Fine romance: at the beginning
It's the week leading up to Valentine's Day, yes? Which means we are contractually obligated to speak of romance, to which I say who goes to detective stories for romance? Oh, I do! I do!
From Ch. IV of Strong Poison, with flares at the first meeting, and Lord Peter (having already "locked my heart in a silver box and pinned it wi' a golden pin") for once, deliciously, all out of sorts:
"Here you are, my lord. You sit at one end and the prisoner at the other, and you must be careful not to move from your seats, nor to pass any object over the table. I shall be outside and see you through the glass, my lord, but I shan't be able to overhear nothing. If you will take a seat, they'll bring the prisoner in, my lord."
Wimsey sat down and waited, a prey to curious sensations. Presently there was a noise of footsteps, and the prisoner was brought in, attended by a female wardress. She took the chair opposite to Wimsey, the wardress withdrew and the door was shut. Wimsey, who had risen, cleared his throat.
"Good afternoon, Miss Vane," he said, unimpressively.
The prisoner looked at him.
"Please sit down," she said, in the curious, deep voice which had attracted him in Court. "You are Lord Peter Wimsey, I believe, and have come from Mr. Crofts."
"Yes," said Wimsey. Her steady gaze was unnerving him. "Yes. I—er—I heard the case and all that, and—er—I thought there might be something I could do, don't you know."
ASIDE: I do so love it when he's making an ass of himself. So, so very much. And here's Ch. VIII, where he realizes it:
"Well?" said Wimsey, in a rather subdued tone," what about it, Bunter?"
"A very agreeable lady, if I may say so, my lord."
"It strikes you that way, does it? The circumstances are unusual, of course."
"Yes, my lord. I might perhaps make so bold as to call them romantic."
"You may make so bold as to call them damnable, Bunter."
"Yes, my lord," said Bunter, in a tone of sympathy.
"You won't desert the ship, Bunter?"
"Not on any account, my lord."
"Then don't come frightening me again. My nerves are not what they were. Here is the note. Take it round and do your best."
"Very good, my lord."
"Oh, and, Bunter."
"It seems that I am being obvious. I have no wish to be anything of the kind. If you see me being obvious, will you drop me a hint?"
"Certainly, my lord."