|A Dram of Poison|
Date: 1956 — Book
The "best mystery book of 1956" does live up to its name. It's a simple tale; Mr. Gibson, after an accident with his much younger wife, becomes convinced that she would be much better off without him, and so he steals some poison, hides it in an olive oil bottle, and plans to take it— but ends up leaving it on the bus. The rest of the novel is almost comedic in its search, which gathers more and more people as they try to track the poison down before someone mistakenly ingests it.
Truly, though, the book is about its protagonists, and how someone can be deeply mistaken about the truth of love. It's a piece that sketches its characters simply and completely, with a bit of scorn for those who think they know everything (and demonstrably do not), and affection for those who think themselves unworldly but who know the most important things in life. Great fun if you can track down a copy.