Friday, 10 August 2012

Quick review – A New Orleans Detective Mystery

A New Orleans Detective Mystery by Ken Mask

When three bodies are discovered, one after another, all murdered in the same gruesome manner, it appears a serial killer is on the loose. Detectives from the New Orleans Police Department enlist the help of private investigator Luke Jacobs and his team to catch the villain.

I normally dislike reading gobs of back story and the personal history of peripheral characters. Although there are many overlaps and repetitions, Ken Mask makes it fascinating, as he does with the history of the city. New Orleans and the characters who live and work there come alive from a writer who obviously loves his city.

Jacobs uses his above average smarts and common sense to solve the mystery, and delights in explaining everything, often in cryptic terms, to the detectives and his group.

Interesting story, told in an interesting way.

Summary: Although the ending – the unmasking of the killer – seemed abrupt I found the story intelligent and well told. 

– Cat

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Quick review - Seaweed on the Rocks

Silas Seaweed, of the Coast Salish tribe, is a tough street cop in Victoria, BC. His investigation into the overdose death of a young native woman takes him from the mean streets of the city to the lofty mansions of the wealthy.

He works this way along gritty sidewalks where he knows most of the habitu├ęs, and pieces together a lucrative con that uses bits of native mythology to prey on the superstitions of wealthy people.

Silas untangles the web of deceit, solves a murder, and keeps the peace in his own way, all the while staying true to his rich heritage and the ways of his people.

The fourth of the series, Seaweed on the Rocks is a refreshingly different police story, with well-defined characters, and a unique lead.

Conclusion: an enjoyable mystery, made all the more fascinating by the interweaving of first Nations lore and customs.

-- Cat

Sunday, 10 June 2012


I recently had the pleasure of watching both the first and the second seasons of the new Sherlock TV series.  Each season consisted of  [only!]  three 90 minute episodes.

Sherlock, produced for the BBC and the PBS Masterpiece anthology series, is the latest incarnation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective Sherlock Holmes.

This is a modern Sherlock, a distinctive Sherlock in that he is a self-described high functioning sociopath. Rare flashes of humanity are brought out by Dr. John Watson, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

The great consulting detective uses cell phones, the Internet, GPS, every latest gadget that he can. Dr. Watson writes his stories about Sherlock on a blog. There are familiar names from the original stories – Mrs. Hudson, DI Lestrade, Jim Moriarty, Mycroft Holmes, and the stories are loosely based on the originals.

The episodes are fast-paced, filled with action, and give us a fine picture of modern London. Fans, myself included, are happily awaiting the next season, slated for production in 2013. 


Friday, 16 March 2012

Before we had The Mentalist, we had Poirot....

Death on the Nile

Agatha Christie's Poirot [filmed by the British company ITV in 2004]

The inimitable Hercule Poirot, played to eccentric perfection by David Suchet, embarks on a Nile cruise along with the usual assortment of friends, family, and strangers, all harboring deadly secrets. Passengers are murdered and Poirot takes charge of the investigation.

It's fun watching him delve into the psyches of those on the list of suspects. The inevitable meeting of all the interested parties, an Agatha Christie mystery staple, concludes with Poirot laying bare everyone's secrets and ferreting out the killer. A dramatic confession follows.

Filmed on location in Egypt, the show boasts stunning cinematography and artistic scenes. Some awe-inspiring moments.

– Cat