unearths some literary gems.
From Ellery Queen:
"DeWitt Alistair" sounded like a made-up name in a third-rate play played by a fourth-rate company. But it happened to be Alistair's legal moniker, which he used only when the mark needed a particular kind of softening up. As it had turned out, he would have been better advised to use something that sounded as if it came out of Pilgrim's Progress, like John Repentance or Reuben Disappointment.
From Old Scores, by Aaron Elkins:
[The story hinges on a questionable painting that was allegedly discovered in a junk shop in Paris. How do you one-up a junk shop in Paris, humorwise--and twice over? Like this!]
"Where'd he find this one, at a garage sale in Toulouse?"
["Talking to the chopped liver" dept.]
He was at this moment devoting his attention to the /pâté de campagne/... grumbling in an undertone to himself, or maybe to the pâté, as he spread it on a slice of bread. Listening to Lorenzo for too long affected different people different ways, and talking to the chopped liver didn't really seem that extraodinary.
"Why has he kept them a secret?"
He paused to eye us all, one by one. No one offered an answer. We knew a rhetorical question when we heard one.
[So that's what those are for!]
We found him standing before the canvas just the way he had last night: his big head thrown back, his hands behind him, clasping his elbows. He was wearing a scruffy, yellowish brown tweed jacket with leather elbow patches (to protect against all that elbow-clasping?)....