What Is the Plot of "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl?

The plot of "The Landlady" by Roald Dahl centers on the meeting of a young traveler and a mysterious bed and breakfast owner. The outcome of the meeting is left unknown to the reader, yet hints from the author suggest a hapless ending.

"The Landlady" follows 17-year-old Billy Weaver, who is travelling on business and stops in a seemingly cozy lodging in Bath, England. The landlady outwardly appears as a sympathetic, middle-aged woman. However, tea offered to her guest that tastes "faintly of bitter almonds" — a flavor often associated with cyanide poison — leads the reader to speculate about Billy's ultimate fate.

"The Landlady" first appeared in print in The New Yorker on Nov. 28, 1959. It is one of many stories for adults written by Roald Dahl.