years ago, box sets of Seasons of Chuck were on sale at the DVD store, when there were still DVD stores. anyway, at that price I took a chance and bought Season 1. I figured I would find the show silly, and maybe kind of offensive if the woman spy was amazing, while she endured this male dunce named Chuck. so I watched Episode 1, and I loved the show from then on. and I confess right now to falling hard for Yvonne Strahovski. I used to end up over at my best friend's place, with DVDs to watch, and I persuaded him to watch Episode 1 of Chuck. "Even if you don't like the show--and I didn't think it was going to be my kind of humour--and you don't want to see any more episodes..that's fine. But you should see this woman.". Well--there's my friend, as Yvonne Strahovski's face comes on screen for the first time (and he worships Michelle Pfeiffer, so there is normally no room for any other celebrity crushes), and all I hear is "Wow. Is that the woman who is on every week?! What is her name? Wow.".
we watched every episode. we both love "her", but truly, it emerged as one of my favourite shows regardless. admittedly, if YS had left the show midway through, or something horrible like that, it would have seared us both--but I would have watched anyway, because Chuck's growth as a person and as a spy with a conscience, was amazing, the humorous spy adventures are all very creative, and Iove the show.
I did not know about this boo, and its follow-up, but my best friend gave me them for my birthday, and has copies himself. shall be fun revisiting Chuck. no pictures, though--damn.
Inspector French and the Starvel Hollow Tragedy, by Freeman Wills Crofts (copyright 1927; quote is from pages 144-145 of the Collins Crime Club trade paperback edition published by HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017).
holy, frigging, moley! yes, that was my reaction, not long before typing this, when I got to around page 200. it is at that point that Inspector French dug up a clue that completely nuked everything that had gone before. at that moment--on that crucial page (around 200, I'm not going to look up the exact page)--with the new discovery, it's fair to say a cocksure Inspector French had his entire theory, a theory fully supported by every thing figured out up until then, thrown right in the crapper. but that's not the best part; that's not my personal "holy woolly moley!!' part...
y'see, someone recently said that lesser-known "Golden Age and thereabouts" Mysteries they were sampling were not turning out to be quite as good as, let's say, Agatha Christie, and anyone who has stayed in print forever. in other words, the cream did rise to the top. there's a reason Christie rules the roost...and if you read these "lesser" efforts, you can see why they faded away--although suddenly many of them are back in print. in the case of this particular book, I have watched as Inspector French has got onto a theory--and more, a suspect, the potential murderer--very early on. and the cleverness of the book has been mainly me watching the Inspector attach meanings to things that were presented earlier in the book--before, and right around, the killings--with me smacking my forehead and thinking "oh yes, that was actually a clue, pointing to a person's guilt--I totally missed that!". and that's been fun, but like a Columbo episode...the cleverness seems to be in knowing who the killer is, and in having the detective bring to light all the little things that prove who the killer is--the stuff we miss. it's cool, with Columbo, and also here. but HERE, we the reader do not actually know who the killer is--it's more like knowing who the killer must be...and everything unearthed proves it more and more.
so...without giving everything away, I have been slowly coming up with my own alternate theory that fits all these facts that make Inspector French pinpoint one person as the culprit, but suggest to me that if Inspector French is wrong, and I am right--and the book is even cleverer than it seems--then all those revealed clues can still work, still fit, and yet there is still room for an entirely other culprit. I'll just say that it has to do with this: we don't really know which three people actually burned up in that fire...do we!
unfortunately, at around page 200, the newest discovery shot down my theory at exactly the same time it was busy destroying Inspector French's entire case. whoah! oh my!! we are both starting over, French and me. and I suddenly LOVE this book. if you read it, make sure you get to, oh, about page 200. new ballgame!
the more French digs into the Starvel tragedy, the more complex the underpinnings become. he seems to be bringing to light a big spider's web of connected--or unconnected?--events that suggest much skullduggery was going on, long before the fire. and one has to wonder how many safes are going to turn up with shocking artefacts in them--we're at two, so far, where I thought one would certainly be the fair share for this Mystery!
it's fun. I like it. Colin Firth should play Inspector French. meanwhile, whodunits involving arson are a morbid fascination with me. of course, at around page 30, the quaint little town was not thinking "Arson!'. now it's page 63; Inspector French has taken a look around. he's thinking "arson", so I'm thinking "arson". I don't know where all the money went, or even who actually died, but French and I are starting at "arson" and going from there...
ah, the Squad. been too long. it's like going back to my favorite little patch of paradise. I know that seems twisted, given the company I end up surrounded with...but there it is. hi, Floyd! hi, other, uh, psychos!
I'll finish this up tonight--just the very special two-part "Runaways" story to read. it's been a blast.
experts insist that this author rivaled--even surpassed--Agatha Christie in book sales, waaayy back in the day. he doesn't now, I'm presuming, but stuff by him is at least back in print, giving him a fair chance at a rebound, and I for one am anxious to meet Inspector French, in this 1927 whodunit. goody goody, eh?
it's Titans time! and I am lovin' it--especially now that the series has swung back to these big multi-issue epics. and my gosh, Adrian Chase in the house! (smoking?! that's no way to be a future superhero...)
my oh my!--what a scary, disturbing, violent and shocking trip to the amusement park. and I mean for adults and kids. don't go there!
okay, there are some familiar trappings here...but I haven't read a book like this in a while, so I'm having fun, it's very exciting--certainly no pace problems--and the characters and backstories make it familiar, yet fresh. very crowded field to write in, but this is a good choice for Crime/Action satisfaction. the female lead is certainly splendid. how could you not love her!
I Am No One, by Patrick Flanery (copyright 2016; quote is from page 299 of the Tim Duggan Books trade paperback).
I need Action--the last book I read was a 4 Star book, but only because I stopped expecting it to be a Thriller, even though it sort of showed itself off as a Thriller, once I realized I had to approach I Am No One with a different frame of mind than I started out with, I realized it was a 4 Star novel, without actually being a 4 Star Thriller. I mean, if you just call it a Thriller, it's a 3 Star book. anyway, never mind--I should be talking about how I do truly need some action and quick-pace chapters in my life, and a tough female lead would be great, a new author for me to absorb...so we have a winner with this woman bounty-hunter romp that's supposed to be quite the rollercoaster ride. that's what I need.
as Thrillers go, it's a rather "quiet" Thriller, with the main character being given the psychological equivalent of death by a thousand (little) cuts. so far, he has to worry more about getting turned into a nervous wreck, than getting waylaid in a dark alley and having the crap kicked out of him. so far.
this Michael Ramsey blister seems to be the bane of Jeremy's (heavily surveilled) existence. or, more likely, he's just an underling.