The book is The Boy in the Suitcase, the authors are Agnete Friis and Lene Kaaberbøl, and the set-up is a rich man musing upon the obstacles he overcame to have his cliffside house built. Here's the line:
"(H)e had even conquered the representative of the local Nature Society with a donation that nearly made her choke on her herbal tea."That's not a knee-slapper, but it's a functionally amusing line that keeps the narrative going, hints at the point-of-view character's susceptibility to amusement at his own situation and, at the same time, just hints at the corrupting influence of money. That's not a bad day's work for one humble line.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011