OT: Ceija Stojka This Has Happened

The National Museum Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, in collaboration with La maison rouge – Fondation Antoine de Galbert (Paris), presents the exhibition ‘This Has Happened’. The first retrospective in Spain of the late Austrian-Romani artist Ceija Stojka (1933–2013). The exhibition will be open from 22 November, 2019 to 23 March, 2020 at the Sabatini Building, Floor 3, Santa Isabel 52, 28012 Madrid.

03-ceija_stojka-e1573737550523The work of the Austrian-Romani artist Ceija Stojka (Kraubath, Austria, 1933 – Vienna, Austria, 2013) is an exceptional testimony, both because of it rarity and because of its artistic quality, to the Porrajmos, the persecution and genocide of the Gypsy community at the hands of Nazi Germany. Deported at the age of ten along with her family, Stojka survived three concentration camps during the Second World War. She divulged her experiences forty years later, from 1988 to 2012, when she undertook an intense exercise in memory through writing, drawing, and painting. This exhibition presents a survey of this prolific self-taught artist, organized in a series of thematic sections that help to reconstruct the different situations she confronted. ( Source: Exhibition brochure)

Untitled (n.d.), Ceija Stojka. Courtesy Hojda and Nuna Stojka Collection, Vienna

Additional information:

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia

Ceija Stojka International Fund

Anthony Bathurst – A series by Brian Flynn

Though I may arrive late, one of the publishing events of this year was the release of several books by Brian Flynn. Unfortunately Brian Flynn books until now were, and some still are, very difficult to find. Fortunately, the nice folk at Dean Street Press decided to republish the first ten books: The Billiard Room Mystery (1927); The Case Of The Black Twenty-two (1928); The Mystery Of The Peacock’s Eye (1928); The Murders Near Mapleton (1929); The Five Red Fingers (1929); Invisible Death (1929); The Creeping Jenny Mystery (1930); Murder En Route (1930); The Orange Axe (1931); and The Triple Bite (1931). They all come with an Introduction by crime fiction historian Steve Barge (The Puzzle Doctor), who blogs at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel.

But who was Brian Flynn? Up to now the only information available in the Internet referred to Brian Flynn (1885-1958), an English author and an accountant in government service, a lecturer in elocution and speech, an amateur actor, who wrote about 50 novels, mostly for the library market. His serial character is Anthony Bathurst. (gadetection) In addition to that you may see also the following post at Mystery File, and the following page at Classic Crime Fiction, but besides that very little was known.

Now we know that Brian Flynn was born in 1885 in Leyton, Essex. He won a scholarship to the City Of London School, and from there went into the civil service. In World War I he served as Special Constable on the Home Front, also teaching “Accountancy, Languages, Maths and Elocution to men, women, boys and girls” in the evenings, and acting in his spare time. It was a seaside family holiday that inspired Brian Flynn to turn his hand to writing in the mid-twenties. Finding most mystery novels of the time “mediocre in the extreme”, he decided to compose his own. Edith, the author’s wife, encouraged its completion, and after a protracted period finding a publisher, it was eventually released in 1927 by John Hamilton in the UK and Macrae Smith in the U.S. as The Billiard-Room Mystery. The author died in 1958. In all, he wrote and published 57 mysteries, the vast majority featuring the super-sleuth Anthony Bathurst. (Source: Dean Street Press)

By the way it was of interest to me to find out that Brian Flynn wrote mainly for what it is called library publishers (publishers whose aim was to produce books which libraries would buy – often by quantity rather than by author. If libraries bought his books, he would keep on writing).  What a difference with Spanish publishers! who would rather destroy their unsold books before giving them away freely to public libraries.

And now, if you allow me, I’m off to reading Murder en Route (The Anthony Bathurst Mysteries Book 8) first, followed by The Murders near Mapleton (The Anthony Bathurst Mysteries Book 8), to put myself in Christmas mood. Stay tuned.


Facsimile Dust Jacket, Murder en Route by Brian Flynn, Grosset & Dunlap (USA) (1932)


Book Description

51iqX1y4GDL“Education’s like murder. It will out.”

Anthony Bathurst drops into a Glebeshire church and when it transpires that the vicar is acquainted with the medical examiner on a case of murder, Bathurst is hooked. He is soon on the trail of a most bizarre murderer. Who could have slain the slightly mysterious, yet quite unsuspicious, man on the top of a local bus? Bathurst assembles a band of helpers, with the reluctant help of Inspector Curgenven, to get to the bottom of a most perplexing case. And the vicar himself helps narrate the story of what is a seemingly impossible crime.

Murder en Route was originally published in 1930. This new edition includes an introduction by crime fiction historian Steve Barge.

What others have said:

Jim F Norris @ Pretty Sinister Books: ‘Being one of Flynn’s earliest mystery novels Murder En Route was published in both UK and US editions. But obviously both are as rare as a wooden nickel these days. However, if you are lucky enough to stumble across a copy I’d snap it up in an instant. I enjoyed it immensely and it proves that the obscure writers can dish up an engrossing, ingenious and thrilling detective story to match any of the greats of the Golden Age.’

TomCat @ Beneath the Stains of Time: ‘Overall, Murder en Route is a solidly plotted and fascinating detective novel about a victim who’s as elusive as his murderer, but all of the clues are there for you to pick up and put together, if you can – making it my favorite entry in the series so far. Highly recommended!’

Steve Barge @ In Search of the Classic Mystery: ‘Overall, this is a nicely complex yet clear plot, with some good twists and turns, with the overall picture being an imaginative one. The reader may guess some parts of it, but there are clues there as to what’s going on, and it’s written with Flynn’s light touch making it, as ever, a very enjoyable read, from the opening sections on the bus to the exciting and somewhat unlikely finale. Yes, some characters suffer from the mystery-novel syndrome of not doing the obvious thing due to it making a better story – Flynn is hardly alone in committing this sin – but this is a clever and fun read. Who could ask for more?’

Book Description

51yxmyfYP9L._SY346_“This is not suicide, gentlemen. This is murder! Cold-blooded murder! The sooner we get the police here and find Sir Eustace Vernon, the better!”

Christmas Eve at Vernon House is in full swing. Sir Eustace’s nearest and dearest, and the great and the good of Mapleton, are all there. But the season of comfort and joy doesn’t run true to form. Before the night is out, Sir Eustace has disappeared and his butler, Purvis, lies dead, poisoned, with a threatening message in his pocket. Or is it her pocket?

That same evening, Police Commissioner Sir Austin Kemble and investigator Anthony Bathurst are out for a drive. They come across an abandoned car at a railway crossing, and find a body – Sir Eustace Vernon, plus two extraordinary additions. One, a bullet hole in the back of his head. Two, a red bon-bon in his pocket with a threatening message attached.

The Murders near Mapleton was originally published in 1929. This new edition includes an introduction by crime fiction historian Steve Barge.

Curtis Evans @ The Passing Tramp: ‘All in all, I would say The Murders near Mapleton is a meritorious example of the pure puzzle type of detective novel that a certain type of mystery fan still clamors for today.  Let’s help make next year’s yuletide gay by gifting readers with a Brian Flynn.  I have a certain feeling he will be coming back in print.

Steve Barge @ In Seach of the Classic Crime Mystery: ‘A well-crafted mystery that keeps the reader’s attention while sticking to the classic whodunit structure. Sure, it’s not in the same league as Dame Agatha, but it’s a damn sign finer than anything by Dame Ngaio.’

TomCat @Beneath the Stains of Time: ‘Other than those two, relatively minor complaints, The Murders Near Mapleton is a shrewdly plotted, fairly-clued detective novel and deserving to be marked as a long-lost classic of the seasonally-themed mystery novel. A fine addition to the ever-growing list of unjustly forgotten detective stories rescued from obscurity by DSP and look forward to October!’

Kate Jackson @ crossexaminingcrime: ‘Although this book takes place over a couple of weeks, a considerable chunk takes place within 24 hours over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which gives the story a quick pace and the reader a strong desire to find out what happens next. So, if you’re looking for a new festive mystery read then I highly recommend giving this one a go!’

My Book Notes: Murder in the Mill-Race: A Devon Mystery,1952 (Robert MacDonald # 37) by E.C.R. Lorac

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British Library Publishing, 2019. Book Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 5795 KB. Print Length: 256 pages. ASIN: B07R5BFJLK. eISBN: 978-0-7123-6479-9. Originally published in 1952 by Collins, London. With and Introduction by Martin Edwards, 2019.

9780712352680Book Description: “Never make trouble in the village” is an unspoken law, but it’s a binding law. You may know about your neighbours’ sins and shortcomings, but you must never name them aloud. It’d make trouble, and small societies want to avoid trouble. When Dr Raymond Ferens moves to a practice at Milham in the Moor in North Devon, he and his wife are enchanted with the beautiful hilltop village lying so close to moor and sky. At first, they see only its charm, but soon they begin to uncover its secrets – envy, hatred, and malice. Everyone says that Sister Monica, warden of a children’s home, is a saint – but is she? A few months after the Ferens’ arrival her body is found drowned in the mill-race. Chief Inspector Macdonald faces one of his most difficult cases in a village determined not to betray its dark secrets to a stranger.

My Take: The story is set in Milham-in-the-Moor, a small village along the North Devon coast. It opens when Dr Raymond Ferens,  together with his wife Anne, has just arrived to take over the practice of an elderly doctor who is about to retire. This change in the Ferens’ lifestyle is due to Raymond’s poor health, who suffers the sequels of the two years he spent as a Japanese POW. It all seems to work just fine until one day they meet a woman who calls herself sister Monica in charge of an orphanage known as Gramarye. Both Raymond and his wife display a deep antipathy for this woman, to whom almost everyone in the village regard her a saint. The fact is, however, that sister Monica enjoys finding out other people’s secrets to use them to her own advantage. Wrapped up in a halo of sainthood, she is an insensitive liar, a hypocrite, and a dangerous enemy to confront with. It came as no surprise then when one day sister Monica appears drowned in the water stream that feeds a nearby mill. The initial investigation corresponds to the police of a neighbouring village, but almost everyone in Milham refuse to lend their slightest collaboration and they just want to close the incident as a tragic accident. However, the preliminary findings cast some doubts on sister Monica’s death. Consequently, Scotland Yard sends Chief Inspector MacDonald and his assistant, Detective Inspector Reeves, to Milham to figure out the truth despite the heavy opposition from the neighbours.

Murder in the Mill-Race, also published as Speak Justly of the Dead,  is a well-constructed mystery novel, by an author in the peak of her craft. In fact I understand that E.C.R. Lorac novels published after the II World War are among the best of her books. For this reason, I decided to read this one. It doesn’t seem necessary to read them in chronological order. Moreover most of her prolific production was hard to find until now. Fortunately, some of her books are being re-published once again by The British Library, and this novel in particular has been regarded as one of her best, by many of my fellow bloggers. It certainly has not disappointed me at all. I found the story highly entertaining, it very well reflects life in a small community and is neatly written. Highly recommended.

My Rating: A (I loved it)


Facsimile Dust Jacket Collins The Crime Club (UK) (1952)

About the Author: E.C.R. Lorac was the pseudonym of Edith Caroline Rivett (1894-1958) a British crime writer who also wrote as Carol Carnac. (“Lorac is Carol” spelled backwards). Rivett was born in Hendon, Middlesex (now London) and educated at South Hampstead High School and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. A very prolific writer, she wrote forty-eight mysteries under her first pen name, and twenty-three under her second. Lorac first book The Murder on the Burrows (1931) was followed by almost two novels a year, usually featuring Scottish Chief Inspector Robert MacDonald. The novels written as Carol Carnac feature Inspector Julian Rivers. An important author of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, Rivett was elected a member of the Detection Club in 1937. Other E. C. R. Lorac books, which are now easily available thanks to the British Library Crime Classics, include: Bats in the Belfry (1937), Fell Murder (1944); Murder by Matchlight (1945); Fire in the Thatch (1946), and Murder in the Mill-Race (1952). Some other of her books I expect to be soon available are: Murder in St John’s Wood (1934), Murder in Chelsea (1934), The Organ Speaks (1935), Death of an Author (1935), A Pall for a Painter (1936), Policemen in the Precinct (1949) aka And Then Put Out the Light, Murder of a Martinet (1951) aka I Could Murder Her, Shroud of Darkness (1954), and The Double Turn (1956) as Carol Carnac.

Other E.C.R. Lorac books at A Crime is Afoot:

Murder in the Mill-Race: A Devon Mystery has been reviewed, among others, at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, Mysteries Ahoy! The Book Decoder, Countdown John’s Christie Journal, crossexaminingcrime, shotsmag, Northern Reader, gadetection, Classic Mysteries,

British Library Shop

Poisoned Pen Press publicity page

Edith Caroline Rivett (1894-1958), aka ECR Lorac and Carol Carnac 

Asesinato en el molino de E.C.R. Lorac

30263035004Descripción del libro: “Nunca cree problemas en el pueblo” es una máxima sobreentendida, pero es obligatorio cumplirla. Es posible que sepas de los pecados y defectos de tus vecinos, pero nunca debes mencionarlos en voz alta. Crearían problemas, y las sociedades pequeñas quieren evitar los problemas. Cuando el Dr. Raymond Ferens se traslada a un consultorio en Milham in the Moor en North Devon, él y su esposa están encantados con el hermoso pueblo en la cima de la colina situado tan cerca de la zona pantanosa y del cielo. Al principio, solo ven su encanto, pero pronto comienzan a descubrir sus secretos: envidias, odios y rencores. Todos dicen que la Hermana Mónica, la directora del hogar infantil, es una santa, ¿pero acaso lo és? Unos meses después de la llegada de los Ferens, su cadaver fue encontrado ahogado en las aguas que alimentan el molino. El inspector jefe Macdonald se enfrenta a uno de sus casos más difíciles en una aldea decidida a no revelar sus oscuros secretos a un extraño.

Mi opinión: La historia se desarrolla en Milham-in-the-Moor, un pequeño pueblo a lo largo de la costa norte de Devon. Comienza cuando el Dr. Raymond Ferens, junto con su esposa Anne, acaba de llegar para hacerse cargo de la consulta de un médico de edad avanzada que está a punto de jubilarse. Este cambio en el estilo de vida de los Ferens se debe a la mala salud de Raymond, que sufre las secuelas de los dos años que pasó como prisionero de guerra japonés. Todo parece funcionar bien hasta que un día conocen a una mujer que se hace llamar hermana Mónica a cargo de un orfanato conocido como Gramarye. Tanto Raymond como su esposa sienten una profunda antipatía por esta mujer, a quien casi todos en el pueblo consideran una santa. Sin embargo, el hecho es que la hermana Mónica disfruta descubriendo los secretos de otras personas para usarlos en su propio beneficio. Envuelta en un halo de santidad, es una mentirosa insensible, una hipócrita y un enemigo peligroso con el que enfrentarse. No fue una sorpresa entonces cuando un día la hermana Mónica aparece ahogada en la corriente de agua que alimenta un molino cercano. La investigación inicial corresponde a la policía de un pueblo vecino, pero casi todos en Milham se niegan a prestar su más mínima colaboración y solo quieren cerrar el incidente como un trágico accidente. Sin embargo, los hallazgos preliminares arrojan algunas dudas sobre la muerte de la hermana Mónica. En consecuencia, Scotland Yard envía al inspector jefe MacDonald y su asistente, el inspector detective Reeves, a Milham para descubrir la verdad a pesar de la fuerte oposición de los vecinos.

Murder in the Mill-Race, también publicada como Speak Justly of the Dead, es una novela de misterio bien construida, escrita por una autora en la cima de su oficio. De hecho, entiendo que las novelas de E.C.R. Lorac publicadas después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial se encuentran entre los mejores de sus libros. Por esta razón, decidí leer este. No parece necesario leerlos en orden cronológico. Además, la mayor parte de su prolífica producción era difícil de encontrar hasta ahora. Afortunadamente, algunos de sus libros están siendo reeditados nuevamente por The British Library, y esta novela en particular ha sido considerada como una de sus mejores, por muchos de mis colegas blogueros. Ciertamente no me ha decepcionado en absoluto. La historia me pareció muy entretenida, refleja muy bien la vida en una comunidad pequeña y está bien escrita. Muy recomendable.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: E.C.R. Lorac era el seudónimo de Edith Caroline Rivett (1894-1958), una escritora británica que también escribió como Carol Carnac. (“Lorac es Carol” deletreado al revés). Rivett nació en Hendon, Middlesex (actualmente parte de Londres) y se educó en la South Hampstead High School y en la Central School of Arts and Crafts en Londres. Fue una escritora muy prolífica, con un total de 48 obras de misterio bajo su primer nombre literario, y otras 23 con el segundo. El primer libro de Lorac The Murder on the Burrows (1931) fue seguido por casi dos novelas al año, generalmente protagonizadas por el inspector jefe escocés Robert MacDonald. Las novelas escritas como Carol Carnac cuentan con el inspector Julian Rivers. Una de las mas importantes autoras de la edad dorada del género, Rivett fue elegida miembro del Detection Club en 1937. Otros libros de ECR Lorac, que ahora están fácilmente disponibles gracias a British Library Crime Classics, incluyen: Bats in the Belfry (1937), Fell Murder (1944); Murder by Matchlight (1945); Fire in the Thatch (1946), y Murder in the Mill-Race (1952). Algunos otros de sus libros que confío estén disponibles pronto son: Murder in St John’s Wood (1934), Murder in Chelsea (1934), The Organ Speaks (1935), Death of an Author (1935), A Pall for a Painter (1936), Policemen in the Precinct (1949) también conocido como And Then Put Out the Light, Murder of a Martinet (1951) también conocido como I Could Murder Her, Shroud of Darkness (1954), y The Double Turn (1956) como Carol Carnac.

Otros libros de E.C.R. Lorac en A Crime is Afoot:

“The Adventure of the Speckled Band” (1892) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Included in The Complete Sherlock Holmes and Tales of Terror and Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Signature Edition The Complete Works Collections, 2011. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 2804 KB. Print Length: 1592 pages. ASIN: B004LE7PCM. ISBN: 2940012102744. “The Adventure Of The Speckled Band” was first published in The Strand Magazine in February 1892 and was published in book form in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of twelve short stories, on 14 October 1892.

10387581Book Description: This collection brings together Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Tales of Terror and Mystery along with all the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels in a single, convenient, high quality, but extremely low priced Kindle volume! This volume has been authorized for publication by the Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. which holds the copyright to this title.

My Take: This short story, a classic locked room mystery, is considered by many to be one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s finest works, with Sir Arthur himself calling it his best story. It is rated in tenth position in the Sherlock Holmes canon. The story, narrated by Dr Watson, refers to one of Holmes earliest cases.

‘The events in question occurred in the early days of my association with Holmes, when we were sharing a room as bachelors in Baker Street. …. It was early in April in the year ‘83 that I woke one morning to find Sherlock Holmes standing fully dressed, by the side of my bed. He was a late riser, as a rule, and as the clock on the mantelpiece showed me that it was only a quarter-past seven, I blinked up at him in some surprise, and perhaps just a little resentment, for I was myself regular in my habits.’

It happened that a young lady by the name of Helen Stoner wished to see Holmes to ask him for his advice. She’s living with her stepfather,  the last survivor of one of the oldest Saxon families in England, the Roylotts of Stoke Moran, in the western border of Surrey.

‘When Dr Roylott was in India he married, my mother [Helen’s mother], Mrs Stoner, the young widow of Major-General Stoner, of the Bengal Artillery. My sister Julia and I were twins, and we were only two years old at the time of my mother’s re-marriage. She had a considerable sum of money – not less than 1000 pounds a year – and this she bequeathed to Dr Roylott entirely while we resided with him, with a provision that a certain annual sum should be allowed to each of us in the event of our marriage.  Shortly after our return to England my mother died … in a railway accident near Crewe. Dr Roylott then abandoned his attempts to established himself in practice in London and took us to live with him in the old ancestral house at Stoke Moran. The money which my mother had left was enough for all our wants, and there seem to be no obstacle to our happiness. But a terrible change came over our stepfather about this time. Instead of making friends … he shut himself up in his house and seldom came out save to indulge in ferocious  quarrels with whoever might cross his path.’

Two years ago, Julia died shortly before she was about to get married, and it was about her death that she wished to speak to Holmes. On that same day, Julia told her that during the last few nights, at about three in the morning, she had heard a low clear whistle. She couldn’t tell her where it come from but she would like to ask Helen whether she had heard it.  She had not hear it, but the question left her in a state of certain concern and when she heard a scream in the middle of the night, she feared that something wrong had happened to her sister. In fact, she found her shortly before dying and her last words were: ‘Oh, my God! Helen! It was the band! The speckled band!  Now Helen is preparing her wedding and has started to hear the same whistling her sister had heard shortly before her death, when she was also about to get married.

Encouraged by my interest on locked-room mysteries, I decided to read “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, one of the best Sherlock Holmes short stories. It can be read in one sitting, since it just amounts a few pages, and can be easily found. Although I hate the phrase, I think it is appropriate in this case to say it’s a must-read for all the lovers of the genre. It is also a good place to start reading The Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, even if this is the only one you are willing to read.

My rating: A (I loved it)

About the Author: Arthur Conan Doyle, in full Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, (born May 22, 1859, Edinburgh, Scotland—died July 7, 1930, Crowborough, Sussex, England), Scottish writer best known for his creation of the detective Sherlock Holmes—one of the most vivid and enduring characters in English fiction. While a medical student, Conan Doyle was deeply impressed by the skill of his professor, Dr Joseph Bell, in observing the most minute detail regarding a patient’s condition. This master of diagnostic deduction became the model for Conan Doyle’s literary creation, Sherlock Holmes, who first appeared in A Study in Scarlet, a novel-length story published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887. Driven by public clamour, Conan Doyle continued writing Sherlock Holmes adventures through 1926. (Source; Britannica)

The Official Site of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate

The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopaedia

LibriVox recording of The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Read in English by Phil Chenevert.

La banda de lunares de Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Mi opinión: Este relato breve, un clásico misterio de cuarto cerrado, está considerado por muchos como una de las mejores obras de Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, y el propio Sir Arthur la llama su mejor relato. Está clasificado en la décima posición en el canon Sherlock Holmes. La historia, narrada por el Dr. Watson, se refiere a uno de los primeros casos de Holmes.

“Los hechos en cuestión ocurrieron en los primeros días de mi asociación con Holmes, cuando compartíamos una habitación de solteros en Baker Street. … A principios de abril del año ‘83 me desperté una mañana para encontrar a Sherlock Holmes de pie, completamente vestido, al lado de mi cama. Por lo general era poco madrugador, y como el reloj de la repisa de la chimenea me mostró que eran solo las siete y cuarto, parpadeé hacia él con sorpresa y tal vez con algo de resentimiento, dado que yo era muy regular en mis costumbres.”

Sucedió que una joven llamada Helen Stoner deseaba ver a Holmes para pedirle su consejo. Ella vive con su padrastro, el último sobreviviente de una de las familias sajonas más antiguas de Inglaterra, los Roylotts de Stoke Moran, en la frontera occidental de Surrey.

“Cuando el Dr. Roylott estaba en la India, se casó con mi madre [la madre de Helen], la señora Stoner, la joven viuda del general de división Stoner, de los artilleros de Bengala. Mi hermana Julia y yo éramos gemelas, y teníamos solo dos años en el momento del segundo matrimonio de mi madre. Ella tenía una considerable suma de dinero, no menos de 1000 libras al año, y se la legó al Dr. Roylott por completo mientras residíamos con él, con la disposición de que se nos debería dotar con una cierta suma anual a cada una de nosotras al casarnos. Poco después de nuestro regreso a Inglaterra, mi madre murió … en un accidente ferroviario cerca de Crewe. El Dr. Roylott abandonó sus intentos de abrir consulta en Londres y nos llevó a vivir con él en la antigua casa de sus ancestros en Stoke Moran. El dinero que mi madre le había dejado era suficiente para cubrir todas nuestras necesidades, y parecía no existir obstáculo alguno para nuestra felicidad. Pero en aquella época tuvo lugar un cambio terrible en nuestro padrastro. En lugar de hacer amigos … se encerró en su casa y rara vez salía, salvo para enzarzarse en feroces disputas con quienquiera que pudiera cruzarse en su camino.”

Hace dos años, Julia murió cuando estaba a punto de casarse, y era acerca de su muerte que deseaba hablar con Holmes. Ese mismo día, Julia le dijo que durante las últimas noches, alrededor de las tres de la mañana, había escuchado un silbido bajo y claro. No podía decirle de dónde venía, pero le gustaría preguntarle a Helen si lo había escuchado. No lo había escuchado, pero la pregunta la dejó en un estado de cierta preocupación y cuando escuchó un grito en medio de la noche, temió que algo malo le hubiera pasado a su hermana. De hecho, la encontró poco antes de morir y sus últimas palabras fueron: ‘¡Dios mío! Helen! ¡Era la banda! La banda de lunares! Ahora Helen está preparando su boda y ha comenzado a escuchar los mismos silbidos que su hermana había escuchado poco antes de su muerte, cuando también estaba a punto de casarse.

Animado por mi interés en los misterios de cuarto cerrado, decidí leer “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, uno de los mejores cuentos de Sherlock Holmes. Se puede leer de una sola sentada, ya que solo ocupa unas pocas páginas y se puede encontrar fácilmente. Aunque odio la frase, creo que es apropiado en este caso decir que es una lectura obligada para todos los amantes del género. También es un buen lugar para comenzar a leer Los misterios de Sherlock Holmes, incluso si este es el único que está dispuesto a leer.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Arthur Conan Doyle, su nombre completo Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, (nacido el 22 de mayo de 1859, Edimburgo, Escocia, fallecido el 7 de julio de 1930, Crowborough, Sussex, Inglaterra), fue un escritor escocés más conocido por su creación del detective Sherlock Holmes, uno de los personajes más vivos y permanetes de la novela inglesa. Mientras estudiaba medicina, Conan Doyle quedó profundamente impresionado por la habilidad de su profesor, el Dr. Joseph Bell, al observar los detalles más minuciosos con respecto a la condición de un paciente. Este maestro de la deducción aplicada a sus diagnósticos se convirtió en el modelo de la creación literaria de Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, quien apareció por primera vez en A Study in Scarlet, una historia de la extensión de una novela, publicada en el Beeton’s Christmas Annual de 1887. Empujado por el fervor del público, Conan Doyle continuó escribiendo aventuras de Sherlock Holmes hasta 1926. (Fuente; Britannica)

November 2019 Overview

monthly-recap_thumbMy reading experience this last November boils down to five books.

Among them my first encounter with a novel by Paul Halter, an author I’ll certainly read again soon.

Besides, I returned to read one of the few Maigrets I had still missing and I’m lacking only one to complete the full series of Poirot’s mysteries.

The Seventh Hypothesis (Dr Twist #6), 1991 by Paul Halter (trans. John Pugmire) A+

Clouds of Witness, 1926 (Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery # 2) by Dorothy L. Sayers (C)

The Perfect Crime: The Big Bow Mystery (1891) by Israel Zangwill (A)

Elephants Can Remember, 1972 (Hercule Poirot #32) by Agatha Christie (D)

Maigret’s Childhood Friend, 1968 (Inspector Maigret #69) by Georges Simenon (tr. Shaun Whiteside) (A+)

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