Sleuthing Sunday: ‘The Tuesday Club Murders’ by Agatha Christie (1932) (Book review)

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n “The Tuesday Club Murders” (also known as “The Thirteen Problems,” 1932), Agatha Christie gives Miss Marple a collection of short stories to match – and surpass, actually – “Poirot Investigates.” I like this collection better, and I think it’s because it flows smoothly from story to story, with six people sitting around Jane Marple’s house in St. Mary Mead – at the invitation of her nephew, Raymond West – sharing mysteries from their own life experiences that the others must attempt to solve.

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‘Firefly: Watch How I Soar’ is a flighty but fitting tribute to Wash (Comic book review)

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decade ago, Dark Horse gave us the previously secret backstory of Book in one volume, “The Shepherd’s Tale.” Now we get a similarly classy (and expensive) hardcover volume for Hoban Washburne – Boom! Comics’ “Firefly: Watch How I Soar” (November) — and it’s good, but it can’t be quite as good because Wash is pretty much the opposite of Shepherd Book. Serenity’s pilot is an open book, so to speak. Continue reading “‘Firefly: Watch How I Soar’ is a flighty but fitting tribute to Wash (Comic book review)”

Sleuthing Sunday: ‘Poirot Investigates’ by Agatha Christie (1924) (Book review)

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arly in my reading of the short-story collection “Poirot Investigates” (1924), I didn’t like how Agatha Christie was unleashing various tropes and tricks within such brief yarns; I felt like she should save them (especially her really good ideas) for her novels. But a ways into this 14-story collection (the last three of which are only in the American edition), I started to look forward to each one as a mental snack. Not as fulfilling as the full-course meal of a Hercule Poirot novel (of which only two were published by this time), but tasty.

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The top 20 ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’ books (Commentary)

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rom 1997’s “Halloween Rain” through 2008’s “One Thing or Your Mother” — and with the bonus of Kiersten White’s “Slayer” duology in recent years — the Buffyverse tie-in novels gave us a way to escape into the world of Slayers and vampires between WB New Tuesdays and after the shows went off the air. But with nearly 100 original “Buffy” and “Angel” novels out there (more if you count novelizations of episodes), it can be intimidating to figure out where to start.

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PKD flashback: All 18 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 4’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

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PKD flashback: All 23 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 3’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

Continue reading “PKD flashback: All 23 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 3’ (1987), ranked (Book review)”

PKD flashback: All 27 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 2’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

Continue reading “PKD flashback: All 27 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 2’ (1987), ranked (Book review)”

PKD flashback: All 25 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 1’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

Continue reading “PKD flashback: All 25 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 1’ (1987), ranked (Book review)”

PKD flashback: All 25 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 5’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

Continue reading “PKD flashback: All 25 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 5’ (1987), ranked (Book review)”

‘Buffy’ flashback: All 8 short stories from ‘Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 4’ (2004), ranked (Book review)

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he fourth and final “Tales of the Slayer” collection (November 2004) is also the only one centered around a theme: specifically, the Cruciamentum – as seen in “Helpless” (3.12) — wherein the Slayer is weakened by drugs and forced to defeat a vampire via only her wits and fighting skills. Remarkably, these aren’t just eight tales of Slayers being betrayed by their Watchers and feeling horrible; the authors find a variety of angles with which to approach the concept. Here are my rankings, from best to weakest, although there isn’t a bad story in the bunch:

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