#478: All But Impossible – The Impossible Files of Dr. Sam Hawthorne [ss] (2017) by Edward D. Hoch

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I’m probably starting in the wrong place with this chronologically fourth collection of the Dr. Sam Hawthorne impossibilities by short story specialist Edward D. Hoch.  However, it contains the very first Hoch story I ever read and so seemed as good a place as any to start.  I’ve read maybe three Hawthornes in other collections and figured it would be good to end 2018 with a long-awaited perusal of them in greater concentration, and…well, I’m a little underwhelmed.  Hoch has a talent for capturing ambience very piquantly, and the best of these stories are very good, but far too few of them have anything like the rigour or intelligence I’d expected given how highly-regarded this series seems to be.

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#475: The Sentence is Death (2018) by Anthony Horowitz

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Having gotten so successfully into the skin of Dr. John H. Watson for his Sherlock Holmes tale The House of Silk (2011), Anthony Horowitz has now found a Watson whose skin fits even better: himself.  And if Horowitz is to be Watson, he needs a Holmes — a role obligingly filled by the brilliantly perceptive ex-D.I. Daniel Hawthorne, a man as private as he is borderline-unlikable, who is parachuted into cases which run the risk of sticking around for a while and making the Metropolitan Police Force’s statistics look bad.  And with Horowitz as his chronicler, it’s to be hoped that any cases they meet will require at least 80,000 words to solve…

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