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Everything posted by Rutabaga

  1. I am at the beginning of Chapter 3 and am definitely very intrigued. R
  2. So Trip's school newspaper column is entitled "Growing Pains." What a coincidence! I don't have a picture to offer for Tanner's dad, Justin. Pick your favorite from ESPN or wherever. Maybe Chris Berman. Honestly, the marriage to Tanner's step-mom doesn't amount to much if Justin is gone all the time and all this bad stuff goes on without his knowledge, Both Justin and Tanner need to bail out. R
  3. Just finished "Surfeit of Suspects" by George Bellairs, a late entry in the Inspector Littlejohn series. This one was published in 1964, decades after the first one, but it maintained a very similar feel to the earlier stories. A short commentary at the beginning expresses the belief that the tastes of the reading public had likely moved on from the style and settings of Bellairs's work by the time this story was published, but I for one am grateful that he didn't try to ginger up his novels with elements to make them more "modern." This story was well done and full of twists and turns as the "onion of truth" was peeled. (Hey, Cole, I can make up expressions like that too.) I just wish the LA Public Library had more Bellairs books in the digital library. Now I'm back to the Ellery Queen tale, "The Dutch Shoe Mystery," while awaiting the Ngaio Marsh book-that-must-not-be-named. R
  4. OK, it will just be our little secret. R
  5. Should I add that the opening event in that story is the discovery of a dead body encased in a sealed-up bale of clipped wool from a sheep farm in New Zealand? R
  6. Just finished "Colour Scheme" by Ngaio Marsh, another Roderick Alleyn tale. Honestly, this one kind of fell flat. It seemed to take forever to get started, and when it finally did, it kind of limped to a conclusion. A reader would not miss anything significant in passing this one by. I still need to reconnect with the next book in the series, "Died in the Wool," which I got about halfway through when the library loan ended. The above book, "Colour Scheme," is ahead of "Died in the Wool" in the series, but I went ahead and checked out "Died in the Wool" when it became available. Now I am waiting for it to come back off of "hold" again so I can finish it. I still have an Ellery Queen and an Inspector Littlejohn story in progress. R
  7. I kinda liked this picture also: R
  8. The current story, “Green” (number 9), has one of my all-time favorite pictures to go with it. R
  9. This Pick from the Past is here: https://awesomedude.com/mark_peters/the-boy-on-the-corner/the-boy-on-the-corner.htm. I could not find an earlier thread for this story. I do remember reading it before. My big complaint is that it ended too soon! R
  10. Isn’t that plausible for seventh grade? R
  11. What if Jason and James find each other? R
  12. We were talking about the fertile (or febrile) brain of Cole . . . R
  13. And the story is back once again as a Pick from the Past. A very moving tale. R
  14. As I recall, the version I heard was "It's time to put on your big-boy britches." R
  15. I have now finished both "The Roman Hat Mystery" and "The French Powder Mystery" by Ellery Queen. These are the first two books in a long series, and I have to say they are very entertaining. While the authors may not have set out to make them so camp to modern eyes -- although clearly they "break the fourth wall" fairly often and call attention to the somewhat contrived nature of the story -- the reality is that reading these stories is reminiscent of watching the classic Batman television series with Adam West. "Roman Hat" is asserted by the publisher to be a "fair play" mystery, meaning that at a late part of the book the author pauses and says, in substance, you the reader now have all the information necessary to solve the mystery, so go ahead and solve it. I confess that I did not feel so informed, and in fact when I read onward to discover Ellery's actual solution, it was so unexpected and convoluted that I had real doubt that I actually had all the information. In "French Powder" the same challenge is given near the end, but in this case I did feel as though there was fairly adequate information for readers. Unlike "Roman Hat," readers of "French Powder" had been given a number of intermediate discoveries and conclusions from the investigation. In addition, the eventual identity of the culprit seemed much more plausible. R
  16. But it was time to put on my big-boy shorts. There's an expression I haven't heard for a long time. R
  17. If you like Agatha Christie you would like Ngaio Marsh. I think it's best to read her Inspector Alleyn books in order. This site is one of several that lists the books in order: https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/roderick-alleyn/. I think I read somewhere that Ngaio is the name of a flower. R P.S. -- Now that the library has snatched back "Died in the Wool," I am back to reading "The Roman Hat Mystery" by Ellery Queen. It is a hoot so far.
  18. I finally finished "Death and the Dancing Footman" by Ngaio Marsh. As mentioned earlier, it was one I had read many years before, but until about halfway through I did not recognize or remember much in it. Then it all pretty much came back to me -- principally, who had dun it and how -- and finishing it was now more of a confirmation of my memory of it. I'm reading "Died in the Wool" by Ngaio Marsh now, but the electronic book loan ends tonight and I doubt I will finish it. I will have to put another hold on and wait for my turn again. R
  19. I found the picture below to represent Jody's cute Chinese neighbor Li Cheng and posted it in the thread for "Growing Pains." It seems more appropriate to post it here. So here is my proposed image of Li Cheng, the boy Jody discovers living in the apparently vacant house behind his: R
  20. Some broader insight into the inherent instability of Yugoslavia can be seen in this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia. It was cobbled together in the aftermath of World War I from remnants of the Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungary, and this arranged marriage of disparate peoples never flourished as such. R
  21. Aha! A new character, Jason Patel. Here is a possible image: R
  22. Hmmm. This isn’t a cliffhanger, it’s a stiff-hanger. R
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