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Sunday, March 06, 2011

February Reading …

 

1. Sherlock Holmes: The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Yet another Sherlock Holmes short story … distinctive thing about this one was indeed very curious. I could not identify the title nor the story line … but somewhere midway there was this part about Sherlock scrutinizing the crime scene and collecting some gray dust.

I instantly had a déjà vu kind of vision of an image (illustration) depicting the same (Sherlock standing near a tree). The next moment I had a flash of memory that the dust was but cigar ash which Sherlock would use to identify the murderer. Strangely, I did not remember absolutely any other detail of the story.

 

2. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Skeleton Island by Robert Arthur

This one was like teenage Indiana Jones kind. An island, treasure, ghost stories etc. all put together in a single capsule. It even had a situation where the kids get trapped in a cave which practically no one knows about. A very interesting one.

 

3. Sherlock Holmes: The Five Orange Pips by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I did not like this one much. There wasn't much of action and it tended to be more of an arm chair investigation with very little leg work; also this one did not culminate in the culprit getting caught.

There was a distinct recollection of the story title but absolutely no memory of the actual story or any part thereof. Even while reading the story, I could not pre-empt any part of the story

 

4. Sherlock Holmes: The Man with a Twisted Lip by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I did not like this one either. There wasn't much of action and it again turned out to be an arm chair investigation (in fact, not even an arm chair but a seat made of 5 pillows) with very little leg work; also this one did not culminate in the culprit getting caught, simply because the crime was not even committed in the first place.

Like another story, in this one I recognized a small sequence where Sherlock was in a dirty drug den in disguise and he surprised Watson … The rest of the story was neither so remarkable nor exciting to cling top my memory

 

5. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Silver Spider by Robert Arthur

The best one till now … This one has a very adventurous flavor to it. It also had its comic moments when Bob bumps his head and suffers from partial amnesia … and that too TWICE. And then there are the two spiders which are integral to the mystery of the missing silver spider. The kids get close to dying and then escaping through dungeons and sewers while. A very exciting read …

 

6. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The title did not really stir any memory but the mention of 'Sherlock examining a hat' stirred all that was there in the subsequent page … all the deductions that Sherlock had drawn about the man who owned the hat, just by examination of the hat. Of course, there were no further memories about the case or its details.

There was an extremely fine display of deduction powers in the story which incidentally did not have any bearing on the case. The thief also was caught by chance although Sherlock would have eventually caught him the next day.

 

7. Feluda: Kailash Chowdhury's Jewel by Satyajit Ray

This one was better than the first one. It involved an invaluable ring which is at the centre of the crime story. The cast of the story includes various characters supported and several strange animals :) who belong to a personal zoo.

 

8. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The title stirred plenty of memories … the story line, the backdrop, Sherlock's deductions, the climax … everything was fresh in my memory as if I had read the story just last year and not some 15-18 years ago.

 

9. Feluda: The Anubis Mystery by Satyajit Ray

This one was a decent one. No great mystery; just some good thinking by Feluda. There is nothing much there worth mentioning.

 

10. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Screaming Clock by Robert Arthur

A very interesting one … starts out with an alarm clock that comes to the Junkyard … The weird thing is that it screams rather than ring… Jupiter finds it amusing and mysterious and begins to investigate only to find that there is not one but a room full of screaming clocks.

He begins to investigate and they encounter dangerous people … only to discover towards the end that there are stolen paintings worth half a million dollars involved. The loot is carefully and ingeniously concealed in the room of screaming clocks.

 

12. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Engineers Thumb by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Well … I had no memory of this one … and rightly so. There was no great mystery or any significant deduction to be done by Holmes. Neither were the criminals caught.  

 

13. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Yet another case of arm-chair deductions with a little bit of field work to actually locate the guilty party. There were some good deductions made but neither the story nor the mystery ware not interesting enough.

 

14. Feluda: Trouble in Gangtok by Satyajit Ray

Yet another Feluda story … nothing special worth mentioning !!

 

 

Yet another coincidence this month, two stories dealt with a lost/stolen jewels and strangely both were BLUE; the blue carbuncle from Sherlock and blue Beryl Kailash Chowdhury's Jewel from Feluda.

 

Series Completion Score (as of 28 Feb 2011):  

Three Investigators     9 out of 35

Feluda                         4 out of 35

Sherlock Holmes         12 out of 56

Total                           23 out of 126
 

Realizing that I am reading too much of the same genre (detective, mystery, deductions) … I had picked up a dozen books here in Dubai. So I have now picked up one of them … Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

I am exopecting reading score to be less in March ... gonna be busy !

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