unearths some literary gems.
From Ellery Queen's The Greek Coffin Mystery:
his dark vandyke pointed accusingly at the floor
[And, describing a different character within the same paragraph:]
buried in a study as deep and brown as his beard
[Who knew that brown studies showed different *degrees* of brownness!]
"Khalkis... said, in these exact words: 'Before you leave remind me to call Barrett's and order some new ties like the one I'm wearing'.... The verbal italicization is mine."
[I.e., the verbal italicization is Ellery's--Ellery the character, that is, not Ellery the author(s).]
"The best possibility is Mrs. Sloane, although it's true that there doesn't seem to be any reason why she should inform against her own husband--"
"An acute parenthesis," drawled Ellery.
Ellery proved himself a philosopher and went to sleep.
[I think, in the context, this means he was able to remain "philosophical" about a setback and not let it keep him up... but I like the (un?)intentional auxiliary suggestion that dozing off is typical of what philosophers do.]
She took a deep breath, and the smoke dribbled out of her lovely mouth like punctuation marks as she talked.
This was serious, and the old man's nose lengthened and his jaw snapped in a manner that boded ill for the sergeant.
[I didn't realize that becoming dissatisfied with an employee's conduct could make the nose grow! I thought it was only lying that did that!]