Death by Elegance

Poison Bottles by Bob Shand

Death by Elegance

We barely care whodunnit,
Since they’re all so terribly nice –
Though one’s covertly cunning
And would snuff us in a trice.
But their manners are so proper,
And they drive such classic cars,
That we almost miss the copper
As he bristles their handlebars.

They used to be so civilised in murder,
Fatally polite –
When an heiress couldn’t fall in ardour,
Without falling from a height.
Never threat’ning, always thrilling,
When lit by candlelight or gas –
Back in the golden days of killing,
As practised by the upper class.

We already know whodunnit,
Since we’ve seen the films before,
But the costumes all are stunning
And the country houses score –
The accents are so chipper,
And the backdrops are so lush,
That we almost miss the skipper
And the neck that he will crush.

They used to be so delicate in slaughter,
Lethally adroit –
With an intricate plot and a secret daughter,
And herrings and twists to exploit.
Never gruesome, always gripping,
In the days when the Empire was built to last –
These treacherous tales are roaringly ripping,
When all set safely in the past.

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