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Our "Sherlock Selects" summer series concludes here with a real show-stopper! "The Copper Beeches" is one of Conan Doyle's most atmospheric and engaging mysteries, featuring a female client with moxie and a country manse full of fear. We had a great time talking over this story back in May of 2017 and proudly re-present it here today in wrapping up…
 
When old age hands you lemons... it's time to take monkey gland injections from a quack Czech doctor! Or, at least, that's what Professor Presbury might have once suggested. This curious tale is as close as Conan Doyle ever gets to showcasing the hardships of graceful aging to the love-struck pensioner. Yes, "The Adventure of the Creeping Man" is f…
 
In this gritty crime thriller, Detective Sergeant John Rebus makes his literary debut. Ian Rankin draws on rich material from the city of Edinburgh and his native Scotland in sculpting his protagonist's first adventure. From the dank alleyways of Auld Reekie to the spirited influence of Stevenson's "Jekyll and Hyde", Rankin works hard with his firs…
 
A grizzly harpoon murder and a protégé inspector lure Sherlock and Watson out of London and into the remote Weald of East Sussex in this atmospheric adventure. Originally published in 1904, this yarn was collected and re-published a year later in "The Return of Sherlock Holmes". Our "Sherlock Selects" Summer mini-series continues here with a return…
 
Our "Sherlock Selects" mini-series continues to buffer the Summer's bigger reads, this time with a conversation on "The Bruce Partington Plans" from May 2018. Originally published in 1908 (and featured in the later collection "His Last Bow") this story of stolen government plans in a fog-draped London overflows with intrigue and eventually ranked a…
 
Published in 1977, "A Morbid Taste For Bones" introduced Brother Cadfael to the world, a Welsh Benedictine monk of the 12th Century with a penchant for solving crimes. Although Ellis Peters establishes a dynamic back-story for her protagonist, set amidst the turmoil of the First Crusade, the vibe of his first adventure is decidedly more "crofter in…
 
Second in our series of "Sherlock Selects" for the Summer is "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box". Originally published in January of 1893 (and first covered on LTP in June of 2017), Conan Doyle himself ruled against anthologizing this tale due to its controversial subject matter. But you can't keep a good story down and "The Cardboard Box" would s…
 
This season, we'll be buffering new episodes with re-introduced and smaller story reviews. For these selections, we reach back into our first season vaults and renew our love for some favourite Sherlock pieces and chats. First up is "The Abbey Grange", one of Josh's choices from The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Originally published in March of 2018, …
 
"Later" marks the third and most recent crime story written by Stephen King for the Hard Case Crime label. Offering readers a predictable mix of the supernatural and police procedural, the horror master's latest tale continues his career penchant for coming-of-age narratives with soul-searching themes. Josh and Scott break down the narrative and we…
 
Josh and Scott kick off a new series of crime story explorations with a trip to Lindsey Davis's Ancient Rome, guided by Imperial Informant, Marcus Didius Falco. "The Silver Pigs" is set in AD 70, during the rule of Vespasian, and travels from the Aventine to Roman Britain where a conspiracy involving the trade of silver ingots propels Falco further…
 
Chandler's final complete Marlowe novel was written at a time of deteriorating health and tumultuous circumstances for the author. Not surprisingly, some of these conflicts from 1958 find their way into the story. Marlowe is different here and the narrative is markedly unique, in ways both satisfying and off-putting to readers. Josh and Scott compl…
 
1953 saw the publication of Raymond Chandler's sixth Philip Marlowe novel, "The Long Goodbye". Chandler himself regarded it as his best work and many fans agree. Nevertheless, behind the scenes it was getting harder for Chandler to find peace. Personal issues and professional conflicts continued to grow, marring his sense of contentment. Josh and S…
 
Driven by amphetamine, Graham Greene knocked out this thriller in only 6 weeks of 1939 in a rented room of a Bloomsbury flat. He wrote fervently as premonitions of a second world war grew more tangible around him. Josh and Scott take a break from their Raymond Chandler campaign to investigate and weigh the merits of this compelling espionage advent…
 
After a five-year hiatus, Raymond Chandler returns to the world of Philip Marlowe with "The Little Sister". His small-town client brings big-city trouble as the investigation into her missing brother turns up a lot of Tinseltown intrigue, including ice-pick murders and sexual betrayal. Coloured by Chandler's own experiences within the studio system…
 
For his fourth novel, Raymond Chandler sends detective Philip Marlowe away from the steamy tumult of Los Angeles and up into the fresh mountain air in search of a client's missing wife. The investigation starts simply enough but soon careens along a grotty path of quick-fire hunches and deadly secrets that take no prisoners. Josh and Scott drag the…
 
Commenting on the gigantic success of his company, Walt Disney once famously said "...it was all started by a mouse". Years later, it would again be a mouse that helped to safeguard Disney's future, this time by restoring hope and energy into its animation wing. 1986's "The Great Mouse Detective" is a smaller cog in the studio's machine but one ful…
 
While it may snuff the hopes of Sherlockians in search of a faithful adaptation of Conan Doyle's detective, there's still a lot to enjoy about Netflix's "Enola Holmes". Scott and Josh are joined in this special episode by their "Bond By Numbers" co-host, Jeff Chapman, to review the film and discuss the controversies surrounding its release.…
 
Raymond Chandler's third novel offers readers a different look at detective Philip Marlowe than afforded in his first two outings while expanding on themes of spiritual decay and corruption. A missing wife, a lost doubloon and a frightened secretary are three early clues that our protagonist follows as his case for the grizzled matriarch, Mrs Murdo…
 
Raymond Chandler fought hard, insisting that the title for his second Philip Marlowe novel was right in playing off more erudite connotations of romance and drama. Like "The Big Sleep" before it, "Farewell" is a challenging text, at times both raucous and textured, driven by smoky characters, clever prose and explosive narrative impetus. Los Angele…
 
Lighting the Pipes is returning! Join Scott and Josh (Bowman & the BFG) for a new season of reading, research and reviewing as they scour the streets with Raymond Chandler's detective, Philip Marlowe. You heard right, sweethearts! So trade in the deerstalker and riding crop for a fedora and .44: dirty crime and social slime demands our attention th…
 
The Finale! After nearly two years of happy hiking and in-depth analysis through the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle's canon, Scott and Josh descend from their adventures in this final episode with some well-deserved takes on the series. In addition to ranking some fun and key features of the canon, Bowman and the BFG take on the big challenge of selec…
 
Ta-Da! Episode 21 sees Josh and Scott bring their 20-month canonical tour to an end with a final hurdle over the remaining stories of "The Case-Book" and reach the summit of Mt. Sherlockia. This final reading episode has got it all (for better or worse): jealous wives, monkey-men, dastardly jellyfish, suspicious dogs, circus tragedy and vengeful de…
 
Episode 20 sees Josh and Scott tackle four further stories from The Case-Book and creep closer to the conclusion of their exhaustive labour of love. First up is "The Mazarin Stone", whose dramatic, adapted features are more than evident than its supposed creativity (ooh, burn!). "The Three Gables" sees Holmes and Watson investigating a strange prop…
 
Recorded on holiday in Canada, Episode 19 sees Bowman and the BFG reunited in person after 3 years and lighting their pipes over the first two installments of ACD's final Holmes story collection. The adventure begins with the "Illustrious Client" where we meet one of the better villains seen for a while in the canon. Scott and Josh then chew the fa…
 
In Episode 18, Scott and Josh punch their first-class tickets and complete "His Last Bow", the penultimate Holmes collection, with an analysis of three remaining stories. After chasing Lady Frances Carfax (somewhat pointlessly) to Switzerland and back again, Bowman & the BFG pedicure the slopes and edges of "The Devil's Foot". They close shop by re…
 
Published as a collection in 1917, "His Last Bow" is the penultimate set of Sherlock Holmes stories by Conan Doyle. Comprised of sporadically appearing tales carried in the Strand Magazine and Colliers Weekly, its contents span the years from 1908 and 1917. These first four tales couldn't be more different from one another... or could they? Hmm... …
 
Shovel the coal and stoke the fires! In Episode 16, Bowman & the BFG take a trip to Vermissa Valley in and explore "The Valley of Fear", its colourful denizens and the complex virtues of Arthur Conan Doyle's fourth and final novel treament for Sherlock Holmes. Secret societies, smoking guns and revenge killings all feature on the menu in this "lock…
 
In this episode, Bowman and the BFG wrap up discussions on the final 4 stories of "The Return" and wax rhetoric on issues of class, cigarette history, insane wives and favourite cudgels. First up are "The Golden Pince-Nez" and "The Missing Three-Quarter" where left-over lenses and a missing rugby star are features of investigation. The mysteries of…
 
In this instalment, Bowman and the BFG celebrate their nearly-1-year anniversary of Lighting the Pipes by tackling four further adventures from "The Return of Sherlock Holmes". Whaling, sailing and harpoon flailing take center stage in "Black Peter", while "Charles Augustus Milverton" sees Holmes go undercover in love to best a master criminal. Dis…
 
Technical difficulties resolved (we told you they were amateurs!), Bowman and the BFG get back to lighting their pipes with three more stories from "The Return of Sherlock Holmes". First up, the duo cut shapes over "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" and all of its been-here-before atmosphere. They then take a country ride with "The Solitary Cyclist…
 
With "The Hound of the Baskervilles" behind them, Bowman and the BFG sit down to discuss the great detective's resurrection; enter "The Return of Sherlock Holmes", starting with "The Adevnture of the Empty House" where readers finally get the chronological follow-up to Holmes' plummet from the Reichenbach falls. Originally intended to be a three-ep…
 
After Sherlock Holmes took the literary plunge over the falls in "The Final Problem", public outcry for his return was strong enough (helped by equally generous offers from publishers) for Conan Doyle to resurrect the fabled detective. Cleverly, Doyle doesn't bring him back to life in linear chronology but through this stand-alone novel, an earlier…
 
Only two stories remain to discuss from Conan Doyle's "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and here Bowman and the BFG give full treatment to both. First up is "The Naval Treaty", one of Doyle's supposed personal favourites and longest story. Secondly, "The Final Problem" and the great issues of Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes' death are put under the spotlig…
 
Here, four stories go under the microscope as Scott and Josh light their pipes and discuss the further Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Your hosts bow to "The Reigate Squires", straighten out the mystery of "The Crooked Man", apply some bedside manner to "The Resident Patient" and try to translate the workings of the "The Greek Interpreter".…
 
In Episode 8, Bowman and the BFG follow Sherlock and Watson to Birmingham in "The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk", meet his university pal and a tale of mutiny in "The Gloria Scott" and get all geometric in "The Musgrave Ritual". This conversation covers the fourth, fifth and sixth story in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes".…
 
Given the explosive popularity of his "Adventures", it was a no-brainer for Conan Doyle to revive his titular hero in a second collection of serialised stories for "The Strand". First out of the gate for "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" is "The Adventure of Silver Blaze", which finds Holmes and Watson on location in Dartmoor. This famous case is fo…
 
Episode 6 sees Bowman and the BFG share their thoughts on the final three stories of Doyle's "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". Lively discussion on the growing influence of America colours "The Noble Bachelor", while a royal bank loan brings ropy collateral damage in "The Beryl Coronet". The collection (and conversation) concludes with the impos…
 
In this instalment, Josh and Scott sit down to examine tales 7, 8 and 9 from Conan Doyle's "Adventures". Starting with the yuletide setting of "The Blue Carbuncle", the duo trade views on jewel theft before moving on to evaluate the highs and lows of the famous "Speckled Band". The gothic features and deceptively simple plot of "The Engineer's Thum…
 
"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" appeared two years after "The Sign of Four" and in serialised form within the pages of "The Strand Magazine". Here, in their first look at the collection, Scott and Josh discuss the first three stories: "A Scandal in Bohemia", "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" and "A Case of Identity".…
 
In Episode 1, Scott and Josh (Bowman & the BFG) wield their amateur podcasting touch in discussing Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story. The series starts here, with our inaugural episode recorded in February 2017. Introductions, a brief Doyle biography and our approach to scoring and indexing our reading are each presented before diving into …
 
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