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Monday, November 05, 2012

October Reading – Part 3

  

Continued from previous post …

 

16. Three Investigators Novella: The Mystery of Wrecker's Rock by William Arden  

The three investigators are sent fishing off the coast by Bob's father with a simple instruction – click pictures. The lure is that if they click 'interesting' pictures, they will get paid for them. With no idea, what to expect in the seas; the trio is lazing around fishing when they encounter something really interesting and their camera gets into action as they witness a family reunion of a different kind. The people pose and they take some really nice pics of a family re-union which has some historical importance. They also discover an abandoned boat leading to the case of a missing person (probably dead) which is duly reported to police; nothing much for the trio to do on that though.

Someone is now interested in those pictures and the trio as well as Bob's father have to face assault/attack by masked men out to rob the photos. An interested party (notorious individual) is the prime suspect but some incidents hint at other adversaries in the picture. Research indicates that there is a history behind the people and place involved with stories of 'gold' treasure. The trio is still at their wits regarding the importance of the innocent harmless pictures they clicked.

The story does have an interesting climax. Also, William Arden is able to effectively bring out the 'adventure' in the story which was not the case with other 3I novellas written by other authors. Now, there is just one more to go from the original set of 43 novellas of this series.

 

17. ACD Shorts: The Terror of Blue John Gap by Arthur Conan Doyle

 

An old man retiring in a small town finds that there are legends of an ominous creature suspected behind disappearances of sheep in the valley. He takes it upon himself to explore the caves and the mountains. The story consists of diary entries about his encounter with this creature.
In his exploration, he comes face to face with this prehistoric creature of huge size who has presumably lived all his life confined to the deep dark bowels of the earth making occasional visits for small animals like sheep for food.   

 

18. PKD Shorts: 'Foster, You're Dead' by Philip K Dick

In the world of marketing by fear; this story is based on the premise of selling by fear of death. We see that happening even today where insurance is sold based on fear. What if you were told that 'war' is bound to break out any time and to protect yourself; you need to pay for some aerial surveillance as well as 'buy' some products like survival bunkers which become out dated and useless in a matter of months with the advent of new weapons. What do you do ?? Buy or risk perishing in the wake of an attack.

 

19. Sherlock Misadventures: The Man Who Was Not Dead by Manly Wade Wellman

A soldier of the enemy troops disguised as the country's own soldier parachutes himself into one of the villages and begins his trail to locate a phone to call up an individual who would mobilize forces to defeat the country by waging a war from within.

On his journey, he chances upon a house with 3 residents whom he deceives by his preparations … only it is not all's well that's ends well for him. He is in for a surprise and if the story were to be read independent of the context of Sherlock or this book; then even the reader is in for a surprise.

 

20. ACD Shorts: The Brazilian Cat by Arthur Conan Doyle

 

An individual from an elite British family has fallen on hard times. He has no skills and hence not employable and his health is constantly depleting. He is waiting for an impending financial doom when he receives an invitation from a distant cousin who has become pretty famous for his riches in recent time. He takes up the invitation in the hopes of getting some financial aid.

The visit is interesting and during this visit he is introduced to a host of peculiar animals and birds on his cousin's estate. The most dangerous of them is a Brazilian cat which is more like a Puma or a black leopard. As the end of the visit nears, our man talks about his financial difficulties to his cousin who promises to help. Strange turn of event takes place and our protagonist finds himself facing imminent and sure dreadful death. There is a twist in the tail of this interesting tale which is interesting as well as mildly surprising.

 

21. Sherlock Exploits: The Adventure of the Red Widow by Adrian Doyle

A murder is committed in a very gruesome manner and the clues are pointing to historical significance of the instrument of murder. Sherlock arrives at the scene and finds that the case which appears very much clear-cut to the inspector in charge is a convoluted one. This case has similarities to / inspirations from 2-3 different Conan stories. With this story, the 12 story 'Exploits of Sherlock Holmes' came to an end. Next, I will pick up the new Sherlock Holmes novel, 'The House of Silk'.

 

22. PKD Shorts: Pay for the Printer by Philip K Dick

The story is set in an era which is beyond the progressive years of the present times … a time when man has brought about technological destruction upon him and has lost the personal human capability to make basic tools of like. They are now dependant on some entities to 'copy' and make things from existing originals or duplicates. They have forgotten the art of building things and only get their things copied by these entities.

BUT, these entities are dying and man must begin a painfully long journey of learning the art of building. Imagine restarting the evolution journey by building spears from stones and then discovering how to use metals.
 

To Be Continued …

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