Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

His Last Bow

Sunday, May 25th, 2014 | Books

His Last Bow is another of the collection of short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle around Sherlock Holmes. They continued Doyle’s improved storytelling style and offered some further interesting insight into the characters, particularly Mycroft.

Some of it made me think I had read before, particularly when Holmes describes how he reads Watson’s thoughts. I’m not sure if it actually was the same as an earlier story or not. It also jumps around quite a bit in terms of when the stories were set and so a bit more of an explanation at the start would have been nice.

His Last Bow

The Valley of Fear

Saturday, May 17th, 2014 | Books

The last full Sherlock Holmes novel that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote is The Valley of Fear. It is a great example of how Doyle’s writing progressed as his career went on. It has a similar structure to that of his first novel A Study in Scarlet but is delivered in a far more coherent and logical way as to make the pleasure of reading it greatly increased.

It does, however, like quite a number of the stories in the Sherlock Holmes canon, lack an entirely-satisfying ending. However, there have been worse conclusions of stories in the series.


The Hound of the Baskervilles

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 | Books

After several series of short stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle returned Sherlock Holmes to the setting of a full-length novel in 1901 with “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”. It was originally serialised in The Strand.

For me, the novel represents one of the most interesting stories I have read so far in the Sherlock Holmes series. Doyle’s writing had continued to improve and parts of the book created a genuinely chilling setting without going into extensive details about the locations explored throughout the book.


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Monday, February 24th, 2014 | Books

I was rather disappointed when I first started reading the Sherlock Holmes stories. Because they were rubbish. However, as time as gone on, the writing has become better and better and each story is more enjoyable. The collection of short stories that form Memoirs continues this trend.

That is until the last book, The Final Problem, in which Watson recounts the death of Sherlock. Professor Moriarty appears from nowhere, having never been mentioned before. Then Sherlock mutters to himself that he would really like to catch Moriarty for a while. Finally Watson goes for a walk and when he comes back he assumes Sherlock and Moriarty have had a fight and plunged over a waterfall.


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Monday, February 10th, 2014 | Books

Having read the first two novels in the Sherlock Holmes series, I recently finished the first set of short stories. These are collectively known as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

They started off in a similar vein to the novels. By that I mean they were not very interesting. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle does not seem to have mastered the skill of structuring a truly captivating story at this point. The language is enjoyable but the plots and the structure are not always particularly well thought out.

As the series goes on however, these points seem to come together to create more and more interesting stories. By the end I could not put them down. Metaphorically at least.


The Sign of Four

Saturday, February 1st, 2014 | Books

I recently finished the Sherlock Holmes novel, “The Sign of Four”. It was along the same lines as A Study in Scarlet in that it was a reasonably enjoyable read, but not as good as I had hoped.

I find the TV series Sherlock far better than the books. The novels are just a bit boring in comparison. Once I have suspended by disbelief as to how clever Sherlock could be, he might as well be insanely brilliant (as he is in the TV show) rather than rather brilliant as he is in the novels.

A common theme between the two novels I have read is that the mystery does not actually take up that much of a novel. But during the explanation, it will suddenly go into a huge back story that goes on for ages.

Finally, I also found the end a bit of a let down. I did not actually feel like anything was resolved. On balance, I enjoyed it more than I did the first novel though, so I am hoping it will continue to get better and better.

A Study in Scarlet

Monday, January 20th, 2014 | Books

I have started reading Sherlock Holmes to see if Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss had many any changes when they developed their TV series.

I think I prefer the TV series. The novel is straight forward. Sure, Sherlock Holmes is a very clever man. But it is almost believable. Where I quite like the TV series because it is escapism – nobody could be that brilliant, or that much of an arsehole.

I also found the structure of the novel rather strange. In the middle it changes to a story set in Utah for “The Country of the Saints”. I understand why it was there, but it goes on for ages and ages. It is like a mini-novel inside another.


How did Sherlock fake his own death?

Friday, December 27th, 2013 | Distractions


Jonathan Creek

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 | Distractions

I’ve finally finished watching the new Jonathan Creek.

Overall, I thought it was OK, trending towards disappointing.

Mainly because he doesn’t live in a windmill anymore. That was the best bit. You can make the argument that they can’t just bring it back after a long break and pretend nothing has happened, but if we’ve learned anything from Red Dwarf X, actually you can, and they should have done.

The first layer of the mystery was good, and while it wasn’t as far reaching as “great”, if you watch back on the original episodes, it was only really series three to hit it out of the park – the rest were about as good as this one. The second layer with the secret assassinations seemed a bit over the top too.

I was also disappointed that there was no nice ending where he decided that settling down was all nonsense and he was going back to solving mysteries in a windmill. But, despite the lack of a windmill, he will be returning to our screens next year, in a new full series.

Jonathan Creek

Monday, March 4th, 2013 | Distractions

Having been struck down with the flu most of last week, I’ve been spending a lot of time in bed, watching Jonathan Creek.

It’s actually not that old, the first episode was broadcast in 1997, but it’s certainly starting to show its age. Floppy disks, VHS cassettes, an age before you could and would look up everything on the internet – it feels like a historial drama now. Not to mention that the first few episodes weren’t even in widescreen.

It also left me with a very torn feeling – I don’t want to move out of the city but at the same time, I now have a strong desire to live in a windmill. Tough call.

I’m also very pleased to see that they are making a brand new episode of Jonathan Creek, that will appear this Easter as a one off feature length episode!

Just need a new Louis Theroux documentary now and it will be the best Easter ever…