#287: The Equivocation of the Fiend That Lies Like Truth – Colloquialisms, Idioms, and Fair Play

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I’ve spoken a lot about fair play in detective fiction.  I defined it, I defended it (twice, in fact), we voted for the books that best exemplify it, and here we are again.  See, the idea of presentation and declaration (which, yes, I’ve also spoken about before) occurred to me in a new way, and this blog operates on a sort of “Hey, I wonder what people would think about this thing I just thought of?” principle — so here we go…

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#284: Lament for a Maker – Logical Fallacies Abound in The Mentalist Season 1, Episodes 1-8 (2008)

The Mentalist Season 1

I don’t watch much TV.  I’m not going to be pompous about it, I just don’t.  Recently, however, I came into possession of the complete run — seven seasons, approximately 800 DVDs — of the US show The Mentalist and was intrigued enough to give it a look.  If this is new territory to you, it stars Simons Baker as Patrick Jane, an ex-psychic who following a personal tragedy now helps the seemingly-autonomous California Bureau of Investigation with his keen insight into the crimes they are called to solve.

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#186: On Daemons’ Roost (2016) and the Sad Decline of Jonathan Creek

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Aware of my fondness for the programme itself and an impossible crime in general, people keep asking me what I thought of the recent Jonathan Creek Christmas special ‘Daemons’ Roost’.  And I keep having to relive it by telling them.  The only sane response is therefore to write it all down here and direct all future enquiries to this post on my blog (which might at least get me some readers…).  I apologise in advance.  This is not going to be pretty.

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#120: On the Many Wonderful Faces of Dr. John H. Watson, MD – Part 1 of 2

Sherlock Holmes collectionLately I’ve read an unusually high concentration of Holmes pastiches — Caleb Carr’s The Italian Secretary (not good), Stephen King’s ‘A Doctor’s Case’ (not terrible), Colin Dexter’s ‘A Case of Mis-Identity’ (extremely good), Michael Kurland’s The Infernal Device (loadsa fun), Steve Hockensmith’s Holmes on the Range (fabulous) and a superb piece of unpublished fan fiction sent to me via email — and it’s made me realise that while Watson, and specifically the Watsonian voice, is vital in undertaking Holmes, no-one can quite agree what Watson is, how he should be written, and this makes him far and away the more interesting of the two men when it comes to analysis.

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#60: How a Lady Commits a Crime, and other reflections on And Then There Were None (2015)

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I know, I know: I time my Sherlock Week so that it completely fails to capitalise on the BBC Christmas Special, and only now – several weeks after the event, when everyone else is well and truly done with it – only now do I get round to the BBC’s rather excellent adaptation of Agatha Christie’s island-based murder-fest.  Undaunted by my lack of riding the ever-shifting popular wave, there are some things I thought I’d write about.  Suffice to say, SPOILERS of all manner and sort follow; if you’re even later than me getting to this, you’re probably better off not reading any farther if you wish to view it completely pure (which, really, you should).  I’m discussing the adaptation here rather than the book, but they match so closely in all the key details that I’ll be ruining something for you if you’re hoping the book is massively different.  It isn’t.  And that is a wonderful thing. Continue reading