Tag Archive | sir arthur conan doyle

Book Review: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

If you’re like me, then you can hardly keep yourself composed and calm when thinking that the third season of Sherlock is waiting just on the other side of the Summer break. This fall, the secret to Sherlock’s survival shall finally be revealed, and we shall see what new and exciting mysteries await or crime solving duo.

In the meantime, here is a look at yet another one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original masterpieces which inspired the creation of this modern day spin on the classic. This one is much shorter than all the previous works of his I have presented to you, not that any of them are all that long. These are the kind of stories that would appear in the daily newspaper, allowing for only so much detail in such a limited space.

This story is from chapter 7 of ” The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 2009″, and it is called The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. The following is my interpretation of the story, and may contain some spoilers which I apologize for in advance.

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While most people spend the Christmas holidays preparing feasts, purchasing gifts and adorning their pine trees with decor, Sherlock Holmes, not being most people, spends his holidays much the same as he spends any other day; solving a mystery. The case he is currently working on is not entirely unrelated to the season, although it seems like nothing more than a strange waste of time in the eyes of dear old Dr. Watson. Coming home to 221B Baker Street, Dr. Watson discovers Mr. Holmes examining a rather tattered old hat, which he is later told belonged to someone who had gotten himself into a bit of a scuffle with some ruffians. Just as you would expect, Sherlock believes wholeheartedly that everything they need to identify the owner of this hat, and what exactly he had gotten himself into, could be deduced from this single piece of evidence. What was seemingly a waste of effort and time soon became quite the mystery when a small, blue diamond was discovered in a frozen turkey recovered from the scene of the crime, seemingly belonging to the man who also owned the hat. This, of course, was not just any diamond; this was the Countess of Morcar’s blue carbuncle! What could that man have been doing with the jewel? Were the people who attacked him after the jewel as well? Is this how Watson and Holmes will spend their entire Christmas Holidays?

This story is another classic example of what makes Sherlock Holmes such a memorable character. Dr. Watson is still unable to grasp the way in which the cogs move within the mind of his detective friend, although that doesn’t stop him from trying to apply his own deductive skills. It’s also a classic example of how something which most people would overlook, like a ripped up old hat, could actually be a big clue to an entire series of events pointing to a much greater plot. This one would definitely make a nice holiday episode of the BBC show Sherlock, but we’ll just have to wait and see how that modern twist of this classic series is going to unfold.

That’s all for today. If you’ve read this book already, let me know what you thought of it in the comments below. Also, feel free to leave any of your own book reviews or recommendations in the comments on the Book Recommendations from You page. Life is full of books waiting to be read, so until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

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Review: The Man with the Twisted Lip

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

First off, I would like to congratulate Mr. Chris Hadfield on his safe return after spending five months at the International Space Station. He has become somewhat of a celebrity, right up there with Neil Armstrong, but fame is not all that him and his fellow astronauts sought. No, their main task was to perform a series of tests in order to measure the changes in their bone density, nutrition levels and other similar effects directly related to prolonged stays in space. If we ever hope to set foot on mars, we have to be able to counteract such effects, which makes this information highly valuable. With his return, however, we probably won’t see any more astronauts trekking through space for the next few years, but that just means plenty of time for the space engineers to do what they do best; take what we have and make it better.

And now for my own personal review of the sixth story in my Sherlock collection; The Man with the Twisted Lip.

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stars-4

After a distraught Mrs. Whitney stumbles into the home of Dr. Watson, he sets out to find the ladies husband, who seems to have wandered off somewhere to indulge in a batch of opium. It wasn’t long before he found Mr. Whitney, pale and incoherent, sitting more or less alone in a pub. After sending him home in a cab, who should Dr. Watson also encounter but his friend Sherlock, disguised as a decrepit old man with an opium pipe in his lap. And then off they rode from their, the confident Sherlock leading a rather confused Watson as he blindly follows the great detective on yet another quest. Funny enough, this quest will lead them right back to the opium den in which Dr. Watson had located Sherlock that very evening, for he wished to look into a crime involving someone elses husband and coat pockets loaded with pennies and halfpennies. What does all of this add up to? You’ll just have to read and find out, but I can assure you that it will be quite thrilling adventure. This is one of the first stories which introduces Dr. Watson’s wife, if only very briefly, showing that his life does not revolve solely around Sherlock and his crazy quests. You also get a look at just how far Sherlock is willing to go to solve a puzzle, even if it means deceiving his best and only friend.

That’s all for today. As always, I encourage you to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Review: The Five Orange Pips

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

In case you haven’t already heard the news, although I’m sure you have if you spend any time at all on the internet, NATHAN FILLION has been recently added to the guest list for Ottawa Comiccon! Thanks to that, there will now be  Firefly panel/Q&A! It just keeps getting better and better, and there are only five days left until the big weekend. I hope you’re all as excited as I am ^_^

And now we move on to today’s review of Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ mystery masterpiece; The Five Orange Pips.

The Five Orange Pips

Five Orange Pips

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A mysterious envelope. The initials K.K.K. Five orange pips. A man dying under odd circumstances …. what does this all add up to? A case interesting enough to attract the attention of Sherlock Holmes, of course. Mr. John Openshaw was quite distraught upon entering 221 B Baker Street, and Sherlock even more so upon hearing his story, for he could not believe the man had not come for his expertise sooner! After the judge and jury claimed the deaths to be unrelated to these suspicious messages, Sherlock was determined to blow their simple minds, as well as the lid on this case. By combining all of the available evidence, Mr. Holmes was able to deduce that Mr. John Openshaw, as well as his deceased family members, have all fallen victim to the vindictiveness of the Ku Klux Klan society. Mr. Openshaw only has to choices; to change his ways or flee the country. You’ll just have to read and find out whether Holmes and Watson are able to protect him from either fate by seeking out the culprits and putting an end to their terrorizing ways. Quite a bit of this story is reflected in the BBC Sherlock episode “The Great Game”, where Sherlock is sent on a kind of scavenger hunt after receiving a phone call, followed by five beeps (pips). My favorite aspect of this story is that it gives some insight into the kind of information Sherlock values most, according to his best friend Doctor Watson :

Philosophy, astronomy, and politics were marked at zero, I remember. Botany variable, geology profound as regards the mud stains from any region within fifty miles of town, chemistry eccentric, anatomy unsystematic, sensational literature and crime records unique, violin player, boxer, swordsman, lawyer, and self-poisoner by cocaine and tobacco. Those, I think, were the main points of my analysis.” (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, p.110).

Another thing about this particular story which fascinates me is that although they solve the mystery in the end, the man whom they were charged with protecting did not come out of things alive. It shows that although he may be a genius, Sherlock is by no means perfect, adding a dimension of realism to his character. All in all, though, a satisfactory tale.

That is all for today. As always, feel free to leave any thoughts or questions in the comments, and if you have any books you would like to recommend, visit the “Book recommendations from You” page in the above menu and leave the title, author and a brief summary in the comments. I hope you are all taking advantage of this lovely weather – perfect for perching up in a tree with a good book – and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Book Review: A Case of Identity

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

A rich family, the disappearance of a fiance, and a whole lot of money on the line; sounds like a mystery for the great Sherlock Holmes! Read and see how the detective’s deductive science is put to the test this time in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Case of Identity

A Case of Identity

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When the rich, sophisticated and emotionally troubled Miss Mary Sutherland appears on the doorstep of 221 B Baker Street, she brings with her a case that would be trouble for your average detective, but which is a mere cinch for Mr. Holmes. Just like his previous stories, Mr. Doyle presented the story from Dr. Watson’s perspective, who in this case was able to offer up his own deductive skills as opposed to merely watching in awe as Sherlock Holmes unravels the entire mystery by merely observing the victim. They were both in agreement that Miss Sutherland’s potential fiance, Mr. Angel, had behaved rather suspiciously before disappearing, and her stepfather Mr. Windibank did not appear to be completely innocent either with such a grand sum of money involved… All in all, a compelling story. There were even a few phrases I recognized from Sherlock BBC, which is what drew me into this world of detective work and criminal conspiracies. Just goes to show that his work continues to inspire writers of all types, which is a mark of true genius.

That’s all for today. As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments, whether bad or good, and if you have a book that you would like to recommend, visit the “Book Recommendations from You” page above and leave the title, author and a brief summary in the comments. Until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Words of Wisdom: Sherlock Holmes

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Today, I wish to impose upon you the words of an author whose wisdom is conveyed through his minds greatest creation; Sherlock Holmes. It may be the words of a fictional character, but that does not lessen the truth of these words…

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(Sir Athur Conan Doyle, 1859~1930)

“[…]for strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination”

This quote was taken from The Red-Headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These were the first words that my mind recalled after having read this story, mostly because they resonate a truth that I myself approve of. We watch movies and read books to immerse ourselves in that which is extraordinary and supernatural, to experience things that we could never fathom experiencing in real life. You can go wherever you want to, become whomever you want to be, and all without having to leave the comfort of your own bed. But what we fail to realize is that the plain upon which we exist can be just as extraordinary, if not more, than anything the human imagination can conjure up.

The video below, for example, is an episode taken from the YouTube series Scishow hosted by Hank Green. It is a series dedicated to exploring the world of science, and presenting the facts on a level that almost anyone can understand. This video is a part of his newest segment, “The Scishow Talk Show”, where they have an animal guest brought in to see, touch and learn about from an animal expert. This particular video springs to mind because this creature seems so strange, and so alien, that most would think of it as a manifestation of the imagination.

http://youtu.be/Xz3btMhdQ6Y?t=3m42s

I pride myself on my ability to conjure up stories for others to enjoy, and I know only too well how amazing and extraordinary the human imagination is. However, I will take real world experience over that any day, because life can be even more extraordinary if we give it the chance to be.

That is all for today. Feel free to share your thoughts on this quote – whether you agree or disagree – and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Todays Topic: Words of Wisdom

Hello All!

I regret to inform you all that I have come down with something akin to a cold (I said akin to one because I know what a cold feels like, and whatever I have been plagued with only meets most of the criteria for a cold), therefore today’s blog will be very brief. It didn’t take me long to think of something that I could post that takes very little effort, but will still allow you to walk away feeling satisfied. So, as of today, Thursday will be the designated ‘Words of Wisdom’ day, where I will present to you one of my all time favorite quotes, sayings, proverbs or something that will just leave you feeling inspired.

Today’s little piece of wisdom comes from one of my favorite fictional characters, Sherlock Holmes:

 

When you have eliminated the possible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth

– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)

Sherlock Holmes BBC

 

I like to keep this in mind whenever I’m writing a test that consists of only multiple choice questions. There are only a limited number of answers, and one of them has to be the right one. So logically, we should be able to eliminate everything that is wrong until only one true answer remains. I’ve gotten decent grades on tests up to this point, so there does seem to be some truth to the logic of deduction.

I hope you were able to take something away from this, and hopefully I will be back to my energetic, cheerful self come tomorrow.

 

Cheers 🙂