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Reviews by macsnafu

The Widow Lerouge

by Émile Gaboriau

A fairly enjoyable and readable mystery, but not perfect. First of all, while this is described as being a Monsieur Lecoq story, it really isn't. Lecoq makes a brief appearance, but the real detectives are Magistrate Daburon, and a M. Tabaret. And Tabaret is rather an eccentric detective, while Daburon is a more plodding type thrown into a personal drama by the case.

As a detective story, it starts out with quite a bang. The murder is discovered, and the police start straightaway into investigating. M. Tabaret is called in (by LeCoq) and performs some nice deductive work about the crime and the murderer, similar to, but pre-dating Sherlock Holmes' deductive reasoning.

And then, a couple of Incredible Coincidences show up, one relating to Tabaret, and another relating to Daburon, and the book seems to turn into a romance or even a psychological drama, with little further detective work occurring. It's still interesting reading, but simply of a different kind.

Nonetheless, there is a surprising twist to the murder and murderer, and the astute reader might well guess the twist, buried as it is in the romantic drama, although evidence for it only turns up near the end of the novel.

All in all, a fairly readable and enjoyable story, but a bit slight on the detective front, in spite of its strong opening.

Reviewed on 2017.08.26

Star Maker

by Olaf Stapledon

A truly wonderful book, full of interesting ideas and speculations! I can think of no science fiction story that reaches quite as far as this one does.

Reviewed on 2014.03.10

The Tale of Timothy Turtle

by Arthur Scott Bailey

Funny review, Greg Homer. It's almost too bad it isn't true. Politically, the author was a Republican of the old school. If he had had any axe to grind, it would have been *against* Socialism, not for it.

Actually, it's a nice little, naturalistic sort of tale for children, much in the style of Thornton Burgess' books. Not only could I not find any propaganda, I couldn't find much in the way of a moral, either. But it's still rather enjoyable.

Reviewed on 2014.03.05

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

by H.P. Lovecraft

Unlike most of Lovecraft's stories, this is less horror than it is an adventure of dark fantasy. You might call it a nightmare, but it really does have a plot--a quest--and a certain internal consistency that holds it all together. My only real complaint is that it is all too short--you're left wanting to go back and explore more of this dark dreamscape.

Reviewed on 2014.02.11

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