Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Hound of the Baskervilles
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Wow - this is the third of the full audio Sherlock Holmes audio books I've listened to, available from Gutenberg or They are excellent - the books themselves are, of course classic, but the reader is nothing but brilliant. I especially liked listening to this exchange, after Holmes has provided deductions regarding a warning message sent to Sir Henry Baskerville, composed of cut out words from a newspaper:

"Really, Mr. Holmes, this exceeds anything which I could have
imagined," said Dr. Mortimer, gazing at my friend in amazement.
"I could understand anyone saying that the words were from a
newspaper; but that you should name which, and add that it came
from the leading article, is really one of the most remarkable
things which I have ever known. How did you do it?"

"I presume, Doctor, that you could tell the skull of a negro from
that of an Esquimau?"

"Most certainly."

"But how?"

"Because that is my special hobby. The differences are obvious.
The supra-orbital crest, the facial angle, the maxillary curve,

"But this is my special hobby, and the differences are equally
obvious. There is as much difference to my eyes between the
leaded bourgeois type of a Times article and the slovenly print
of an evening half-penny paper as there could be between your
negro and your Esquimau. The detection of types is one of the
most elementary branches of knowledge to the special expert in
crime, though I confess that once when I was very young I confused
the Leeds Mercury with the Western Morning News. But a Times
leader is entirely distinctive, and these words could have been
taken from nothing else. As it was done yesterday the strong
probability was that we should find the words in yesterday's issue."

Now on to new worlds, or old. I have some language lessons (Spanish) on audio that I've copied to mp3 for my player, and the Greek New Testament. Edification commences!

On less edifying fronts:

Visions of Sugar Plums
Janet Evanovich

This was a lot of fun. Not a full-blown Stephanie Plum, this is a light novella - sort of a Stephanie-as-not-quite-a-Scrooge learns the "True Meaning" of Christmas. It actually fills in a couple of details between books 7 and 8, but otherwise may be a slightly parallel universe. Then again.... Stephanie's world is already a parallel universe all its own....

Friday, November 26, 2004

To the Nines
Janet Evanovich

Wherever she goes, Stephanie manages to cause more trouble than she cleans up (she's particularly rough on the bodyguards that her rival boyfriends, Morelli and Ranger, put on her tail). Just the same, it's a relief to have this frisky life force back in the tight circle of nutty friends and neighbors whose idiosyncratic values she honors and defends.

Whoa - get me to the library! I'm all caught up except for book #10 - and I can rent that for $.25 a day! I've got to find out how Stephanie's living arrangements are working out!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Seven Up (A Stephanie Plum Mystery)
Janet Evanovich

The fun begins when Stephanie sets out to bring in bail jumper Eddie DeChooch, a crazy old codger who can't see as well as he used to, can't get it up (according to Stephanie's Grandma Mazur!), and can't hear too well, either. Maybe that's why, after his partner, Louie D., dies of a heart attack while they're pulling off a contraband cigarette deal, DeChooch thinks he hears mob boss Anthony Thumbs tell him to bring Louie's heart back to Jersey, when what Anthony really says is bring the "fart" back to Jersey.

Fun. Funny. Just like all of the rest - a great, fast-paced read! It is refreshing to find a writer who can turn out her books without losing the edge that made the stories great!

The Valley of Fear
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Very good! Making more good used of my MuVo player, I listened to an excellent reading of The Valley of Fear, which is not unlike A Study in Scarlet (i.e. contemporary crime traced back to exotic weird crimes in America). Very enjoyable. I particularly liked the "pure logic" exercise at the beginning of the story, where Holmes solves a ciphered message.