Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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... and there's also The Artful Detective which I have found to be great fun.

I was hoping you'd get to The Last Detective, as I watched it a couple years ago and enjoyed it greatly. Bit on the cozy/forumlaic style but the characters are engaging and I really like Peter Davison.

I'll have to check out Bradley and the two Davisons, I usually like him in things.

I've been watching _Rosemary and Thyme_, and I like the characters but I've become somewhat annoyed at their tendency to steal and conceal evidence. It's one thing to work in parallel to a police investigation, it's another thing to sabotage it.

Well, maybe Thyme knows too much about real police work, being ex herself, her husband, and her son.

Among other virtues, this series really uses its premise; good research about some obscure horticultural stuff that is really the key to each mystery. Or at least to why they get to stick around.

Also marvelously elegant opening credits, and theme music.

I'm going to have to pick up a few of these, I adore Peter Davison and Diana Rigg. Mrs. Bradley Mysteries sounds particularly good.

I agree that the TV version of the Mrs. Bradley Mysteries was a lot more fun than the books. Although now that they're showing the Australian "Miss Fisher's Mysteries" (which is also set in the 1920's, but whose heroine is still youngish enough to be qualify as a flapper) on one of the local PBS stations, it's even more striking in hindsight how much Mrs. Bradley, whom the author repeatedly informed us looked rather like an elderly crocodile, was glammed up for TV purposes. Admittedly, this would probably have been impossible to avoid once they'd cast Diana Rigg in the part. What I'm trying to say is that in retrospect, the TV version of Mrs. Bradley comes across more like Phryne Fisher plus twenty-five years or so and with more impressive professional credentials (Bradley definitely had some kind of doctorate in the books), while the book version of her struck me as more akin to a more cynical and predatory version of Dr. Ruth.

I don't think the whole 1920's aspect played much, if any, role in the original Bradley novels, either (unlike the Phryne Fisher series). I believe there were something like a dozen Mrs. Bradley novels, and they were mostly either written in or tacitly set in the 1930's and '40's. The producers probably changed the time period to the 1920's because it suited the more self-consciously sophisticated approach they intended to take, as opposed to the less deliberately time-specific, but more acidly satirical tone of the novels. Much like the current Father Brown TV series wound up being set in the 1950's so they could cater to the "Foyle's War"/"Inspector Gently"-inspired taste some British viewers--or TV decision-makers--seem to have developed for a not-too-distant historical take on social issues such as, in Father Brown's case, foreign refugees and the initial crumbling of the British class system. This time setting is a noticeable change from the original short stories. When I read an omnibus edition of Chesterton's complete Father Brown stories as a kid, I was disappointed to discover that there was no supernatural or even faux-supernatural element to one of the final stories, despite the author's referring to one of the characters involved as "a village vampire." Apparently Chesterton was either old-fogeyishly behind the times in regard to contemporary slang, or this term for a Theda Bara-type temptress had not yet been routinely shortened to "vamp." Either way, the odd word choice suggests that the last of the original Father Brown stories were written sometime in the 1930's, at the latest.

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