The landlady bed and breakfast
The Landlady by Roald DahlThe Landlady is a brilliant gem of a short story from Roald Dahl, the master of the sting in the tail.
In The Landlady, Roald Dahl, one of the worlds favourite authors, tells a sinister story about the darker side of human nature. Here, a young man in need of room meets a most accommodating landlady...
The Landlady is taken from the short story collection Kiss Kiss, which includes ten other devious and shocking stories, featuring the wife who pawns the mink coat from her lover with unexpected results; the priceless piece of furniture that is the subject of a deceitful bargain; a wronged woman taking revenge on her dead husband, and others.
Spoiler warning! Billy Weaver arrives in Bath after taking the train from London. On an impulse, he decides to check it out and rings the bell. It is answered immediately a little old lady who invites him to enter and tells him the room rate. She tells him that he is the only guest as she takes him to his room. When he goes downstairs to sign the guest-book, he notices that there are only two names in the entire book.
It initially appeared in The New Yorker , as did other short stories that would later be reprinted in the anthology, Kiss Kiss. Billy Weaver, a year-old, travels from London to a hotel in Bath for business. But along the way, he catches sight of a bed and breakfast and is strangely charmed by the sign outside the door and the cosy setting within, so he decides to put up there for the night. He is greeted by a talkative landlady, who insists upon conversing with the young man and serving him tea Dahl refers to the tea tasting of "bitter almonds", implying it contains cyanide. Billy is slightly perplexed by the names of the guests registered in the guest book; he has seen two of the names in a newspaper report, but the landlady insists that they are still staying with her in a room upstairs. She also mentions her fondness for stuffing her deceased house-pets. The story ends with Weaver having drunk the tea, implying he will die because of the poison and be stuffed to be added to the landlady's collection.