you're going to kill someone, do it simply."
My original intention in writing these stories was to entertain. If I did not entertain first the editor and then the readers, I did not get paid. And if I did not get paid, I would have to go find honest work.
"Personally, I don't like a girlfriend to have a husband. If she'll fool her husband, I figure she'll fool me."
The perfect impossible solution would be one whose secret could be explained in four or five lines.
A realist is somebody who thinks the world is simple enough to be understood. It isn't."Do you mean to tell me you could have taken your hand out of that cuff at any time?"
"Oh, no, not any time! Only when it was funny."
In detective stories, virtue is always triumphant. They're the purest literature we have."Do you think you can make a monkey out of me?"
"Certainly not. I wouldn't try to improve on God's creation."
"To a great mind, nothing is little."
A historian of the future will probably turn, not to blue books or statistics, but to detective stories if he wishes to study the manners of our age.
The detective story is, quite simply, the most interesting and enjoyable genre of fiction. Although it has the requirements of a problem to be solved and its solution offered in the final chapter, it is a very flexible form. It can be a novel of character, full of believable people and social commentary. It can be a straightforward mathematical problem of chemical formulae and railway timetables. It can be an elaborate flight of fancy with baroque plotting and eccentric characters, or a terrifying ghost story in which reason itself is threatened."I heard on the radio this morning that the police are looking for a man with one eye."
"Coincidence is permissible in stories but is so distressing in actual life. It shakes one's confidence in the logic of things."
Love or money can conceal every other disturbing occurrence to be met with in civil life, but sudden death is inviolate. A body is the one thing that cannot be explained away.
"The slug from his gun had ploughed a furrow across the top of my scalp. Close enough to hurt, but no more than that. One inch lower, and I would have been a bad verse on a chunk of granite."
"Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long."
"I've never liked this scene. Detective confronts murderer. Murderer produces gun, points same at detective. Murderer tells detective the whole sad story, with the idea of shooting him at the end of it. Thus wasting a lot of valuable time, even if in the end murderer did shoot detective. Only murderer never does. Something always happens to prevent it."
"One must disregard nothing but the impossible."
It can be safely said that no one who knew him at the time would have guessed that Edgar Allan Poe, the author of some of the darkest tales of the macabre, the hideous, and the frightening—those emotional products of an obviously disturbed and unfettered mind—could possibly have spawned a field of literature of which clear-headed thinking, ratiocination, the careful analysis of cause and effect, and the creation and solution of puzzles are the hallmarks and essence—the detective story. In such a field, Edgar Allan Poe would have been voted least likely to succeed.
"As poet and mathematician, he would reason well; as mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all."
Category: Detective fiction