This week’s Review presents a couple of mysteries from the Victorian Age, inspired by Mike Gray’s American Culture post, titled “A Note About Victorian Detective Fiction“. But first there’s an introduction and one writer’s top ten list of Victorian Detective stories. Then it’s Edgar Allan Poe’s sequel to “The Murder in the Rue Morgue,” followed by a story written in 1893 by Catherine Louisa Pirkis.
This Review isn’t limited to Detective Fiction. Other stories included in this issue are classics by Daniel Keyes and Leo Tolstoy. Following the mystery is poetry by Robert W. Service, which directly challenges anyone who would sit idly by when faced with what is an obvious wrong. The Writing Life is addressed, this week, by none other than C.S. Lewis. Prof. David Downing presents five points offered to a little girl in Florida, who had written to ‘Jack’ for tips on writing. Enjoy.
- “The Mystery of Marie Roget” by Edgar Allan Poe
- “The Ghost of Fountain Lane” by Catherine Louisa Pirkis
- Beyond Hardboiled – Lavonne Neff reviews The Reversal by Michael Connelly
- Lars Walker reviews Rough Country by John Sandford
- A Fort Too Far – Sam Stowe reviews The Fort by Bernard Cornwell
Author Interviews – John J. Miller’s “Between the Covers”
News and Essays:
- Howard Jacobsin Wins Booker Prize for The Finkle Question – The first “unashamedly comic novel” to win the Booker in the prize’s 42 year history.
- Kant on Kindle? – The Wall Street Journal’s Jonah Lehrer continues “the technology of the book” debate.
- Lessons for Life in Three Post-Apocalyptic Novels
- How To Write Like a Cartoonist – “Dilbert” Creator Scott Adams on humor writing
- J.K. Rowling’s Plot Spreadsheet for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- National Book Award Finalists Announced
- “The Sound and Savor” of Words: C.S. Lewis on the Art of Writing
From RobertWService.com: He was not a poet’s poet. Fancy-Dan dilettantes will dispute the description “great.” He was a people’s poet. To the people he was great. They understood him, and knew that any verse carrying the by-line of Robert W. Service would be a lilting thing, clear, clean and power-packed, beating out a story with a dramatic intensity that made the nerves tingle. And he was no poor, garret-type poet, either. His stuff made money hand over fist. …
“The only society I like,” he once said, “is that which is rough and tough – and the tougher the better. That’s where you get down to bedrock and meet human people.”
By: Robert W. Service
One pearly day in early May I walked upon the sand
And saw, say half a mile away, a man with gun in hand.
A dog was cowering to his will as slow he sought to creep
Upon a dozen ducks so still they seemed to be asleep.
When like a streak the dog dashed out, the ducks flashed up in flight.
The fellow gave a savage shout and cursed with all his might.
Then as I stood somewhat amazed and gazed with eyes agog,
With bitter rage his gun he raised and blazed and shot the dog.
You know how dogs can yelp with pain; its blood soaked in the sand,
And yet it crawled to him again, and tried to lick his hand.
“Forgive me Lord for what I’ve done,” it seemed as if it said,
But once again he raised his gun – this time he shot it dead.
What could I do? What could I say? ‘Twas such a lonely place.
Tongue-tied I watched him stride away, I never saw his face.
I should have bawled the bastard out, a yellow dog he slew.
But worse, he proved beyond a doubt that – I was yellow too.