Saturday, August 04, 2012

July Reading – Part 2


Continued from previous post …


10. A Strange Night for Mr. Shasmal by Satyajit Ray

Mr. Shasmal goes out to a Forest Guest House to spend some time only to encounter a strange night. He begins to see some animals in his rooms at night. At first, he doesn't realize their significance, but then he recognizes them. He also remembers the connection he had with them. Thing is, they are all animals that he had killed during the lifetime. And then, a man appears.


11. Sherlock Exploits: The Adventure of the Sealed Room by Adrian Doyle & John Carr

Sherlock and Watson are up against the 'death' of a gentleman (while his wife is fatally wounded) by what appears to be a murderous and suicidal behavior of the said gentleman. Murder doesn't even seem to be a possibility since the 2 were found dead immediately after shots were heard and people rushed to the scene of the crime which was a room bolted shut from the inside. Its deemed as suicide albeit a bit strange one hence the involvement of Sherlock

Sherlock in his inimitable style suspects murder just by hearing the account of the incident which are amply confirmed by evidence (ignored by the others) when he visits the murder scene. He reaches his conclusions but cannot prove murder and murderer with concrete evidence. He then lays a trap for the culprit who literally walks in it.


12. Shibu and the Monster by Satyajit Ray

Strange are the ways of the child's mind and how their imagination runs wild based on random words? Shibu, based on random thoughts from a supposed mad man; begins to imagine that his new Math Teacher is a monster. The mad man helps him confirm this supposition and even gives him a way to 'control' the monster.  


13. Sherlock Misadventures: Shylock Homes: His Posthumous Memoirs: Mr. Homes Solves a Question of Authorship by John Kendrick Bangs

Kendrick Bangs continues to use well known names to construct a story. This particular story has the famous bard, Shakespeare and the infamous duo of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde as part of the story. Holmes is given the responsibility of determining the true authorship of the Shakespearian works. He takes help from Dr. Jekyl (by almost blackmailing him) and uncovers the secret of the Bard.


14. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Trail of Terror by M V Carrey  

Would a detective consider babysitting an old gentleman, on his road trip across the country, a case? Well, the trio gets exactly that as Pete's Mom retains the 3I to ensure that her father (Pete's Grandpa) reaches New York safely and does not get into any trouble or get arrested (considering the kind of troubles he seems to be getting into now and then). The interesting but seemingly harmless 'case' gradually gets very exciting as they discover grandpa's neighbor following them and often checking out their car.

Grandpa is sure that his neighbor, Snable, is out to steal his 'invention' which he is going to present in New York. Eventually, the trio is also convinced of the same (they were skeptical in the beginning). Things get sinister and the 3 Investigators enter into a working relationship with the FBI. At some point, the FBI drops the case but the trio persists and takes the 'case' to conclusion. The action almost entirely takes place outside of the Rocky Beach. The story also acts like a tourist guide to cross country road trip across the USA.


15. Sherlock Misadventures: Maddened by Mystery or the Defective Detective by Stephen Leacock

The story has the 'Great Detective' who is given the case of finding the disappeared 'Prince'. It ultimately turns out to be a case of mistaken identity and although the Great Detective is unable to 'solve the case', he does offer an alternative arrange to 'resolve the problem'


16. The Imposter by Philip K Dick


The premise of the story is a 'terrorist' conspiracy of replacing a man with a look-alike android robot which will explode obliterating a whole town. The special agencies discover this conspiracy and attempt to apprehend the 'man' in question. The story is about the mistaken identity. The climax is unexpected but then I guess it is expected that it be unexpected.


17. Sherlock Misadventures: An Irreducible Detective Story by Stephen Leacock

An extremely short story (more like a long joke) about the great detective using a single piece of evidence to begin his search for a murderer; the climax showing him catching up on a potential murderer of not one but million murders. Definitely not a story but more of a joke


18. Mr. Eccentric by Satyajit Ray

An old man, in the beautiful hill station town of Darjeeling, is labeled as eccentric due to his habit of collecting ordinary old items from the roadside and of course for his odd behavior at times. The whole eccentric effect is enhanced by the stories he tells people about these ordinary objects. According to him each of the objects has a murderous story behind them and he can see the story flash visually in front of his eyes when he sees the objects.

Usually he sees the distant past (several years and months) but then he sees something from just a few days past and gets involved in the murderous story; something that he has never done before. 


19. Sherlock Exploits: The Adventure of Foulkes Rath by Adrian Doyle

The first 6 stories in the 'Exploits' were co-authored by Adrian Doyle and John Carr; while the remaining 6 were written by Jr. Doyle only. This is the first of the 6 by Jr. Doyle.

Imagine 2 men having a heated argument over the sale of real estate property and then the same night, the one who sold the property is found dead with his head hacked by an ornamental execution axe which usually hung over the fireplace. For most people including Lestrade, this is an open-and-shut case where the other gentleman is the murderer; but Sherlock Holmes as usual observes the ignored clues and reaches the real culprit.


To Be Continued …


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