Sunday, June 8, 2014

Crossover of the Week

Late November 1951
            Sergeant William Beef’s biographer, Townsend, tells him that he needs a unique quality to make him famous as a detective: “You must resemble an alligator every few pages, like Mrs. Bradley, or talk like a peer in an Edwardian farce, like Lord Peter Wimsey. Or use bits of exclamatory French, like Poirot.” Theo Gray asks Beef to look into the death of his friend, Cosmo Ducrow. Townsend thinks, “How different, I could not help reflecting, was the conversation of Holmes and Watson while they sat waiting for their clients not half a mile away.” Noting that there are better known detectives than he, with better reputations, Beef asks Gray why he did not consult Poirot, to which Gray responds that he was engaged on another case. When Beef asks the same about Albert Campion, Gray replies that Campion was not interested. Beef says that he wonders where Gray will be if he refuses the case, to which Gray responds “On the phone to Inspector French…”
            Novel by Lionel Townsend, edited by Leo Bruce. Gladys Mitchell’s Mrs. Bradley, Dorothy L. Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion, and Freeman Wills Crofts’ Inspector French have all been established as existing in the CU; therefore, this crossover brings in Sergeant Beef. Beef’s cottage, where he first meets with Gray, is in Lilac Crescent, and was chosen for its proximity to Baker Street. Holmes and Watson were no longer living at 221B Baker Street in 1951, so Townsend must have been referring to their conversations in years past.

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