February 20th, 2016


Book Critique 2016 – 01/23/2016: Murder, She Wrote #44 - The Ghost and Mrs. Fletcher

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of all books under Murder, She Wrote series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: If you want an easy and quick read pick it up.

Another book based on the famed TV Series Murder, She Wrote published in 2015 written by the American ghostwriter Donald Bain and fictitious Jessica Fletcher. This time Jessica tangles with a ghost. I havent read very many books on the series - this being my second book - but I had watched the series. It was good. This book, however, tends to be a mediocre kind of mystery for such a famed author. And why do I say so. Well read my review below.

Jessica unwillingly agrees to help her friend Eve Simpson sell the Spencer Percy House, Cabot Cove's oldest mansion. A seemingly simple book sale to get rid of all the books collected by Cliff Cooper over a period of time turns to an unending and tiring project for Jessica. Added to that the straight forward death of Cliff turns out to be a murder. And then there is the mystery behind the sudden departure of Jerry Cooper - Cliff's son - and his wife Marina Cooper one night. And more mysterious was their death in South America at the hands of some tribal people. The ever mystical Elliot Cooper - grandson of Cliff - also adds more to the mystery. And before we know Jessica is again hot on her heels solving a murder, a disappearance, a book sale and a harried Eve Simpson.

So, the plot looks intriguing. Yes, very much. However, unlike her plots in the TV Series, I could untangle the puzzle somewhere during Chapter Twenty-One, right at the scene where the Eve's hired handy man watches Cliff's funeral from a distance. All made sense at that very instance and I didn’t need to read the rest of the book. Yet, I finished it cause I like Jessica Fletcher. :)

I do hope Donald Bain comes up with stronger plots in the next book. Else the budding interest I had in reading her books will be squished with this one.

Television Critique 2016 – 01/24/2016: Murdoch Mysteries: Season III

Murdoch Mysteries: Famous Personalities, Inventions and Stepping Stones for 21st Century items - Season III

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a TV Show review.
Prologue: Go here.
Introduction of Murdoch Mysteries in my words, go here.
For Review of all the seasons in this series: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5
My Recommendation: A must watch

And here is my take on Season III of this series - some of the unique stuff from the episodes.

Episode 1: This episode shows the invention of telescopic rifle that could be fired from 500 yards away. In this case it is invented by a hired killer who is hired to kill the Queen of England.

Episode 3: A women’s basketball team is shown in this episode and the basket is not a net one…its made of wood. How interesting and reusable.

Episode 6: The episode opens with Detective Murdoch amazed and impressed at the 11-storey building that is made of solid steel, reinforced concrete skeleton included with a gearless traction electric elevators. One of the character is shown working on a miniature planetarium based on Eisinga’s Model. In conversation with him, Detective Murdoch muses that he is fascinated by the idea that one day tiny electrical circuits will be capable of calculating vast mathematical algorithms. And the character agrees that miniaturization is the key to the future. And now we have a concrete jungle around us and live in world of bytes.

Episode 7: Detective Murdoch answers a perplexed Constable Crabtree that “All animals are innocent, George, humans excepted.” How very true. Introducing in this episode is a telephone in the department.

Episode 8: Detective Murdoch has the pleasure of meeting the famous author H. G. Wells in this episode. Infact he was invited to a Eugenics conference where the scientist converge to discuss on breeding people with higher genes to eliminate the criminal part of the humanity. And also to be able to know the details of the child in womb so no sick child will be brought in. Yet this knowledge is so mis-used now. Alas!

Episode 11:  Constable Crabtree and Higgins argue on the origin of Doughnut. It was hilarious that they think a cow invented it. J Detective Murdoch uses the Symbolic Logic by John Venn to solve two murders that have a common root.

Episode 12: Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree come across a one-sided mirror at one of the scenes. Crabtree muses that they could use it in their interview rooms. Introduction of the hand-held camera (no bigger than a cigar box per Inspector Brackenreid) is seen. Detective Murdoch mentions that it is the latest from Eastman Kodak Company called Pocket Kodak that have celluloid films inside the camera as opposed to film plates that were used in other cameras of that time. Brackenreid muses “What will they think of next”. I am sure he would be surprised to see cell phone cameras if he was transported to this era. J Detective Murdoch comes across a suspect from two of his past murders in this episode, who has vision of an entire community living in towers connected by underground railroads and walkways above with rooftop farms. Yes, another vision come true.

Episode 13: Nikola Tesla again surfaces in this episode. This time he is experimenting with ways in transmitting electromagnetic waves through the air using extremely high frequency radio waves. Detective Murdoch calls them miniwaves while Tesla says he prefers the Greek prefix and calls them Microwaves. Indeed in reality Tesla did experiment of such kind setting a step for all futures scientists to perfect it. Interesting enough that Crabtree thinks that if this energy could be harnessed then it can be used towards creating a device that could cook potato. However Tesla and Murdoch mention that it would be a big room for cooking a potato. But Crabtree insists that perhaps in future everyone could have a smaller version of it alluding to a Microwave Oven that we use now.