Reading progress update: I've read 11%.

Murder of Lydia: A Mr. Moh Mystery - Joan A. Cowdroy

I'm in a Golden Age mystery mood, so started another one this morning. I know nothing about this author or series, but it appears we have a Chinese MC who is a bit of an amateur sleuth...and it's not quite as as stilted as Mr. Moto so far even if it has the distinct feel of it. I've never read any of the Charlie Chan novels, so Mr. Moto remains my point of reference for now. And of course there are problems here for the modern reader, but overall, it's nowhere near as problematic as Christie's The Big Four for example.


Also, there is a young police constable by the name of ... wait for it ... James Bond. 




And one of the first scenes to feature Bond has him swim in the sea while a dog steals his clothes. 


Oh, if only the author could have known how this would make future readers smile.

But suddenly his cheerful grin faded. He pointed madly with a dripping hand, and emitted a yell of anguished horror.

“My bags, Mr. Moh! For the Lord’s sake see what’s happening to my bags!”

   Mr. Moh turned swiftly in the direction of his pointing finger. Under the impulse of some force invisible, he beheld the tail end of Jimmy’s raincoat vanishing from the further groyne.

   Stimulated to sudden activity by this frenzied appeal from his bereaved young friend, he raced across to peer over the fence. A large, rough-coated brown dog had got a corner of the coat gripped between firm teeth and, head held stiffly sideways, was dragging it at a gallop towards the wicket gate of the Colonel’s garden, the swimmer’s essential garments still entangled in its folds. But not Jimmy’s alone, unless P.C. Bond secretly indulged in underwear of silky jade-green. . . .

   The fence, five feet on one side, was four on the other, and loosely piled shingle at that. As Moh scrambled up and leapt down, the slipping stones sent him sprawling, though he clutched and held an inch of coat. The dog was a quick thinker. Feeling the tug on the coat, he decided to cut his losses. Abandoning it to his pursuer, he took a fresh mouthful and tore into the gate head up, trailing a whirling wake of flannel and towelling.

And shimmering green silk.

   Mr. Moh returned to fling the coat across the groyne to the young man whose wet shoulders and face of scarlet wrath were raised above the fence he himself could barely see over.

“That damned, unruly dog, I suppose?”

Shiveringly he draped the chilly covering round his dripping form.

“Look here, do be sporting and go and get back my pants and bags, old man! I can’t go chasing all over the garden after him in this with the chance of giggling females at every window. I mean—dash it—I’m not decent!”

   “Blushing modesty is highly commendable in young, pure-minded officer,” Mr. Moh observed with sympathy. “But as nefarious quadruped has also removed towel I advise instant marathon to home of maternal parent, while this unworthy, but fully clothed, person retrieves nether garments from military residence.”

In five days of acquaintanceship Bond had learned in a general way to detect the meaning that lay concealed within Mr. Moh’s vocabulary. This advice struck him as sound.

“Go while the going’s good, eh? Right ho!”