I have not posted my own Dartmoor Dozen because Uriah and Norm have been arguing about which books to put in the list. But if you go here, scroll down and follow the links you will find some excellent books chosen by more learned reviewers. I have been distracted over the past few days by upcoming meetings regarding the Honeytones [who recently won a £10,000 lottery grant] and CARE Blackerton, as well as watching the series Red Riding which I did not enjoy it was too "cult" for me, with the violence and one sexual encounter leaving nothing to the imagination.
Well after all the arguments here are my choices:
I have chosen a non fiction book The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale because it tells a true story that inspired authors Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle.
2] THE AGE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES:
Well it has to be the great consulting detective Sherlock Holmes and the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles simply because the Dartmoor setting that would add to the terror of the story. When the mist is thick on the moor you can drive past the prison without even catching a glimpse of it. And the really frightening thing is it can be bright sunshine near Bovey Tracey and yet on another part of the moor the mist will be very thick with visibility on a few yards.
Holmes is of course a unique creation and his relationship with Watson I don't think has ever been surpassed in crime fiction or any fiction for that matter.
"Has anything escaped me?" I asked with some self-importance. "I trust there is nothing of consequence which I have overlooked?"
"I am afraid my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth...."
3] THE GOLDEN AGE
Part of the appeal of the Golden Age Detective Fiction for readers was the escapist fantasy of getting away from what for many in England, between the wars, was a fairy miserable existence to the exotic world of the rich. I would therefore choose to represent this period with Agatha Christie's 1937 novel Death on the Nile.
I think it is a fine example of Christie's skill at plotting with a wonderful twist in the story, a great detective probably only second to Holmes in the pantheon of fictional detectives in Hercule Poirot, and some of the politically incorrect nonsense that makes the books of this period so much fun to read. I must read this one again some time.
"I think he must be the fat one with the closely shaved head and the moustache. A German, I should imagine. He seems to be enjoying his soup very much." Certain succulent noises floated across to them.
[to be continued]