August 5, 2013
Murder, Mystery, and Mustaches (Oh my!)
As you might have already guessed from previous posts, I'm rather fond of true crime. So when I saw the title, Jack the Ripper: True Facts, you know I had to give that a read. If you're looking to get every conceivable fact (however minute) about the murders committed in Whitechapel in the year 1888 then this book is perfect for you. PERFECT. However, if you're wanting something that reads a little more like a narrative and which offers some plausible suspect of the crimes then you're barking up the wrong book. While I appreciate an author that knows his facts this book was drowning in minutia which overshadowed the meat (I'm not even sorry for that) of the tale. And most frustratingly the author doesn't offer up his thoughts on who he believes is the killer. This might be due in part because every single piece of evidence conflicted. It's no wonder that no one was ever brought to justice (or were they? Government conspiracy theories abound!) for the crimes with all of the inconsistent "eyewitness" testimony. *sigh* I guess I was hoping for something quite different from this book but in regards to listing out all available data (and sources, yay!) on the subject this book can't be beat.
Because I was disappointed in an ending which was tied up in a neat little bow I decided to turn to one of my favorite authors, Rex Stout. Some of you might recognize the fictional detective that he created, Nero Wolfe. Those of you who don't are really missing out. He is the armchair detective and there was even a miniseries created which focused on a few of his more famous storylines that had Timothy Hutton (ha cha cha) playing Nero's right hand man, Archie Goodwin. I hope I've gotten you excited because the book I'm reading is one I haven't sunk my teeth into before: Prisoner's Base. All of his stories start out similarly. A distraught individual seeks Nero's help. That person gets killed. Then it's up to Nero to solve the case because the police are pretty much bumbling idiots (sound familiar anyone?). It's a rollicking good time!! This one revolves around an heiress (of cotton-towels? ummm).
I hope you're all aware that it's Geek Week. GEEK OUT AND READ A BOOK!!
PS The reason that mustaches creeped into the title is because there were copious mentions of mustaches in Jack the Ripper. COPIOUS. Waaaaay too many references and descriptions of male facial hair. Sooo yeah.