Monday, December 19, 2011

Reader's Diary #784- Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

I finally found a Christmas story not about feeding the hungry. Though it does involve a Christmas goose, so I guess it's still food-related.

Actually, except for the goose (which is a pretty important part of the story), it has very little to do with Christmas. I am considering going to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie at some point over the holidays, and this is a Sherlock Holmes story, so there's also that.

"The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" is a pleasant enough little mystery that begins with Holmes profiling a man based solely upon the condition of a found hat. I don't often read mysteries, but when I do I always feel on guard and sort of like the author and I have entered into a contest of wits. Can he slip enough clues past me without my having figured out the culprit? I did guess who it was in this story, though it had more to do with the predictable way these stories are set up than any real giveaway. I don't think mystery is a genre I would ever really throw myself into, but it's fine for an occasional diversion.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

6 comments:

HKatz said...

I don't think mystery is a genre I would ever really throw myself into, but it's fine for an occasional diversion.

Much as I enjoy dipping into the world of Sherlock Holmes now and then, I've never favored Doyle's writing or approach to mystery - a lot of times it seems to be made up more of mechanical details put together than a really human plot. That can be enjoyable, especially if you're looking at it maybe as a puzzle only (though with Holmes stories I don't know if you always get all the relevant details to work with... sometimes Holmes just points them out and then you learn of them after he's already deduced something).

The mystery stories that are good for just a diversion aren't the really great ones though. The best ones have made me consider human nature and psychology in new ways, and introduced me to memorable characters and great writing (one example is the G.K. Chesterton collection - Father Brown: The Essential Tales). I read this past year a volume, The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories, and there was a lot of variety from one author to another.

Medea said...

Sounds like a great mystery!

My Christmas story is about feeding people, but I liked it all the same.

http://perogiesandgyoza.blogspot.com/2011/12/short-story-monday-aunt-cyrillas.html

Julie @ Read Handed said...

I'm not a big mystery fan, either. Like you, I think it's fun to dip into every now and again, but it's definitely not my genre of choice.

The Christmas story I read wasn't about feeding people either! It was about family. I read "At Christmas Time" by Anton Chekhov.

Teddy Rose said...

Mystery is not one of my preferred genres either but I enjoy it every once in awhile, in the form of short story. That's when someone from Short Story Monday suggests one.

I read The Cat: http://teddyrose.blogspot.com/2011/12/cat-by-sarah-selecky.html

Teddy Rose said...

Medea, I tried several times to leave a comment on your blog but comments weren't working. Blogger has been doing that a lot this week. Here's what I said:
I remember reading John's review, which had prompted me to read it as well: http://teddyrose.blogspot.com/2009/12/aunt-cyrillas-christmas-basket-by-lucy.html

John, the amount of food in that basket had me laughing out loud. At the time I figured it must have been a magic food basket.

SuziQoregon said...

I'm looking forward to the new Sherlock Holmes movie but we'll probable end up waiting for the DVD.

I've only started reading Sherlock Holmes this year. I'm really not sure why I haven't read them before because mystery is my favorite genre. I've enjoyed the books I've read so far.

I haven't read this particular story yet but wil eventually get to it.

This week I felt it was time for some Wodehouse. It's not seasonal at all but another light diversion.