Ingenious but messy way to poison…you’d need a latex glove beneath the velvet one to prevent caustic contact.
(Interestingly, this ties in with the “visha-kanya” or “poison maiden” sect of assassins historically raised in medieval Maharashtra. Fed from toddlerhood on a steady diet of toxin and antitoxin, these babies grew up into lovely young girls with incredibly toxic skin – physical contact or any exchange of bodily fluids with them would be fatal. One was said to have been sent against Chandragupta, the first of the Mauryan emperors, until his wise old advisor Chanakya/Kautilya – author of the famous “Arthashastra” text on statecraft – got wise and turned her against her contractor.)
I guessed she was the culprit and that the glove had something to do with it… but the kiss in the hand thing never crossed my mind! This was a toughie.
Why does the answer have to be uupside-down??
Somehow, I don’t believe a poison that kills in half an hour and has no preceding effects. Sir Gerald would have felt sicker and sicker, and should have called for a doctor.
Additionally, I find it unlikely he would get a lethal dose from a kiss of a glove. Maybe if he licked it…
Finally, the danger of cross contamination is so high that all the others are probably poisoned as well. An obvious example: if the woman picked up and ate a roll.
So: The woman pushed something into Sir Gerald’s mouth, and then all three of them restrained him from getting help while he died. They ate nothing, and probably took some safety precautions. Then they set the stage and called the police. Arrest them all!
So the Inspector knows this even though he never examines the woman’s glove? I don’t think so
IIRC there is no actual contact of lips to hand in a proper hand-kissing.
October 25, 2017