Monday, February 5, 2018
recent read; The Secret Files of Solar Pons
THE SECRET FILES OF SOLAR PONS by Basil Copper
Pons finds himself dealing with four separate mysteries in this collection - "The Adventure of the Crawling Horror," "The Adventure of the Anguished Actor," "The Adventure of the Ignored Idols"
and "The Adventure of the Horrified Heiress."
I admit to sometimes being too easily entertained. I am still new to original Sherlock Holmes tales and the tales of Solar Pons. I thought these tales were enjoyable, at least.
In "The Adventure of the Crawling Horror," Pons must solve the mystery of a ghostly monster in the marsh lands. "The Adventure of the Anguished Actor" features a tale of theater as Pons and Parker race to save an actor from assassination. In "The Adventure of the Ignored Idols," a brazen thief challenges a museum to stop his imminent procurement of exhibits. And "The Adventure of the Horrified Heiress" is a tale of murder and inheritance.
I found the last story surprisingly predictable. "Ignored Idols" seemed to have an odd central conceit - the museum thief is initially introduced as known forger. So, why turn to thieving? I was expecting an artifact forgery swap somewhere in the story but it is also a straightforward tale of burglary and Pons's attempt to stop the thief.
So, I'd say the first two stories were the better of the collection.
Copper favored novella length adventures for Pons and his stalwart companion, Parker. I enjoyed settling into all of these longer stories, soaking up some atmosphere and spending more time with the mainstay characters of the series.
(The original Basil Copper stories came in the series of books published by Pinnacle Books back in the day and included Derleth's run. Hence, the first edition of SECRET FILES was numbered 10, not 3. Story content is the same.)