This is the result of being on a reading tear over the holidays. Not having a family means I might not get many presents, but at least no one bothers me. . .
Death of the Courier
A serviceable British/Spanish drug-smuggling mystery by Raymond Bailey, though there really isn’t that much mystery to it, with the reader being told almost everything. There also wasn’t much new as far as the drug smuggling went; it would most likely be quite familiar to Americans who read or watch crime stories, at least till the introduction of sniffer dogs. For me it was most interesting finding out about the way the current police departments in Britain work; reading about Sherlock Holmes over 100 years ago, or even watching the series today, doesn’t quite do it justice. And who knew anything about the Spanish secret police. . .
The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice, by Waverly Curtis
I thought the conceit of talking animals would get old quickly, but it provided plenty of laughs, especially Pepe the Chihuahua, whose snark is definitely worse than his bite. As you might imagine with talking animals, this falls squarely in the genre of lighthearted mystery, so I didn’t take it too seriously–i.e. I didn’t try to figure out who the killer was beforehand. . . although that might be due to too many characters to keep straight.
City on the Edge of Forever
This is a series of comic books, like the Battlestar Galactica I reviewed earlier.
I’m not quite sure what to think of this. Having read the original Harlan Ellison script that was subsequently hacked by Star Trek writers, the idea of seeing it come to visual life, even in 2-D, was exciting. And it was well worth the read, but I have to admit some of the visuals left me disappointed. Not being an artist, I have no idea how hard it is to draw faces realistically, but Kirk and Spock–as well as Joan Collins–are incredibly well done. It was the imaginary stuff that didn’t have the oomph I was hoping for, particularly the Guardians of Forever and the City itself; even Beckwith wasn’t very impressive. Still, it’s well worth the look, especially if you come in without knowing anything about the episode, or about Star Trek, for that matter.