Monday, October 08, 2007

BUFFALOES AND HIPPOS IN CRIME FICTION

There, Watson, this infernal case had haunted me for ten days. I hereby banish it completely from my presence. [The Adventure of Black Peter]

The answers to the quiz:

1) "If a herd of buffaloes" ...... from A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. It was also used in The Boscombe Valley Mystery.

2) ...... "a herd of hippopotamuses had been tramping about"....... from The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo.

Next week I hope to post a review of Gary Disher's gritty police procedural Chain of Evidence, which won this years Ned Kelly Award. It says something about the Australian psychology that where other countries name their crime fiction awards for authors, Glauser, or fictional detectives, Martin Beck; Australia's award is named for an outlaw.

13 Comments:

Blogger Peter said...

Hmm, interesting that Conan Doyle used the line twice. Paying tribute to himself, perhaps?
===================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Maxine said...

Reading this post and the previous one makes me want to read the book, Norman -- look forward to your review. I heard about the Ned Kelly awards from Adrian Hyland, who also won one -- which reminds me to ask you whether you have read, or intend to read, Diamond Dove? It is very good.
BTW, after reading the second in the Sjowell/Wahloo series, I enjoyed it so much I have just bought the next six from Amazon. The last two are out later this year, so they are "in the basket".
My latest read is "In the Woods" -- did you win a copy? I guessed the villain and outline of plot as soon as this character appeared, but even so, a compelling read, highly recommended.
All my best wishes

9:41 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Maxine, thanks I hope to read Diamond Dove after your recommendation. Didn't Peter recommend it as well?
I am very pleased you enjoyed the Martin Beck books enough to order the others, they are all superb. It must be Cop Killer and The Terrorists that are out later in the year.
I did win a copy "In the Woods" but still waiting for a postal delivery. These are becoming almost as an endangered species as Post Offices.
Now I am going over to Petrona to make a comment.
Best wishes Norman.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter, Conan Doyle paying tribute to himself? A sign of a narcissistic personality disorder if ever there was one.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Yep, I recommended Diamond Dove on my blog as well as in Mustery Readers Journal. Keep plugging Martin Beck, and I may actually read the copies of The Laughing Policeman and The Man on the Balcony (is that the correct title?) that I have lying around the house.

Maybe Doyle figures that if al ine worked once, why not recycle it?

===================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

12:42 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter, The Man on the Balcony is the correct title. I will order Diamond Dove to placate those poor Aussie rugby fans. It is obvious that Australian crime fiction is a good deal better than their Rugby Union scrum.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

If you keep insulting the performance of other nations' sports teams, someone will sneak up on you and give you a good, sound wallop with a cricket bat.
===================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

2:31 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter, England beating Australia at anything is such a rare event that we are inclined to become hysterically overexcited.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Did I ever tell you that I am beguiled by the euphony of the phrase "whinging poms," which for some reason I have come across more often in Australian fiction than in British? I have ample reason to question its accuracy as a description of English character, but it sure sounds good.
===================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

6:45 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter you have opened up a vexatious matter as apparently Australian race relations laws protect minorities against racial abuse except for "Poms".
The Poms slang arises from immigrant to pomegranate to pommy to poms. "Whinging poms" is usually closely followed by the affectionate "pommy bastards".
Of course the whinging is brought about by the Australians using the wrong cricket ball, wrong pitch, incorrectly treated grass, wrong weather, wrong bats, catching the ball and generally playing better cricket in order to beat us.
But to return to euphony it is said that the Civil War General Schimmelfenning was constantly promoted because Abraham Lincoln liked the euphony of his name. Schimmelfenning, Schimmelfenning it does have a certain euphony.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Lincoln had a way with generals, as in the famous alleged statement about Lincoln's wanting to borrow McClellan's army if McClellan was not using it. (I'll have to check my Library of America Lincoln volumes for the correct version of the quotation. The Internet, not surprisingly, gives if in a number of forms.)

I'd always wondered about the etymology of "pom." And can you picture Lincoln struggling to restrain himself from bursting into laughter every time he had to call out: "Mr. Hay! Would you take a letter for Gen. Schimmelfenning?"

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Uriah, at least you won the Ashes for a while there. Did you watch the 2005 series? Even though we lost, most of us regard it as the greatest sporting event we've ever seen. Freddy coming up and patting Lee on the shoulder after his heroic batting in the Second (?) test - what an image.

On Rugby, I suspect the reason we're not much good at it is because 99% of us prefer our own wonderful Aussie Rules. But if you do like Rugby, can I make a suggestion? I just read a miraculously good book about rugby. Called 'The Book of Fame', by Lloyd Jones. Worth reading for its description of a Welsh crowd singing their national anthem. Amazing description of the tactics, psychology of the game, and a kind of lament for a lost world in which dignity and honour are more important than winning. Cheers Adrian

2:36 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Hi Adrian yes I did watch the 2005 series and it was definitely the greatest cricket we have seen with an England team playing to their full potential for once. People forget however that we were very close to going 0-2 down and that Australia had injury problems and some ridiculous selection blunders to contend with and still gave us a tough contest. Without Simon Jones it was clear we were going to have problems back in Australia although I did not expect 0-5 !!
I must admit that I am a sports nut and my cable station covered the Aussie Rules season. It is incredibly exciting and fitness of the players is astounding running on those huge grounds. We don't have the space in tiny England for such activities.
I will look up the Lloyd Jones book, while your phrase "dignity and honour more important than winning" made me realise why the one sport I have stopped watching much of is Premier League football.

7:16 AM  

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