Programming note: If you missed this week's edition of The Mark Steyn Show, you can catch it in full here, with Brendan O'Neill, Ric Grenell, John Redwood and much more. Next week I'll be in for Nigel Farage every evening on GB News starting Monday at 7pm GMT - that's 2pm North American Eastern.
And, with this week's Steyn Show put to bed, welcome to our second featured author in this year's season of Christmas Tales for Our Time. Following our quintet of tales by the Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock, chosen by popular demand, our next writer also comes by way of request: Dorothy L Sayers. This is the first of two Yuletide murder mysteries featuring her enduring creation Lord Peter Wimsey. The Queen's Square is a perfect country-house detective novel but brilliantly compressed into short story form and, as I explain in my introduction, into one dance - the once popular Sir Roger de Coverley. Wimsey is at a Christmas ball and about to squire an elderly spinster around the floor:
'Lady Hermione, you're honouring me, of course?'
'Nonsense! You're not expecting me to dance at my age? The Old Maid ought to be a wallflower.'
'Nothing of the sort. If only I'd had the luck to be born earlier...'
Wimsey bowled his scarlet cap and curled wig in deep reverence over the gnarled knuckles extended to him.
'You make me the happiest of men. We'll show them all how to do it. Right hand, left hand, both hands across, back to back, round you go and up the middle. There's Deverill going down to tell the band to begin. Punctual old bird, isn't he? Just two minutes to go...'
But a lot can happen in two minutes, including murder most foul.
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read The Queen's Square simply by clicking here and logging-in. And remember - a cavalcade of Christmas tales by everyone from Dickens to Steyn is awaiting you here.
If you'd like to know more about The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and don't forget our Christmas Gift Membership. See you back here tomorrow, right after Rick's Flicks, for Part Two of The Queen's Square.
Comment on this item (members only)
Viewing and submission of reader comments is restricted to Mark Steyn Club members only. If you are not yet a member, please click here to join. If you are already a member, please log in here: