Marjorie Bowen

“Cambric Tea” by Marjorie Bowen

A young physician, Bevis Holroyd is called down from London to the bedside of a new patient on Christmas Eve. The man makes the astounding accusation that his wife is poisoning him, lacing his cambric tea with arsenic. Cambric tea as described in the story sounds disgusting by the way, a drink made up of half milk and half warm water. Anyway, the doctor is familiar with this type of case, having just solved assisted in solving a murder mystery involving the same style of poisoning.

It’s not quite as clear cut a case as it seems at first, however. We slowly learn that the wife and the doctor knew each other previously, had actually been in love at one time.

This short tale is full of treachery, jealously, distrust, all the essentials of a good mystery boiled down into just a few pages. It had me engrossed, wondering who was telling the truth, what was actually going on in that dismal house.

I read this exceptional story in Murder for Christmas edited by Thomas Godfrey, but you can also find it on-line here.

John hosts Short Story Monday at The Book Mine Set. Head over there to see what he and others have been reading.

[tweetmeme source= “carolsnotebook” only_single=false]My copy of Murder for Christmas was purchased and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.


  • So many things draw me to this story – physician, London, poisoning, Christmas Eve. I HAVE to read this, but wonder if I should save it for December. Didn’t have much luck finding stories for the holidays last year – so what if it’s murder 😉 Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.