Sherlock Holmes: “The Adventure of the Three Students”

Summary: Sherlock and Watson help a lecturer figure out who was copying the exam he’d left in his office. After investigating, he determines that a student who was smart but had lost everything and needed a scholarship had come in to copy it. The servant had tried to protect him but also convince him to not cheat because he used to work for the family before coming to the college. The student had taken his advice, and when Sherlock called him in, said he was going to join the police and go to some other country.

Sherlock Rating: 2 magnifying glasses. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that great either. As Sherlock told Watson, this isn’t one of your cases–brains, not brawn. But Watson didn’t listen to him.

Mystery Story Convention: I’d say this is one of the few cases that entirely depended on crime scene evidence, and there was some interesting evidence, like tiny clay pyramids that had fallen off the student’s cleats. So, very CSI

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Introverts and Extroverts in Literature

I am an introvert–that’s no secret to anyone who knows me. I’ve been realizing lately that many people (specifically people at my work) don’t really understand what that means or how it affects my actions. (And I’m not complaining about work here–it’s just an example. I actually really like the people I work with! And I’m not just saying this in case my employer stumbles across this). We do something called “professional development” at work each year, and where we research a topic and present it, and I was going to research the differences between introverts and extroverts and how we should best approach each and what expectations are realistic from each–both in adults and the preschoolers we work with. It would have been great–but it fell through, so that’s not going to happen this year. I’m still interested in it, though, and my interest has made me think about the introverts and extroverts we read and write about in books.

After the little research I’ve done I’ve noticed that there is a lot more about introverts than extroverts out there, and I’m curious about that. I guess introverts feel very misunderstood. They also think about things more, I guess, and tend to be writers. Most writers seem to write about introverted characters–at least to some degree on the spectrum. One fact about introverts is that they are more likely to have an inner monologue going on in their heads–which is what a book basically is, so it’s more natural to write about an introverted character.

Personally, I’d have a very hard time writing an extroverted main character. They would think so differently than I would! They’d have tons of friends–it’s so hard to write characters with lots of friends (at least for me). They’d like to be around people, they’d have conversations with everyone about everything. It would be so hard to pull off–and I’d love to be able to do it!

So–if you’ve read anything with extroverted characters I’d love to know so I can add it to my (huge) reading list. And here’s a great article I’ve read about introverts. How many people really don’t know their an introvert? That’s also hard for me to understand because it’s so obvious to me. I’d love to hear from you if you discover that you’re secretly an introvert–and I’d like to know why you thought you were an extrovert. (Now I’m determined to pull of a main character who’s an extrovert!)

Reds vs Diamondbacks: 8-21-13

Last Wednesday’s game was really good–and really long (as is usual for the games I go to). At least there was a lot going on. And I had fun with some new friends we sat with. The weather was also very¬† cooperative–so despite the late night it was a great game! Here’s the link to my scorecard:

8-21-13

Sherlock Holmes: “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”

Summary: A young lady comes to Sherlock to help figure out why this guy has been following her as she rides home on her bike each week. She’s pretty, so at first they just feel it’s a shy admirer, but when she ends up terminating her employment because they old guy she was working for proposed to her, Sherlock feels it necessary to make sure she gets home okay. That’s when she’s kidnapped and almost forced into marriage with some guy to get an inheritance she didn’t know she was getting. Apparently these two guys–the old guy and the forced marriage guy–met an old uncle of hers who was rich but hadn’t talked to his family in years. The two guys came back and told her the uncle was dead and had been penniless but had sent them to take care of her if she needed help–they’d already planned to have one marry her and then split the inheritance when the guy actually did die. But the old guy actually did fall in love with her and wanted to back out, so the other guy got a new friend, a defrocked clergyman, to help him instead. Luckily Sherlock and Watson stop the plot in time.

Sherlock Rating: 3.5 magnifying glasses. I definitely thing old Sir Conan Doyle has his act together with these later stories. Even the ones where there’s no actual crime move quickly and are interesting and exciting. This one was good, but I left room for improvement.

Mystery Story Convention: The long-lost rich uncle inheritance–if there were as many rich uncles in real life as there are in these stories we’d all be getting a huge inheritance…so where’s mine?

Sherlock Holmes: “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”

Summary: A burglar has been breaking into stores and people’s houses breaking busts of Napoleons. The police think it’s a crazy guy who really hates Napoleon, but Sherlock knows better. After someone is found murdered at one of the scenes the case becomes more serious. Sherlock continues to investigate the busts, while the police concentrate on figuring out who the murdered man was. Sherlock determines that the man was destroying the busts to find a stolen item he had hidden inside them before. They catch him at the next-to-the-last one, and Sherlock buys the last bust from its owner and produces a stolen pearl.

Sherlock Rating: 4 magnifying glasses. It was interesting, and I liked that we got to experience every step of the investigation. The 4 rating is just because the stakes weren’t as high for the characters as in some.

Mystery Story Convention: Stolen treasure hidden inside an item–Sherlock calls this a unique mystery, but it was pretty obvious what the deal was once we learned identical, cheap busts were being destroyed.

Sherlock Holmes: “The Adventure of the Second Stain”

Summary: A while back, some important English guys came and asked Sherlock to find a stolen letter that could mean big, big war if it got in the wrong hands. It was basically an angry letter a guy from another country wrote. Sherlock had several spies as suspects, and when one turns up dead, he goes to investigate. It turns out some lied-to lover killed him because he’d been cheating on her, and the case doesn’t seem to be connected until Sherlock realizes that the important English guy’s wife had been at both scenes. He gets the wife to tell him that the spy had found the old English version of a sex tape from before she was married (a racy letter to an ex) and had threatened to go public with it unless she got him that letter. But then he was killed before he could do anything with it. Oh, and the “second stain” thing had to do with the fact that the rug at the spy’s murder scene had been moved, which was how Sherlock figured it out. And Sherlock even lets the wife keep her secret and hides the unopened letter in a bunch of other letter’s in the guy’s special document box and tricks him into thinking he was stupid and it was actually there the whole time.

I know this was long, but I also wanted to add as a side note that almost every Sherlock story is presented by Watson as “possibly the last.” From what I understand of Sir Arthur, he was sick of writing these things (though he’s seemed to have improved over time, assuming I’m reading these chronologically), so was probably hoping each one could be his last. I’m glad there still seem to be a lot more to go, though.

Sherlock Rating: 3 magnifying glasses. It was interesting, but there wasn’t much of a crime, and the only criminal involved was taken care of outside of the story.

Mystery Story Convention: Blackmail over some kind of sex-related thing, and missing/stolen government documents that could mean war.