Month: April 2012

EP0653: Let George Do It: How Guilty Can You Get

Bob Bailey

George is called to a small community by a wealthy to stop him from being murdered. Suspicion quickly falls onto a doctor who prescribed poison and the dead man’s wife.

Original Air Date: February 19, 1951

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EP0652: Poirot: The Adventure of the Money-Mad Ghouls

Harold Huber

Hercule Poirot investigates a series of grave robberies.

Original Air Date: September 13, 1945

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EP0651: Barrie Craig: Life Line

William Gargan
Barrie Craig tries to save the bitter boyfriend of a young woman, who asked for his help, from a life of crime

Original Air Date:  November 7, 1954

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Book Review: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes continues to be incredibly popular to this day. It’s near the top of the free download list on Kindle. The Librivox Audiobook version has been downloaded 1 million times on Archive.org.

The book remains the most popular literature featuring the great detective beating all the novels and other collections handily. It contains 12 classic stories:

1. A Scandal in Bohemia
2. The Red-Headed League
3. A Case of Identity
4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery
5. The Five Orange Pips
6. The Man with the Twisted Lip
7. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
8. The Adventure of the Speckled Band
9. The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
10. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

Other than the unsatisfactory ending to, “A Case of Identity” each story is a true gem. They all have this wonderful mix of exciting action, clear-headed deduction, with sensational situations occurring frequently.

If you’ve never read the collection and you’ve only seen or heard adaptations of the story, perhaps the greatest benefit to be derived from reading the book is that most adaptations take stories from all the collections. What you get when you read these stories in the order they were published is how fresh and exciting the Holmes story and character was. There had never been anything quite like it and its clear in this collection that Doyle was still enjoying the character. The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes represents Holmes and Doyle at their prime. I found myself imagining what it might be like to pick up a copy of the book or be reading the original stories in the magazine if you’d never read a detective story before or if all you’d was Edgar Allen Poe’s C Auguste Dupin. How exciting it must have been for the first readers to encounter Sherlock Holmes.

Of course, even 120 years after the collection was published in 1892, Doyle’s masterwork stands well against any modern competitor in fascinating its readers.

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars.

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The Top Ten Perry Mason TV Movies, Part Three

Previous: Part Two and Part One

3) Perry Mason and the Case of the Lady in the Lake (1988)

Okay, it’s not by Raymond Chandler but for a Perry Mason film, this one has got some nice twists. First of all, Perry’s Client is an ex-tennis player who is accused of killing his rich heiress wife played by none other than David Hasselhoff.

This is one of Perry’s more complex cases. It’s not just a matter of this current murder, but a twenty year old kidnapping plays a big role as well. The movie was the last for Paul Drake, Jr. (William Katt) and Michael Reston (David Ogden Stiers) and its certainly a memorable one with a big twist on the usual Mason ending.

2) Perry Mason and the Case of the Sinister Spirit (1987)

A horror writer invites famous guest to a hotel he owns after having written a novel where he obviously based characters on the guests and portrayed in an unflattering way. He calls them there ostensibly to sue for peace, but instead pulls a series of cruel practical jokes on them that bring up painful memories. For Publisher Jordan White (Robert Stack) this includes a reminder of the death of Jordan’s son in a swimming pool.

It surprises no one when the writer turns up murdered, thrown from the top of the Hotel and Perry’s hired by White to defend him. Paul Drake, Jr. is investigating. A witness who heard the dead man’s last word and saw him fall to his death is seemingly beset by supernatural occurrences, apparently being haunted. In what amounts to one of the most inexplicable scenes in all the movies, Perry impeaches the poor woman’s testimony. Decency aside, there was no real reason for this and it made Drake’s job harder.

However, the solution to the mystery, the story’s dramatic conclusion, and a spell-binding performance by Dwight Schultz make up for these little wrinkles.

1) Perry Mason and the Case of the Desperate Deception (1990)

Perry Mason takes on Nazi War Criminals. This is the basic plot of the story. His client his young Marine attached to the U.S. Embassy in Paris. The young officer is searching for the concentration guard that devastated his family during the Holacaust. He is led to believe he found the ex-Nazi at a health club. However, when the ex-Nazi is killed, suspicion points to the young officer who faces Court Martial.

Perry Mason heads to Paris to head up the defense. He and Ken Malansky find intrigue around every corner. Mason finds ex-Nazis, traitors, and Nazi hunters roaming Paris. Perry has to sort through more than four decades of deception to find the truth, not only to acquit his client but to bring long overdue justice to the perpetrators of heinous war crimes. A goal worthy of one Perry Mason’s top cases.

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