In the July 20th British Medical Journal, Dalrymple again expresses his love of murder mysteries.
The Dying of the Light, by Michael Dibdin (1947–2007), is set in an old people’s home called Eventide Lodge, which was once a country house. The previous owner left it to her son and daughter—the former suave, cynical, and cruel; the latter fat, boorish, and brutal—on condition that they continue to provide a home for the residents already there. Brother and sister therefore have a motive to kill all of the residents, and in Dr Morel they have a complaisant visiting general practitioner who will cover up for anything that they do…Nevertheless, Dr Morel insists on sending one of the residents, Dorothy Davenport, to hospital because she has cancer. The brother is worried lest Dorothy reveal what goes on in the home to hospital staff, to which Dr Morel replies, “Don’t fret. She’ll be out of it on pain control most of the time, plus with the staffing levels these days no one has the time to stand around nattering.”And this was written in the good old days: that is to say, 1993.
The piece ends on an interesting autobiographical note:
The only murder I ever uncovered was of a murder made to look like a suicide.