Thursday, November 15, 2012
Dorothy Parker Interviews Arthur Conan Doyle
Mrs. Parker: We’re here today to discuss solving mysteries. Dr. Doyle, you’re no stranger to mysteries.
Dr. Doyle: I confess I’m the author of many mystery stories, Mrs. Parker. You know of my Sherlock Holmes, of course.
Mrs. Parker: Of course! I’ve taken him to bed with me many times and he always leaves me satisfied. Can’t say the same about many men I’ve met—Oh, Dr. Doyle, why are you blushing and coughing like that? At any rate, I’m not talking about the mysteries you’ve written, old dearie. I’m talking about those you’ve solved! You’ve stepped into Sherlock’s shoes as a real-life sleuth yourself, haven’t you?
Dr. Doyle: Well, yes, that’s true. My cases haven’t been quite as sensational as Sherlock’s, I’m afraid. There was the matter of a neighborhood collie accused of attacking sheep. I proved the dear pooch was innocent.
Mrs. Parker: A pooch! Come clean, Doyle old bean. You’ve done more than clear the name of a canine or two—
Dr. Doyle: It was just one, actually.
Mrs. Parker: One, two, button my shoe! Don’t be so shy, Sir Arthur! What about that fellow George Something-or-other?
Dr. Doyle: George Edalji. Yes, he was a young lawyer of Indian descent. He was convicted of mutilating farm animals, but I showed that he couldn’t possibly have done it. The fellow’s unusually poor eyesight made him incapable of the crime.
Mrs. Parker: As a former ophthalmologist and occasional detective, you were uniquely qualified to prove his innocence?
Dr. Doyle: Quite so.
Mrs. Parker: More recently, you aided yours truly with the very peculiar murder of the Broadway starlet Bibi Bibelot, as recounted in the book A FRIENDLY GAME OF MURDER.
Dr. Doyle: A peculiar murder indeed! The young woman died in a bathtub of champagne on New Year’s Eve. But she didn’t drown, and she wasn’t shot or stabbed. There was no sign of violence of any kind.
Mrs. Parker: And the bathroom door was locked from the inside! Yet, you knew there was mischief afoot because of that very subtle redness around her mouth. You knew she had been murdered.
Dr. Doyle: Ah, who’s being shy now, Mrs. Parker? You were the one who uncovered the murderer! You’re the one following in Sherlock’s footsteps.
Mrs. Parker: Yes, but clumsily and in inadequate footwear. Well, I thank you for joining me today, Dr. Doyle. I believe we’ve taken some readers to school.
Dr. Doyle: School? [chuckling] What kind of school? Detective school?
Mrs. Parker: Why, no… Elementary, my dear doctor. Elementary!
Dorothy Parker most recently appeared in , the second book of the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries. She soon returns in the third installment (along with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) in , coming December 31 (now available for pre-order).