9 Hampton Court 1915 by Walter Jerrold, illustrator E.W. Haslehust, at Gutenberg
- Lion Gate, Pond Garden
8 Loathsome Dragon by David Wiesner and Kim Kahng 1987
back cover -ship ; pg 7,14,28 warlock, Queen, King, Margaret, Childe Wynde, Toad
7 Beautiful Creatures animé by Cassandra Jean;
6 Hugo Pepper by Chris Riddell (text Paul Stewart) #3 Far-flung Adventures;
5 Paintings by Emily Carr: Cathedral, Seascape, War Canoes;
4 Photos of painter Emily Carr;
3 Burglar's Fate and the Detectives by Allan Pinkerton 1884 at
- Holdup at Geneva Bank, "Hands up, Newton Edwards!",
- Dig up bag of gold, Everman placed hand;
2 Loor, Mallor in Merchant of Death artist Carla McNeill,
Richard Scarry's Operation in Busytown;
1 Iron Man: Extremis by Adi Granov - Trio, Back cover;

9 Hampton Court 1915 by Walter Jerrold, illustrator E.W. Haslehust, at Gutenberg
- Lion Gate, Pond Garden

8 Loathsome Dragon by David Wiesner and Kim Kahng 1987
back cover -ship ; pg 7,14,28 warlock, Queen, King, Margaret, Childe Wynde, Toad

7 Beautiful Creatures animé by Cassandra Jean

6 Hugo Pepper by Chris Riddell (text Paul Stewart) #3 Far-flung Adventures
Cressida Claw, Mermaid Daisy, her sister Lily

Mermaid on a Bicycle, Hugo Pepper

5 Paintings by Emily Carr
- Cathedral, Seascape, War Canoes

4 Emily Carr, painter

3 Burglar's Fate and the Detectives 1884 by Allan Pinkerton at
- Holdup at Geneva Bank, "Hands up, Newton Edwards!",

Dig up gold, Everman quickly placed hand on young man's shoulder

2 Merchant of Death artist Carla McNeill & Richard Scarry Busytown Operation

1 Iron Man: Extremis by artist Adi Granov Trio, Back cover

G.I. Joe 1: Rise of the Cobra 2009 5*

G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra 2009 5* Preview Bash, boom. Fists, swords, guns, bombs. "We're running out of time". "This has only just begun".

Plot details are less important than heart-stopping action alternating with suspense. Good guys chase bad guys while wise-cracking quips. Visual and sound effects multiply thrills. What could be better? Surprise twists shake up premise so we can watch again and again.

Sequel Retaliation 2013 adds the king of Die Hard action film series Bruce Willis, as the original Joe, the only one the team can trust. Yowza. Geronimo.

Cast: Captain Duke (Channing Tatum), Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), General Joe (Bruce Willis), Lady Jaye (Adrienne Palicki), Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun), Snake Eyes (Ray Park)

Star Trek 2009 5*

Star Trek 2009 Preview
"In the first ten minutes, your heart breaks and then soars". Unexpected shocks bring fear or laughter, right after one another. Recognition of old friends, now young again. Fantasy feels real. (After this, old re-runs - (edited or full clips) cheesy out-dated theatrical over-acting, straining to life styrofoam rocks on likewise sets, rubber costumes - are funnier now.) What if your past were changed?

Star Trek: Into Darkness 2013 is coming. Preview. Recent TV rerun was cut for ads, of course. I forgot how stunning was Star Trek 2009. DVD can be paused, replayed, enjoyed, rediscovered via Extras, commentary. Every time this shows on TV, I watch again, always thrilled.

Original evocative horn solo rises triumphantly to eerie spaceship broadcast inside U.S.S. Kelvin. A lightning storm the day of our hero's birth is really an enemy attack by one massive vessel. Throughout, orchestrations, thrumming drums, and perfect sound effects add immensely. Everything is real - wide western Earth plains, volcanic planet Vulcan, high tech building yard, space station, atop an atmosphere high giant drill - and majorly funny, "cupcake". Lt Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) claims hand-to-hand combat expertise - fencing - we get swords clashing.

Gorgeous guys and girls? Our gung-ho jump-in hero may not be much of a team player, but stellar cast leads as a whole. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) has a down-home Kentucky drawl to melt your "Bones". . He likes "the pointy-eared b-d" Virile joking Scotty admires the Enterprise "She's one well-endowed lady. I'd like to get my hands on her ample nacelles, if you'll pardon the engineering parlance." Onboard, "I like this ship! It's exciting!"

"If only .. ", the eternal cry of human distress. What if a better brighter future universe were threatened? If the present were wrong, painful? "Whatever our lives might have been .. our destinies have changed." Everything changes.

Vengeful Nero (Eric Bana) intends to destroy all Federation planets, begins with the ship captained by the father of James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine). 25 years later, he demolishes the Vulcan home world of Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy). 129 years before, Spock arrived too late with red (color of danger and blood) matter "black hole device" (star bomber) to save Romulus.

1 Nero (Eric Bana) at 39 spent 25 years waiting for Spock minus 4 years in black hole (Spock mind-melds Kirk to "129 years ago") = working miner, impregnated wife @ age 10. If he was, say 20, he should now look 49, not 39. Maybe Romulans are long-lived, like Vulcans, and look younger? If young Spock is 22 (2009 Zachary Quinto b.1977), old Spock is 131 (78 Leonard Nimoy b.1931 - old looks old).
2 Why does Kirk hang around, fire everything at Nero, when the villain is already doomed by the singularity, thus endangering the Enterprise? Just so Spock can say "Not this time" to Kirk's "logic" and "compassion"?


Whatever is bad can be worse. Laugh amid disaster. Everything can turn upside-down in a blink.

Triumphal music rises (again), the armada warps out. Except U.S.S. Enterprise stalls short .. saved by the delay. Ensign Pavel Andreievich Chekov (Anton Yelchin deliberately fakes) fails voice activation code on Russian accent "nine-five-Wictor-Wictor-two", but at 17, he can transport like Scotty. (Helen Mirren RED, who knew?). Interview transcript.
Spanish Wictor Wictor. Checkove is whiz with transporter.
Trying to save the Enterprise, Kirk fumbles with swollen sausage fingers and unintelligible numb-tongue. Captured, choking, Kirk is released just enough to gasp "I've got your gun". All is way funnier on screen.

Kirk, kid, takes fast right in step-dad's stolen car to avoid pursuing motorcycle cop .. who aerially cuts corner; car goes over cliff, kid rolls free. Meanwhile kid Spock beats down bully who calls human mother whore. He chooses to supress emotions, but discriminatory Science Academy panel during acceptance provokes new Spock to decline their admission for Starfleet, and girlfriend.

Snow blizzard hides a galloping animal, possibly rescue, that grows closer bigger, angrier, louder, hungrier. Kirk flees, but an even bigger beast attacks both. Kirk tumbles off a cliff, but the monster falls after, busts through cavern opening, ever pursuing. Scene.

Enjoying free fall, Olson delays pulling his chute, and dies, with all demolition charges to stop the invaders. Choking in hold of derisive Romulan, Kirk gasps out "I've got your gun". Icy calm Spock explodes into murderous rage when Kirk has to bait him to assume command, stopped only by Spock's father Sarek (Ben Cross, I never recognize his permutations).

I almost wish I were a real Trekkie, to see buried "canon" trivia. Spock seeks his parents in the Katric ark. Even today's culture has embedded references, especially hilarious TV Big Bang Theory, core four stars still expanding. Penultimate nerd Sheldon Cooper yells name of nemesis "Wheaton" like Kirk shouted "Khan!" Sheldon has nightmares of Gorn.

Every time Scotty beams warp-speed into Enterprise giant tubes, I hold my breath. Nope. Our gang is tough. Who knew Captain of pilot episode "The Cage" was a girl?

In my first year, my own pilot dad crashed his jet, so I have a special weakness for this back story of the Captain for 12 minutes who saved 800 lives. Star Trek 2009 has heart, body and soul.


"In the first ten minutes, your heart breaks and then soars"
Kelvin, as in U.S.S., was JJ's grandfather, inspiration to make movies, # on ship his birthday
handrails on space-ship not on others, seems obvious now
Kirk's dad actor cast deliberately to resemble Kirk (Pine)
first day broke out in sweat, surrounded by big bald tattooed guys with swords
pregnant mom (Jennifer Morrison - Once upon a Time)
such a pity men deliberately included mom for their wives
I missed that uncle became step-father

in last 2 weeks made huge changes for better
Spock meets mom before Science Acadamy in real church
scripted speech pattern show "what Vulcan is"

Kirk's motorbike spokes removed, who noticed?
head bangs on low clearance first day added, echoes later when he ducks below
Star Trek Academy is Northridge Library

reveal of green-skin is hark-back to original
I did not recognize green-skin Gaila (Rachel Nichols) as Keira in Continuum and Scarlett in G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra = sign of better actors
all 3 in underwear for fun, bigger surprise when Spock already has girl
deleted Kirk sleeping with green girl to implant virus in test
Kobayashi Maru - Kirk eats apple to appear more cocky
listened to 40 years before for sound design

first sight of Enterprise - homage to other previous reveal
Uhura is peon in bowels until Kirk brings her to bridge
"Prod Nero" is supposed to be Praetor
every Trek team member needed critical role to win war & support others
Romulans speak English, huh.
red matter stays mystery till later

Spock: puzzled by "the complexity of human pranks"
Olson = red shirt #1
falling onto drill face close-ups falls = improv stand on mirror in parking lot
Falls out upside down, shake camera
sunlight outside is more realistic on film

problems mount, never rest,
like Raider's of the Lost Ark, Marion in spinning plane,
Sulu stabs both Romulans "swash-buckling vibe" stabs
minimize budget? shoot drill shoots

surprise when parachute breaks Nomayo real Soviet expression "Good borscht!"
Chekov's save beam is homage to beloved 1999 Galaxy Quest (me too! one of my few purchases)
"Never give up! Never surrender!"

slow motion only used twice, more effective: Spock leaves bridge, Spock lost planet
moving when Uhura kisses Spock "okay" because actress recalled own loss
comic book explains Nero losing planet? (removed 25 years in prison, whew)? what accent?

no deleted scenes (also whew)
Comics for Into Darkness
greatest compliment for actor is "unrecognizable" .. "not make-up, performance"

Spock boots Kirk "out of the chair" was improv on day
finally everyone all together for 40 years of fans and newbies?
true to canon and new
both Kirk and Spock right, same goal, different approach (Lennon & McCartney both lost parents young?)

Alaska 2nd unit plus paper snow in Dodger stadium
set up drill sequence at same time sent flakes over desert Vulcan
judicious cuss, one "Bullshit" to old Spock like Indiana Jones in Temple of Doom, single "Shit" at trouble
mind-meld bizarre vs lecture, "intentionally obtuse .. more impactful", balance exposition, too far confuses, just right elucidates
Spock: "Millions of lives lost because I failed", I disagree, chance and Nero killed, not Spock who tried his best
"Good luck" feels real "thrusters on full" Nimoy's own line

destiny, fate = removed Spock's line about coincidences "time-stream's way of mending itself"
real steam gushes in Budweiser plant location for underground substation tunnel
transwarped beagle shows up in novelizations?
had to fight budget for Scotty in pipes
Enterprise innards = Budweiser
Scott: "I like this ship! It's exciting!"

Spock hero too, embraces humanity when dad admits loved wife Amanda (Winona Ryder), and friendship with Kirk
first double profile shot of Spock and Kirks heads facing shows partnership
Nyota's first name not in canon
first Romulan on "squid ship" Norada is really brother of actor Zach
modulated voice of Will Wheaton
set like Lego, movable parts, one level felt like many

villain not super, blue-collar worker, no desire to kill big stars (or lesser)
everyone on film "best in the business .. top of the game"
courage theme cuts to Checkov's smile
silence judicious
only choir, singing nonsense
"money moment" = relief, not triumph, ball thrown ball around bases to everyone
Pike: "I am relieved" double entendre

big smile end
Nimoy asked to say line, chose "Thrusters on full"
given closing "Boldly go" motto

by J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci
good fast constant input though I cannot tell voices apart,
till end, dwindles to blue balls, nada,
thanks to all "genius wizard .. best in the world",
"can't believe it worked" " they see more than once" "mission to get our wives" Gene Roddenberry's wife visited, supportive, voice of Starfleet computer, passed away before release, son phoned praise
"we should do a sequel"

Special Features

A New Vision:
most praise to JJ from others, fun to see faces, hear voices behind scenes
shows original Trek ep14 "Balance of Terror", slower paced Clip
faces of (so young), all guys but Zoë
Alex Kurtzman: add "rock and roll" to original classical

key "how do we make the spectacle feel real?" "root in reality" "old school" "40% location"
shoot widescreen, not digital, imperfections, grittiness, helate flares add life, miniatures
classic crew side lurch to "3-2-1 Boom"
physical shaking random rhythm always J.J. "black belt"
costume kids to make set look bigger on ice planet cave, sub-station corridor
last shot of Spock 14x, JJ has talent for big scope and intimate moments both

Gag Reel I laughed
Chris Pine voices over "boldly" motto, funny faces as credits,
bloopers, bleepers, clowning accidental and on purpose,
thrum dance beat on mikes
spill-your-guts insect misses Pike's mouth
Spock smashes Kirk into chair, Uhura smashes door
Fun real dancing

1 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Optimus Prime "fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing"
2 GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra
Baroness: "this has only just begun"
3 TV Fringe
4 Star Trek DAC? multi-player game
Kirk: "Either we're going down, or they are"

Cast: / Enterprise crew
Cadet (First Officer, Captain) James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine)
Ambassador Old Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy)
Cmdr New Spock (Zachary Quinto)
Crew (member?) Ntoya Uhura (Zoë Saldana)
Dr Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban)
Lt Hikaru Sulu (John Cho)
Engineer Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg)
Ensign Pavel Andreievich Chekov (Anton Yelchin)
Capt Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood)
Nero (Eric Bana)

Languages: English, Francais, Espanol
Captions: English, Francais, Espanol

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
G.I Goe: Rise of the Cobra "this has only just begun"
Mashup 10 tense, explosive, scary clips

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars 2004 3-4*

Preview. March 1999-2003 TV series Australian, aired UK and US. Disc1: film, Disc2: Extras I like better 4* after percolating, appreciate niche, style, effects, fun. Didn't know till Extras that fans demanded film to finish cancelled series. Actors Black and Browder both loved in Stargate SG-1. If only all beloved cancellations ...

Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) voices over silent body of fiancé, former Earth astronaut John Chrichton (Ben Browder) "You did it .. All dying has stopped .. three is not such a scary number .. but I will not accept it as a tradeoff for losing you". Boom. Big space-fight.

Cut to remote water planet ocean, where Rygel (puppet voiced by Jonathan Hardy), Muppet cute-ugly Dorian-alien from Hyneria, brings up (literally vomits) treasure (spoiler = baby bits). Mission over at secluded stopover, our team returns to main stream society, and shocking news. "We are now officially engaged in the last war of our era". Enemy Scarrans "were already taking the galaxy by force, system by system".

Their leader is Emperor Scorpius (Wayne Pygram). Although ornate in top-knot hairdo and gold-embroidered red silk Oriental coat over red skin, I am reminded of giant green-skin villain Sarris (Robin Sachs) in Galaxy Quest). He baits War Minister Akhna (Francesca Buller) with the promise of power and status, as Empress, if she helps him build an empire. She is not credible as a warrior leading pursuit, when dressed in impossible impractical tight skirt and high heels.

Chiana (Gigi Edgley) "Witchiepoo", joyful over regained eyesight, jumps on Rygel's boss D'Argo (Anthony Simcoe), in welcome. He is tall, auburn-furred, and tentacle-scalped. Her chalk white skin and hair are stark beneath make-up to look black and white. Pilot is the other puppet main character, who directs ship Moya. Her tri-partite baby squid shape seems a precursor to the 2009 Star Trek Nero's Romulan mining freighter Norada.

Until I realized fans demanded movie after series cancelled unfinished, the plot made no sense, starting from the show's end. Perhaps if one knew the large cast of couples from 1999-2003 TV series and back story, many jumps and flashbacks would make more sense. How everyone pairs off is annoying. Reminds me of "The Big Bang Theory", expanding from nerd quartet to their sweethearts. Best moments.

Perhaps in the TV series, females influenced more than as side-kicks, but here primarily are attractive appendages. Sikozu (Raylee Hill) is a skimpy-top redhead kick-ass. Defense leader Braca (David Franklin) has pregnant Grayza (Rebecca Riggs).

One-liners break the tension, add humor to the most serious situations. Wild invented curses, like "fuzzbot", "Frell", where F- off is blanked out, started in the TV series, continue here. "Hang the frell on" means wait for coming aid.

I'm fond of Shakespearean from Look's "Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and other Scary Things" and Viking from Cowell's "How to Be a Pirate". My memory is tricksy right now, so I can try my own oaths, inspired by Farscape.

Aeryn: Who's taking fire?
John: Who isn't?

A: You don't know what you're doing.
J: I never do.

John's motto "Run first", goes by the wayside when odds "not good" are the "best odds we ever got".

J: Chrichtons don't cry. Often. Or for very long.

Scorpius: You are immune to the probing.
J: That's because I always speak the truth.

D'Argo: You've grown, dude.
son Jothee: It's the armor.

Stark goes "completely farbot" before John saves him from drowning in flood and fire.

A: "I'm pregnant, not incapacitated"

Jool: I belong here.
John: You always made the best mistakes.

Some odd references sound out of place or time. "We're hit by any more missiles and we're Spam". Spam is canned meat, supplied in 1937 to US troops, still popular in Hawaii. They have IRS, but do they know what that means?


Behind the scenes

Even behind the scenes, the actor who plays the black masked elder Scorpius/Harvey (Wayne Pygram) cannot keep track of all species names. We learn the back-stage secrets, like magic tricks exposed. Shots sound like fire-crackers because they are. From TV show to full-scale film, their first orchestra of 80 musicians, saws and puffs. A "baby" is doll, a fake.

The crew motto, from the top dog producers, was "Play". Food was laid on in actual tons. "Modesty strips" slipped off accidentally, we are told, not recorded for posterity, so still Family rated.



Too much next is boring, a recap of 2 months in crystallized stasis and lost pregnancy. Baby bits, left inside, grow inside Rygel. Besides required for parenthood, he is also the crown Prince of his people. His royal court demands he return.

Jothee (Nathaniel Dean) plays deus ex machina, bringing unexpected reinforcements to help his estranged father D'Argo.
Chiana: The frellings killed my D'Argo.

Stark marries John and Aeryn in a fountain to a patter of nonsense syllables - funeral and puberty rites - then "Do you love each other enough to marry? Then you are. Congratulations." He pushes them into the water so the son is born wet.

Time deadlines put pressure on the plot. The birth accelerates to days. Although Chiana's new eyes can see through walls for enemies, the enemy Scarrans bomb the temple protecting awakened remnants of the Eidelon race. The Eidelon species, believed extinct, have a genetic ability to persuade others to make peace. But an Eidelon must touch an angry target to affect it.

In a universe at war, the survivors are the only hope. John will not, and cannot, construct a doomsday weapon. He cannot convince his own side, let alone their opponents, otherwise. They will not stop until John builds the end of them all.

John: People make peace.

d2 Extras (right arrow key pages through)

1 The battle behind the wars - behind scenes mix with interviews, cast, crew, lots
- Sep 2002 series cancelled, story unfinished, f-g great, tears, fan outcry, so Dec 2003 mini-series
- script readthrough, mid-makeup, 8 stages, "farscape day" runs 3 hours behind, ship called Penetrator invades Decimator (D'Argo), monumental scale, leather, animatronic puppets cost more than actors have to be careful, 90% dialog drowned out. re-done, "chunder" = vomit
"In space you can do whatever you like" "no holds barred"
2 Conceptual art gallery - 54 sketches, mostly bw (black and white), costumes, sets, alien font, mostly ships, look alike by the end
3 Storyboards - 67 arrows direct action on quick bw frames
4 Spacecraft gallery - 16 frames 2D, 3D white, grey, color
5 Prop gallery - ~118 frames: weapons, accessories, clothes, bedding, prosthetics, tools, set "dressing", doodads - numbered out of order, boring when sealed boxes plastic wrapped

Setup: Audio: English; Subtitles: English, Spanish

Oz: The Great and Powerful 2013 4*

"Oz: The Great and Powerful" 2013 Teaser 4* Good, not great. Feels true as prequel to Baum's books.

Expected too much, had a ball anyway at birthday present, first cinema visit in ten years, may color review. Initial sight of Oz world reminded me too much of 2" screen on Nintendo DS game graphics. Tiny biting river fairies tempt magician, also named Oz (James Franco) by drumming first half of recognizable rhythm, but ohh, don't finish the beat or you'll be sorry (spoiler?)

The crystal emerald garden has flowers with ruby centers = staggering. Running along narrow rockways obviously green-screen, but scares all the tots sitting at the front of the theater. Why piffle when effects work? We are in a magical land.

Huge melting dark eyes (like Shrek Puss in Boots), luscious soft kissable lips, lush womanly curves (no skeleton models, skull faces here), topped by velvety red giant hat and jacket, over black leather pants hugging trim fit figure .. Princess Theodora (Mila Kunis) is The Most Gorgeous. The evil brunette duo, Princess Evanora (Rachel Weisz) shoot over the top of the beauty scale. Glinda (Michelle Williams), Oz constantly calls her Wanda, is uglified by a fake streaky bleach blonde, frozen stiff wig-like head. Ick. I don't get why she plays Annie back in Kansas, too, the echoing later of characters.

Oz lets down the first crying girl who cannot walk, but gets another chance to help Megan, from China Town, actually a village. Megan seems set to return.'s_Return

My favorite lines are (roughly) "I like green", "Let's go kill a witch", "Everything in good time .. and a good time in everything". Weak script.

Ever since Kermit the Frog muppet said "It's not easy being green", I wear my Kermie brooch with pride. March 17 Saint Patrick's Day always brings out my red-haired gran's Irish heritage.

Maybelle's aunts told her the family had a castle in Ireland. When I toured the shamrock shores, I saw that two-storey, family one room atop animal's barn level, abode. As far as the eye could see from there, the "Laird" ruled over the properties.

I was so happy to see some of the credits, but did not recognize them later, maybe the disguise of flying monkey bellhop? Frank/ Finley (Zach Braff). Winkie Gate Keeper (Bruce Campbell).

I like green.

Agatha Christie Miss Marple - The Blue Geranium 4*

Clip. Shivering fearfully, a woman prays in her bedroom for divine protection. Downstairs, man answers rotary phone "Don't call me here". Elsewhere, red-enameled fingernails puts down her phone. Spoilers to music.

Next morning, George Pritchard (Toby Stephens) breaks the locked door of dead Mary (Sharon Small). Blood streams from her nose, and one blue geranium in a bouquet of pink blossoms. Not enough once, the whole death scene repeats later amid flashbacks.

Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie) gasps when observing wasp poison concoction. When Detective Somerset (Kevin R. McNally) refuses her call, Jane invades a London gentleman's club to Sir Henry Clithering (Donald Sinden). Newspaper report in hand, she recalls the knotted tangle she "got wrong".

On the (to me, delightfully gorgeous little antiquated) bus to visit her friend Reverend Dermot Milewater (David Calder) in Little Ambrose (no sweet "prettiest village I know" named like that among quiet fields in my New World), the only other passenger, troubled Eddie Seward (Jason Durr), confides "I have been through a tunnel .. I'm going to force the moment to its crisis".

Dermot's niece Hester (Joanna Page) is cook for Pritchards. Hypochondriac wife Mary is obsessed with horoscopes, dependent on "magic tonic" sugar solution of Dr Jonathon Frayn (Patrick Baladi), whose father sold the Summerleigh estate. To encourage Pritchard's generosity, the golf club appoints George their new Captain. But children interrupt the village gathering, the body of Eddie washes up in the river. Mary's sister Phillipa (Claudie Blakley) also in the Air Force, first in love with the dashing pilot George, married his brother Lewis (Paul Rhys), gambler and failed writer.

Miss M recognizes the "crisis" quote from T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" 1920, when a man intends to propose, and asks about the rest of the corpse's tie and scratches on his neck. Alcoholic Eddie left his drying-out clinic to find his wife Penelope, vanished years ago, probably now in Little Ambrose. Nurse Caroline Copling (Claire Rushbrook), artist Hazel (Caroline Catz), and Dermot's niece Hester are the newcomers, I remember who's trouble.

Hazel (in brown wig) and George act like sweethearts, then Hester and Payn find pregnant Carstairs (Rebekah Manning) strangled in abandoned estate mill-house by George's tie, leaving Mary's missing jewelry and costume of Zarida, mystic that threatened Mary with death when pink flowers turn blue. George confesses to all three murders. But Miss M knows the truth.

Arsenic crystals used to kill wasps resemble smelling salts Nurse Copling used to kill Mary. Miss M notes an Auction House paper in Eddie's wallet, the painting that brought him to Little Ambroze, freeze frame to show clearly, and believes the rest of Eddie's tie left on tree over river indicates partway through he regretted his suicide. Caroline blackmailed Phillipa for Mary's death, blaming Phillipa's angry years of slow poison, framed George for Carstairs using his tie.

Carstairs and Pritchard are both names from "Why didn't they ask Evans", disconcerting. Maybe Pritchard is used often because Agatha's only grandson is Matthew Prichard?

Subtitles English
4 Cast Filmographies 2pg credits 2008-1953 McKenzie, Catz, Sinden, Stephens
120 years with Agatha Christie 5pg - 2010 anniversary 90 years after first novel, 2 billion sold, something every 8 seconds 80th for Miss M, 45 languages, Matthew Prichard is only grandson. John Curran's "Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks" has two unpublished Poirot stories

Agatha Christie Miss Marple - Sleeping Murder 4*

Preview. As always, costumes are delicious, sets lavish - from 1933 India to 15 years later in Dover - plus a vaudeville singing act in full voice. Bright red lipstick, glossy hair waves, and vivid sharp colors inside and out, entertain eye and ear. Unraveling the problem when one already has seen the answer still captures the imagination and intellect.

In a magnificent Hillside mansion that Gwenda Halliday (Sophia Myles) age 21 chooses by "instinct", the pretty blonde from India uncovers a door blocked, wallpaper of "poppies and cornflower" in the planned nursery, and envisions strangled "Helen" at the foot of the stairs. Her busy London fiance's bespectacled assistant Hugh Hornbeam (Aidan McArdle) calls soft-spoken white-haired Miss Marple (Geraldine McEwan) to uncover secrets meant to protect. Marple recruits nearly-retired Dilmouth Chief Inspector Primer (Russ Abbot), and contacts police in India. Former housemaid Lily takes the train in to say her part, suffering the worst of consequences. Finally all the suspects gather for the revelation. (Rated 4* instead of 5* because of the original plot dependence on coincidence and guessing, not the film or acting quality.)

Gwenda's maternal uncle Doctor Kennedy (Phil Davis) presents evidence from a tragic history: a photo from Funnybones vaudeville troupe (including Dawn French as Mrs Erskine) actress Helen shares handwriting on a farewell dear-Kelvin postcard. Gwenda's mother Claire (Anna-Louise Plowman - Sarah/Osiris in Stargate SG-1) did not die in a car accident, but really became Helen Marsden to flee police. Her father Kelvin (Julian Wadham) came back to Hillside, but fell off the Dover cliff days after his new fiancee Helen vanished. Claire ran away to escape her too loving brother, but he, jealous and angry, killed the happy couple.

1 Behind the Scenes - Interview clips with McEwan and others about Marple's character, one other mystery, mostly highlights that retell this story.
2 Agatha Christie Bio - 6 screens - "over a billion copies in English .. another billion in 44 languages .. outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare .. last published novel "Sleeping Murder 1976 .. first Miss Marple Murder at the Vicarage 1930 List - finger43
3 Photo Gallery - 15 posed stills in costume
4 Cast Filmographies - 1-4 screens work for 8: McEwan, Myles - Dr Who 10 "Girl in the Fireplace" Marie Antoinette, Aiden McArdle, Geraldine Chaplin, Philip Davis, Dawn French, Paul McGann - Dr Who #8 1996, Julian Wadham - English Patient 1996

Agatha Christie Miss Marple - Why didn't they ask Evans? 2*

On sea cliff, organist Robert Attfield (Sean Biggerstaff) finds man dying, his last words the title. While observant Miss M (Julia McKenzie) knits quietly, pretty Lady Frankie Derwent (Georgia Moffet) convinces Bobby to write Richard Trent aka Roger, who identified body as his cousin Mr Pritchard. Confused? Miss M spots his car window reflections in bird binoculars, and leaves the couple near handy fence-wire to get unlock car for clues: map, pipe, and key.

Jane, Claude, Frankie, Bobby

To get in, Frankie runs her car off the road at the entrance of Castle Savage, circled on Pritchard's map, where tea baron Lord Jack Savage died "writhing and moaning" six months ago. Lady Sylvia Savage (Samantha Bond) calls the nearest doctor, who has clinic nearby, psychiatrist Dr Alec Nicholson (Rik Mayall), who advises Frankie stay. Bob sets off with Pritchard's key to Hotel Cattermole and finds the victim's diary and true name, Carstairs. For support and safety, the team follows Frankie - Miss M claims to be her old governess, Bob her chauffeur with more clothes. How too convenient and dangerous, that all are invited to stay in a house of suspects. Especially after we learn the first Lord Savage, elder brother George to Jack, died suddenly in China.

Claude Evans (Mark Williams - Weasley dad in Harry Potter) worked for George in China. Why does he hang around and grow deadly orchids in conservatory setting, except to provide a gorgeous film background? (Spoiler - and second victim who leaves supposed suicide confession.) Tom (Freddie Fox), son of the Savage house, pets deadly vipers, hides uncle Jack's will, and stares at orphanage photo. Moira (Natalie Dormer) "the most noticeable person I've ever noticed" was a nurse, now neighbor, jealous-seeming wife to Dr Nicholson, both with drug access.

Faithful old manservant Wilson (Richard Briers) gives mysterious needles to employer Sylvia. Resident piano teacher Roger (Rafe Spall) makes up to Frankie, while Moira flirts with Bob. Bombastic incompetent Commander Peters (Warren Clarke) refuses to listen to others' answers.

We get to look over their shoulders, see glances and actions unobserved by others. Huge castle, psychiatrist Nicholson tosses her a pill, son offers pit viper for perusal. I was overwhelmed by so many new people, all staying in the same big house. Curious happenings, actions, reactions and interactions, meaningless scraps of paper and conversations. Tension, music mounts, footsteps approach .. poof .. ordinary chit-chat. Very convoluted motivations ring weak when Miss M guesses history from years ago. McKenzie's portrayal is entirely believable.


If Jack killed George, older brother and first Lord Savage, because he and Sylvia wanted to marry, why did the newlyweds take on fake siblings Tom and Dottie Dorothy (Hannah Murray) after dumping real ones, now Roger and Moira, in the Chinese orphanage? Current Attfield maid Florence Roberts (Siwan Morris) seems too young to be Florrie Evans, former "nursemaid" to Jack, too informal for "nurse". Why necessary for her to witness his death? Others all suspects?

Why does Carstairs, such a good friend of Jack, come all the way from China to benefit George's children he doesn't know, because he thinks will made out to orphanage is wrong? Did he not see his killer Roger? Why waste last words on questioning reason maid Evans not asked to witness will instead of gardeners, newly replaced so as not to recognize forger Roger in place of Jack?

Roger says Moira suffered deeply at the hands of invading soldiers. She dies horribly from poison, tactfully face down, a snake tattoo conveniently exposed by her slit-back dress. Does not Sylvia, guilty of ruining all their lives by selfish lust, deserve punishment?


photo gallery
~30 posed publicity vs casual style stills, mostly single, outside or in flowers
4 cast filmographies
- 2 pg work, many mysteries, 2009-1971 McKenzie, Bond, Clarke, Spall

Poirot v7 Egyptian Tomb, Underdog, Yellow Iris

Sigh. Agatha Christie flash-froze for us the 1930s English upper class - the elegant rich - white suits, hats, gloves, long dresses, uniformed servants. Mostly quiet deaths, where aristocrats hire Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), master of "the little grey cells" quiet cogitation accompanied by his side-kick Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), and secretary Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran). I forgot comic relief, her ouija board and hypnosis.

1 Egyptian Tomb Full.
Excavators die from a royal burial chamber curse, or is the motive money or career? From giant white museum statues to camels, palms, fly-whisks, campfires in the sand. 3000 year-old jasmine - mm - achoo. "Rome rose and fell .. wars and catastrophes .. this king forgotten".
Fine that Poirot pours his poisoned tea into a lab analysis bottle, but why also fake attack and send Hastings for help? Classic finale with all suspects gathered in one room (tent).
At Yale University, Dr Ames was appointed heir to his chum Rupert. He kills his pal's billionaire uncle, their dig funder, and misdiagnoses Rupert's exczema for leprosy, triggering unexpected suicide just before marriage would introduce another heir.
2 Underdog Part1.
Opens with exciting fight in lab and fire - a new chemical formula for synthetic rubber at stake, worth a fortune to Germany in upcoming war. Profit-hungry company owner Sir Reuben Astwell (Denis Lill) fires his wife (Ann Bell) Nancy's secretary Lily (Adie Allen), gets clobbered, his son Charles (Jonathan Phillips) suspect.

Again, a worried mother hires Poirot, already guest on the spot, angry at his "obnoxious" host. I cannot remember if in the book Poirot retrieves a fabric scrab from a bush and dabs on house-maid Gladys' blood from his hanky, to fool the dress owner, but the whole folderol seems over-the-top.
The burglar was Humphrey Naylor (Andrew Seear), tussling with his lab supervisor. How does one stuntman (Simon Crane) do both parts? or did he just supervise? Horace Trefusis (Bill Wallis) stole Naylor's formula to make a fortune using his German contacts. Lily altered her handwritten (no more) reference from "Naylor" to "Marsden", and sought proof of the swindle. I'd forgotten much of the buildup, but not the killer, Trefusis, hidden behind a handy curtain while the other suspects came and went.
3 Yellow Iris Part1.
Soft cream colors tint scene while Poirot narrates flashback to Buenos Aires, where heiress Iris, married to Barton Russell, drinks cyanide. Powder found in her bag, case is closed as suicide. Next morning, a military coup general deports the detective "third-class", before solution.

Now a London restaurant reunion gathers the suspects again, and threatens the surviving Weatherby sister Pauline, one month short of age 21, to get trust funds, and marriage imminent. Poirot plans pretense to lure out killer. Based on "Sprinkling Cyanide" featuring Colonel Race. (Seen many times before, I tire of theme song.)
Pauline pretends to die; in servant uniform, she then serves drinks to all suspects. At meal before, Barton, guardian who stole Weatherby trust fund, pretended to be waiter, serving drinks and planting potassium cyanide.

Special Features
1 David Suchet: 5pg "painstaking research" for every role, read "every description", not "loner" but "same eye for order"
2 Agatha Christie: Bio 4pg = Marple DVD, 3pg Poirot books: 1920 Styles-1975 Curtain
3 Filmographies (works to 2003): 9 - David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson, Anna Cropper, Rolf Saxon (Mission Impossible 1996), Denis Lill (Rumpole of the Bailey TV 1983-92), Ann Bell, David Troughton, Geraldine Somerville (Harry Potter's mother Lily)

Ice Age Xmas 3*

Preview. Sid (John Leguizamo) disdains Manfred's (Ray Romano) thirty-ton granite mammoth heirloom Christmas rock, decorates a tree instead, breaks the rock, and ends up on Manny's made-up Santa's Naughty List. In a white-out, Sid falls off a cliff with young mammoth Peaches. Cute, sappy.

Spoilers: Reindeer Prancer rescues "788 pound feather" and companions, flies them to North Pole. A group of mini-sloths help the gang repair toys, and Prancer's pals Santa distribute toys around the world.

Q: What do you call a group of sloths? A1, A2, A3.

Bend it like Beckham 5*

Jess: If I can't tell you now what I want, then I'll never be happy whatever I do.

Her dad: I don't want her to make the same mistake .. of accepting situations. I want her to fight.

This was the start of my love affair with "The Beautiful Game" of futbol in Europe, soccer in North America. Preview. Full. As curry is more than a dry powder - complex blend of coriander, cumin, tumeric, and more - so does this film have snickers and guffaws of the true cheer tear snort drop-jaw flavor. If you know anything about soccer/ futbol, you'll know more than I did at first viewing.

The title refers to the magical curve that directs soccer balls around opponents, directly into the goal for historically high-scoring Beckham, hunky hot media star who raised profile of "The Beautiful Game" worldwide. Players have weight-lifter strength, long-distance runner stamina, high-wire balance, martial arts flexibility, balletic fluidity, gymnastic acrobatics, synchronized team work, individual brain work, ever-so masculine bodies straining shorts and tops, This film has vision, character, morals, fun, fast family-grade action and script.

The heroine is first-generation English Jasminder "Jess" Bhamra (Parminder Nagra - ER, Ella Enchanted) desperately hiding her futbol talent from her family. Their immigrant colorfully costumed culture from India takes visual supremacy. Her best mate (aka pal in Brit-speak) is Juliette "Jules" Paxton (Keira Knightley, yes, a year before her Pirates of the Caribbean fame at 16). Jules' mother Paula (Juliet Stevenson) is always in ultra-feminine fluffy pink, and assumes lesbian daughter in panic after overhearing only part of a conversation. Outfits may be dated. Who notices?

Jess' futbol talent is hidden from her family, known only to her cousin Tony (Adi Ferreira, EastEnders) who "really likes Beckham". Her elder sister's marriage is their focus. The teen wants to attend university and play futbol. Her dad (Anupam Kher), a pro-level cricket player, gave up the sport after prejudiced whites black-balled him from their club. Her fight for identity slots this tale into the "coming of age" niche.

Jules' father Alan (Frank Harper) raised her as a futbol fan. His wife blames him for the tomboy nature of their only progeny. She despairs of passing on her passion for fashion, everything curly girly.
The eavesdropper mistakes Jules' jealous anger at Jess' near kiss with their coach Joe (Jonathan Rhys Meyers - Tudors, Mission Impossible 3) "you knew I fancied him" for a lesbian rejection. I think the humor is just as funny today, in absurd politically over-correctness (differently advantaged? really).

Jess' dad has a secret. The superb cricket player quit after a white club denied him entrance. "Who was hurt? I was. I want more for my daughter. Two daughters happy in one day, what more could a father want?" The scene where he "cannot stand her long face" and lets her sneak out of her sister's giant wedding reception party to win the last half-hour of the final and joint scholarships to "America" was cut for TV.

Lost in Austen 5*

Travel to imagined time past, funnier than Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice original text, sweet, more gorgeous aristocratic manor, extravagant gardens, lush costumes than I could envision. I watch repeatedly.

Plot has same hero, rich Darcy, but Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) from present-day London is trapped on the long ago side of a secret passageway to her rural "dear friend" Elizabeth Bennet (Gemma Arterton, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Clash of the Titans) who has not returned from "the city" after switching places. But she must, to marry wealthy new neighbor, overly full of pride and prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy (Elliot Cown). We know (Amanda reminds Austen neophytes like myself) how the plot should go, but the real people are not adhering to their written roles. Everything goes very wrong.

Dresses are soft and long, colors pale and dreamy. Hair is wavy on men, curly on women, straight on Amanda. Mr Bingley (Tom Mison) is weak-willed, his sister Caroline (Christina Cole) sharp and cutting, his best mate wealthy aristocrat Darcy hard and cynical.

Father (Hugh Bonneville) is poor but loving, to have his daughters marry for money makes him feel like a "whore-monger", regrets his own marriage to once "very beautiful" Mother (Alex Kingston - the best actor is memorable and unrecognizable - River Song, Dr Who 2011-now Hello Sweety, ). The twittery nagging match-maker throws all at the heir to their property, curate Collins (uglified Guy Henry) with wealthy snob patroness Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Lindsay Duncan). He sniffs his fingers, and I did not know why.

Spoilers: Collins observes his hand first "feels himself inside his pants pocket". Eldest daughter Mary accepts his proposal, looks devastated riding away from the church ceremony. Amanda knees Collins in the point of maximum pain, so I thought she was tough enough to publicly deny villain soldier Wickham's status-crushing rumor that her father is a fish-monger, until the reason came clear. She was saved from marriage herself. Darcy insults Amanda, but after he agrees to get his shirt wet in the pond, their passion turns inside out, reverses outward hate to inner love.

Great Detective Stories - Reader's Digest 5*

"Great Detective Stories"
Reader's Digest 1998
isbn 0276424182 hb 528 pg
>2K after #22 so will not fit on GoodReads

35 authors vary in styles, worth reading more. Best stories can be re-read; some I knew. Intro discusses genre, formulas, "golden age flowering between the two World Wars" - significance lost on me, till soft old-fashioned phrasing triggers date check. Most authors dead, some on gutenberg website. Short stories have little time, so develop plot over personality, but 5* for individualities in both. Close has paragraph bios.

1 The Longer View 1939 - Margery Allingham 1904-66
5* Romance amid troubles, fear for vulnerable victim.
Dejected after beloved marries another, rich Campion shows pal Feering his first shabby digs. "Help Me" lipsticked on wall, "Janey" low on door, evokes vision of "beautiful blonde with dark eyes", opposite of beloved.
I guessed kidnapped child, but mother fits Campion's vision. Through binoculars, he views far, from racetrack bookie who accepts ransom, to ringleader supervising from flat white rooftop.

2 The Little House 1927 - H.C. Bailey 1878-1961
5* Justice in nick of time from innocuous clue.
Flittery old Mrs Pemberton asks Fortune to get back grand-daughter's new kitten from "nasty and dirty" little girl next door, denied by owners, chemist Cabots, who frequent night-clubs and supply restaurants. Police smile, busy with restaurant worker corpse Fortune claims frail addict finished by cold night.
Fortune aka water inspector finds hidden Rose, convinces Scotland Yard to rescue abused daughter of jailed Harfords, framed as dealers by jealous Miss Cabot.

3 Lucky Penny 1985 - Linda Barnes 1949
5* Atmosphere and personalities entertain reader as solution unfolds.
Ex-cop cabby narrator Carlotta puzzles over soprano and movie slang of slim bundled robber who keeps change, but tosses bills, "hearing swish of trash-can lid".
Justin Thayler killed wife for money and coin collection. Conspiring mistress employee Marcia paid gold Roman coin in cab fare, male disguise to retrieve. In Marcia's house, Carlotta unloads bullets from refrigerated gun, so saves ex-partner Mooney.

4 Murder 1927* - Arnold Bennett 1875-1956
2* Confusing end, Bond seems oblivious to truth.
Quiet Lomax Harder 35 shoots first at left-handed Franting; "violent crude beast" threatens Emily, Harder's beloved but Franting's wife. Gun is in Franting's left pocket, but bullet hole in right temple p63.
Amateur detective Bond convinces Supt of suicide. Should not wound be in left temple? ----------

5 The Clever Cockatoo 1938 - E.C. Bentley 1875-1956
5* Clever answer and stop.
Mrs Lancey asks Trent to Italian villa for sister, lovely flirt Lady Bosworth, who has fits of blankness, loses all vivacity.
In her lip salve, jealous old husband Sir Peregrine put stupefying drug few others knew. Trent frames cockatoo for destruction of shiny holder, confronts regretful husband to stop.

6 The Tragedy at Brookbend Cottage 1914 - Ernest Bramah 1868-1942
5* Tense buildup to stormy climax, shocking end.
Blind Max Carrados and sidekick Carlyle consulted by navy Lt Hollyer for sister Millicent 28, before her older husband Austin Creake kills her to wed his typist.
Creake caught faking lightning from train electricity, but infatuated Millicent shoots herself.

7 The Silver Curtain 1991 - John Dickson Carr 1906-77
5* We can identify with naive patsy, but not guess answer from tonight and before.
In French casino town, silvery rain sheets over stabbed winner Davros, when broke Jerry Winton bends to pick up full wallet, in front of Dr Hébert and pretty Eleanor. Prefect Goron finds empty billfold in Davros' pocket. "The air is aromatic; open carriages clop and jingle".
Davros stole pearl necklaces that Hébert sugercoated into pills, for broke English tourists to smuggle out. Hébert drops knife from roof onto greedy partner's back, bent to pick up second full billfold.

8 Goldfish 1946 - Raymond Chandler 1888-1959
2* Trail of bodies.
After informant Peeler tortured dead, ex-cop Kathy offers narrator PI Carmady share of insurance reward for stolen pearls buried by thief Sype, now goldfish hobbyist.
Exotic golfish have pearls inside. Wife falsely claims fakes, sort-of twist after others shot.

9 The Chief Mourner of Marne 1927 - G.K. Chesterton 1874-1936
5* Sad, obvious, asks Christian forgiveness for wicked crime.
Father Brown solves why Marquis James Mairne exiled himself after duel with cousin Maurice.
Younger Maurice took place of elder heir James, shot when he ran up to Maurice, who "fell before bullet flew", as taught by actor second, now rich on blackmail.

10 The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest 1997 - Agatha Christie 1890-1976
4* Tricksy solution to love triangle murder.
Poirot asked by lovely Mrs Clayton to save beau Major Rich, accused of stabbing her husband, stuffing him into chest before party.
Jealous Major Curtiss drilled breathing holes, told Clayton to spy for cheating from inside chest, stabbed him during party.

11 Who Killed Zebedee 1881 - Wilkie Collins 1824-89
5* Narrator not named. Surprise chance solution.
Dying Catholic confesses his first murder case as London bobby 27. On honeymoon in boarding house, sleepwalker wife wakes to husband stabbed dead by knife inscribed "To John Zebedee, from -". Narrator's engagement to resident cook Priscilla Thurlby keeps case alive.
In home village of intended, he chances on long-sought cutler, and takes away page with entire inscription in killer's own hand. Local rector recommends Priscilla, seduced and jilted by Zebedee. Narrator resigns, confronts fianceé, burns evidence and her confession.

12 Within the Gates 1953 - Edmund Crispin 1921-78
5* Plays on uncommon key words.
Almost inside Scotland Yard, Fen sees Crowley, war-time MI5 cryptologist cum botanist, killed and papers snatched. DI Humbleby's department has a leak, needs Fen. F: "Discretion is my middle name". H: "But very few people use their middle names". Fen on cryptogams-grams: "Like formication .. no connection whatsoever with .."
Because death also outside Vegetation magazine hq, Fen sends Sgt Robden to question editor. Fen catches traitor Robden denying cryptogram analysis on body and editor's reply. Crowley was killed for his Cryptogam plant article.

13 Hunted Down 1859 - Charles Dickens 1812-70
5* Tragic. Many revelations, of character and plot, foreshadow without disclosure.
Narrator Sampson instantly dislikes oily center part "straight up here .. no trespassing" of Julius Slinkton, who insures life of friend Beckwith, chats about actuary Meltham who left society. In fall 6 months later, by Scarborough seaside, he meets Slinkton and niece Margaret Niner, whose health fails like her late sister.
Sampson saves Margaret by commending her to Meltham, who loved her sister. In winter, drunkard Beckwith reveals he is sober Meltham, who found Slinkton's diary, guilty record of his nieces' poisoning, Killer takes one last dose; Meltham dies later.

14 The Man with the Twisted Lip 1892 - Arthur Conan Doyle 1859-1930
5* Unusual circumstances, happy ending.
In opium den, narrator Watson finds disguised Holmes seeking vanished Neville St Clair, who left clothes, blood on window sill over high tide, and professional beggar Boone, distinctive for orange hair and disfiguring face scar.
Holmes scrubs face of sleeping jailed Boone to reveal St Clair, reporter whose assignment on beggars led to more remunerative profession, until wife saw him by chance.

15 The Betrayers 1956 - Stanley Ellin 1916-86
5* Tragic for unexpected reasons.
Lonely Robert falls for fragile Amy subjected to quarrelsome husband Vince. When argument over $10,000 ends in ominous thump, her bloody handkerchief left in hall, Rob tracks down her sister Celia.
He follows trail of men who betray innocent, from cruel father to Vince's $10,000 bank robbery. When cops break down door, she jumps out window to death.

16 The Blue Sequin 1909 by R. Austin Freeman 1862-1943
4* Impossible now. Why kill whole cow for red herring?
Narrator Jervis helps Dr Thorndyke answer solicitor Stopford, why actress's diamonds left in her train room, after pointed implement (maybe umbrella spike of Stopford's artist brother) penetrated her skull. Thorndyke requests art supply ox-gall, is sent to butcher with fresh stock.
Thorndyke finds one steer with sensitive cracked horn, asks butcher to bring gall and saw off horn. On horn tip are brain cells, hat spangle and dyed hair from corpse. Her head was out window to see hay rick fire.

17 The Oyster Catcher 1957* by Michael Gilbert 1912-2006*
5* Common sense and listening ear beat techno-whiz micro-gadgetry. "Do you know why God gave young policeman two feet but only one head?"
Sgt Petrella finds non-existent census-taker and 'nothing unusual' 'man from the Council' visited neighbors Friday, when strong athletic secretary Miss Martin fatally coshed by 2' screwdriver. Superiors concentrate on forensics, oyster shell in pocket of coat left when intruder ran from frail old Colonel in previous burglary rash.
Colonel noted red spot in intruder's eye, that Petrella finds in Miss Martin's second cousin. Coat belonged to Colonel's cousin who breeds budgies fed oyster shell.

18 Long Gone 1986 aka She Didn't Come Home - Sue Grafton b1940
5* Builds up our sympathies, clever guess for answer.
California narrator Kinsey Millhone 32 seeks wife of "boyish faced" harried Rob Ackerman "determined to spawn more". Escrow officer Lucy, left 3 demanding toddlers with $500K and one first-class ticket to Buenos Aires, but packed overnight bag, including "round plastic container .. size of a compact", in her boss Sotherland's office locker.
Finding her absconding, Rob killed and buried her in backyard sandbox, planted bag to frame boss, mistakenly packed her diaphragm because ignorant of her tubal sterilization, confesses to wired Kinsey.

19 A Man Called Spade 1932 - Dashiel Hammett 1894-1961
5* No more elevator boys. Red herring easy. Real clues are phone records.
Too late, San Francisco lawyer Sam comes in answer to call from strangled Nob Hill client Max Bliss, tie missing, chest inked with T star symbol also on threat from Paris; Talbot signed another threat. Last visitor was brother Theo, recompensed after prison sentence for joint job.
Vengeful Theo called Sam, first half-hour earlier as wrong number after killing brother, second claiming to be Max, really at City Hall marrying Max's secretary for alibi.

20 The Sapient Monkey 1892 - Headon Hill 1857-1927
3* Chance photo closes simple case faster.
Rich Gale hires narrator PI Zamba to clear son Franklin of measly £500 theft. Promising bank cashier, engaged to boss Tudway's daughter, paid tailor with £5 note - serial number matches one stolen, but he claims from father.
Real cashier thief hired party performer Pietro, whose monkey used Franklin's note in trick, all photographed by Maud Tudway.

21 A Question of Confidence 1972 - Michael Innes 1906-94
2* Confusing in toto and why confesses.
Retired cop Sir John Appleby clears son's friend, Oxford historian Brian Button, who found unauthorized photocopies of his confidential Cannongate file by their static electricity, Master Dr Durham shot dead, interrupted dictating Button's dismissal for incompetence.
In next day's mail, Durham confesses suicide and desire to give careless Button "lesson in pulling his socks up".

22 Caught and Bowled, Mrs Craggs 1981 - H.R.F. Keating 1926-2011*
5* Likeable ordinary hard worker outsmarts pros. Unexplained link.
Clever Mrs Craggs's sharp eye for dirt convinces Supt Hutton of murder and killer when bluff "theYorkshireman" expires from heart failure while winning cricket bet in Lord's Club Long Room, where members known only by nicknames Boggers, Winkie, Oldest Member but Three.
Oldest is visibly poor - grimy tie, cardboard over shoe sole hole - cannot afford bet loss. How does he know red wine reacts fatally with MAOI depression medicine, after Yorkshireman and cook both refuse contraindicated cheese?

23 A Case of Butterflies 1989 - Peter Lovesey b 1936
5* Catch villains by knowing nature and basic human weaknesses.
Commander Jerry Glazier collected butterflies as kid, sees Purple Emperors hover insistently over outbuilding floor of rich Sir Shenton, who reacts oddly to ransom note for wife Ann, gone after Ireland tour with fellow entemologist Cressie, her revealing photo in Shenton's waller.
Purple Emperors feed on decomposed meat, attracted to Ann's body, placed weeks before Cressie toured with friend posing as Ann.-

24 The Homesick Buick 1950* - John D. MacDonald 1916-86
5* Dates from when car radios had preset push buttons. Useless minutiae. Funny people.
Geek Pink Dee 14 can tell Washington FBI agent Randolph A. Sternweister origin of getaway cars from one of bank robber shot fleeing in close-knit Leeman Texas.
"Where all six frequencies are represented by radio stations in the immediate geographical vicinity" and FBI shows victim's photo yields hideout.

25 Chapter and Verse: The Little Copplestone Mystery 1989 - Ngaio Marsh
2* Killer "overly conceited and vindictive" seems weak reason to encode evidence (Hadet anagram of Death) or confess.
Rare book seller Timothy Bates from New Zealand brings village Supt Rory Alleyn old local Wagstaff family bible. Verses refer to 3 non-existent 1779 Hadets. Bates falls to death from church tower.
When accused, gossipy crossword-loving postmistress confesses to 3 deaths on same dates in 1921.

26 Footprints in the Jungle 1951 - W. Somerset Maugham 1874-1965
4* Double narration is clear. Sad, no proof. No first name for Mrs Bronson-Cartwright.
After bridge game with the Cartwrights, narrator tells partner Glaze how Olive looks like both parents, "the pleasantest of people here", still in love. Police chief Glaze narrates 20 years ago, shooter of Malay rubber planter Reggie Bronson never caught, Olive born 4 months after; mother wed Cartwritght after 4 more.
On jungle shortcut, cyclist Reggie shot when stopped (thus best friend Theo), remains later found of coolies' wages in pocketbook and watch (thus not motive). Reggie infertile, had all the money, so wife's pregnancy led to murder.

27 Sadie When She Died 1972 - Ed McBain 1926-2005*
5* Gory "knife protruding from the blood and slime of the lady", tragic. Detectives save news of her demise "for last, like dessert". We suspect husband Fletcher, who invites detective Carella where posted menu prices "would have frightened him out of six months' pay".
Carella suspects criminal lawyer Fletcher sliced across abdomen of hated adulterous wife Sarah after knifer, burglar Corwin, left.
Carella interviews names from Sarah's "little black book" who slept with "Sadie Collins". Corwin confesses, suicides Xmas day, before Fletcher tapes "she begged me to kill her" on car bug.

28 Deadly Fantasies 1989 - Marcia Muller b 1944
4* Guessable, sadly inevitable. Personalized cast.
Narrator Sharon McCone regrets disbelieving rich heiress Laurie Newingham, poisoned after voicing suspicions of greedy siblings.
To finance poorly-managed volunteer agency, Dolph Edwards married her secretly (California law benefits common-law anyway), put arsenic in contact lens solution that she licked off. Ick.

29 The Man in the Inverness Cape 1910* - Baroness Orczy 1865-1947
3* Confusing solution.
Lady Molly tells servant, narrator, to meet bony Scot Olive Marvell, who denies brother Leonard would disappear with diamonds of painted actress Lulu Fay, engaged to Lord Mountnewte.
In cheap shrill disguise, Molly cozies up to Marvell maidservant Rosie Campbell, deduces 3 conspirators dressed as each other to confuse witnesses.

30 Mystery at the Library of Congress 1960 - Ellery Queen 1905-71 & 1982*
3* Obscure riddle basis, what books share.
Library clerk Shuffing always brings illegal drug distributor Bacom 3 books whose titles point to contact. Police ask Ellery to identify contact first, from "The Complete Shakespeare", Shaw's "Man and Superman", and "Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant".
All three authors have beards, so contact is nearest bearded man.

31 Concrete Evidence 1993 - Ian Rankin 1960
5* Clever. Conflicting personalities and physical traces beat fancy forensics.
UK Inspector Rebus traces skeleton from basement to Alexander Abbot, whose business partner Ford vanished years ago at sea.
Competitor Kirkwall saved sample of Ford's writing, differs from hotel reservation where Ford never seen.

32 When the Wedding Was Over 1979 - Ruth Rendell 1930
3* Plot unaffected by minor roles, bracketed by Thomas Hardy quote "Matrimony begins with dearly beloved and ends with amazement".
Chief Inspector Wexford checks if dubious Gandolph found new evidence in diary of Ada Fenton, friend to brother's lover Florence Winchurch, hanged for 1900 strychnine poisoning of husband Edward .
Diary entry forged for 29 Feb. Pope Gregory ruled 1900 not leap year.

33 The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba 1928 - Dorothy L. Sayers 1893-1957
2* Secret society of hooded numbered strangers known only to the One. Passwords, rituals.
For 2 years after Lord Peter Wimsey reported dead, fired footman Rogers helps The Society commit crimes, until Number One unmasks the "man from Lambeth", sets explosives to destroy hideout-prison.
Number Two frees Rogers, aka Wimsey undercover, to rescue her lover One, suffocating in Wimsey's airless booby-trapped room-size safe (cave?).

34 The Man in the Street 1947 - Georges Simenon 1903-89
4* Sorry for man pursued, we are led down false path.
Police chief Maigret trails man days non-stop to catch doctor's killer.
Bogus news article that his wife fled free fools man to give himself up, because she shot her lover.

35 Pickup on the Dover Road 1981 - Julian Symons 1912-94
4* Again, we're led astray.
Donald, driving toward sunny France from rainy England, hears radio report of nearby murder, picks up "Golly", Billy Golightly, who knows too much about the incident.
Sgt Golightly waited on one possible escape route for nephew who killed his aunt for inheritance.

* Dates found elsewhere than in Acknowledgements
17 in Ellery Queen Magazine Aug 1957
24 in Eleanore Middleton Edwards' "Great Mystery Stories"
29 in "Lady Molly of Scotland Yard" 1910
30 Queen = NY cousins Manford Lepofsky 1905-71 + Daniel Nathan 1905-82

16 quondam = previous
gall = bile secretion in small pouch under liver
ox-gall = watercolor wetting agent
21 divagate = digress
26 pudang = engagement ring
sukas = sage
stenga = intoxicating aphrodisiac drink
seis = dance music

p18 "paper magnet" is magnate (pompous snob striding through newsroom slowed by flying metal or paper - clips, staples, desks, cabinets, pages, books, dollars, receipts)
p63 "right temple" would be left if truly suicide. Are we to notice wrong decision?
p265 leg's is legs
p400 is comma in "Not, at all" typo or sarcasm?
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