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19Nov/090

EP0019: Sherlock Holmes: Murder by Proxy

Sherlock Holmes investigates a case of disappearing cadavers.
Original Air Date: Sometime in 1935, though it may have been 1933. Who knows?
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18Nov/090

EP0018: Let George Do It: The Robber

A book shop owner dies and his widow hires George, believing that money is hidden inside the book shop.
Original Air Date: November 8, 1946
 
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17Nov/090

EP0017: Pat Novak for Hire: Fleet Lady

Pat Novak's hired to find a horse, and he finds the horse and a dead body.
Original Air Date: March 6, 1949
Jockey: I want a horse. Can you find me a horse?
Novak: Yeah, I breed them in the back room.
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16Nov/090

EP0016: Box 13: Actor’s Alibi

Dan Holiday receives an impossible call from a woman as she's being murdered.
Original Air Date: January 28, 1948
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15Nov/090

Review: Nightwatch

What would happen if the immortal detectives, Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown met with a brutal murder to solve?

This is the fascinating question posed by Rev. Stephen Kendrick's 2001 Book, Night Watch. The plot of the story is that Sherlock's Holmes' brother, Mycroft, the British's government's most indispensible man as Sherlock Holmes described him, calls his younger brother in to investigate a murder. The rector of an Anglican Church is found dead in his church, with his body mutilated. The prime suspects: leaders of the world's major religions who'd gathered in Britain for some inter-religious dialog. Father Brown is serving as an interpreter for a visiting  Italian Cardinal.

The murder and its solution are fantastic. However, the story is dragged down because of some errors in Kendrick's writing mechanics and also because Kendrick's story was frequently derailed from the story to Kendrick's religious agenda. In part, the book was written to back up Kendrick's assertions in Holy Clues: The Gospel According to Sherlock Holmes which seems to suggest that in Holmes later days in became someone who could best be described as "spiritual and not religious." Unfortunately, the author seemed to work too hard on this angle, which distracted from the main point that readers who weren't enthusiasts of Universalism picked up the for: a murder mystery.

Kendrick's treatment of Holmes, Watson, and Brown was good, but in places uneven. I found some of the conversations between Holmes and Watson not entirely believable and out of place in a mystery novel. Kendrick's Holmes was a cut below Doyle's in solving the case, and Kendrick tried a cheap out by simply saying that Doctor Watson's accounts had been exaggerated or unrealistic. To be fair, Kendrick is hardly the first author of a Holmes pastich to use that out. What Arthur Conan Doyle created in Holmes was a bit of a mental Superman, and like Superman it's very hard to come up with a worthy opponent for him. So, it's far easier to move the character closer to reality.

His portrayal of Brown, while not having the flair of G.K. Chesterton, and leaving the character a little flat was still essentially the same orthodox Catholic priest that readers have come to know and love. Given that Kendrick, as a Unitarian Universalist,  comes from a completely different theological perspective than Chesterton, he deserves to be commended for not trying to tamper with the character, as some interpretations have tried to change Brown into their vision of what a Christian should be rather than the character Chesterton created.

Of course, in a two-detective story, one detective usually draws the short straw, and Brown clearly has the back seat to Holmes. However, in Chesterton's books, Brown off hung around in the background until coming forward to the solution to the crime.  

Kendrick's deserves credit for the audacity of it all. He's the first author I know of to try and bring these giants of detecting onto the same stage. And he produces an interesting, albeit not completely satisfying tome.  Here's hoping that others will follow Kendrick, and this isn't the last Holmes-Father Brown crossover we see.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

14Nov/090

EP0015Bonus: Have Gun Will Travel: Ella West

 

Paladin must take on the hardest challenge he has ever faced, turning 
a wild girl into a civilized girl.

Original Air Date: December 07, 1958

Written by Gene Roddenberry

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13Nov/090

EP0015: Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar: The Slow Boat From China

Johnny Dollar heads to Singapore to save an insurance company from a paying out $2500 day for a shipping delay. Trouble comes when Dollar finds the Insurance company's man in Singapore missing.
Original Air Date: February 5, 1949
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12Nov/090

EP0014: Sherlock Holmes: The Hebraic Breastplate

Holmes investigates a mystery surrounding a relic dating back to the time of King Solomon.
Original Air Date: November 11, 1934
 
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11Nov/090

EP0013: Let George Do It: The Brooksdale Orphanage

George is retained by a Western Movie Actor who has become afraid of horses and even more afraid of letting down the kids at an orphanage who want to see him perform. George has to find someone to ride the horse.
Original Air Date: October 25, 1946
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10Nov/090

EP0012: Pat Novak for Hire: Marcia Halpern

(Courtesy of Digital Deli.)

A woman with apparent amnesia stumbles into Pat Novak and then dies. Novak has to find out who she really is before Hellman rushes him off to the gas chamber.

Quote of the Episode:

"If I didn't move fast, I was deader than a Philadelphia nightclub."

Original Air Date: February 27, 1949

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