Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NAVA - Brad's summer reading list #15 - Holmes and Brett at their best.

What's not to like about NAVA?

Holmes is at Baker St., and busy on a case and playing with his chemistry set.

Watson is married ( I like Watson being married) and living away from Baker St. with his wife. We assume it is Mary, but Watson never actually says as much.

And we learn a little about Watson's early days.
(Has anyone ever tried to peg down a location for where Percy and Lord Holdhurst came from and tried to make a connection to Watson's region?)

The case is interesting and involved, and the clues are fun to follow.

Holmes seems to be in very good spirits throughout and once again displays his sense of theatrics and humor.
And once again almost giving someone a heart attack.

We also get an insight into how many cases he has worked on and the nature of some of his clients.

We even get Holmes acknowledging the good traits of a women.

We get some wonderful quotable material.
We get the wonderful monologue about the nature of rose's and flowers, insight into Holmes views on board-schools and the social fabric of the future of England. And is Mrs. Hudson Scottish or is it just that her cooking skills are being compared to a Scotch woman's?

We have to kinda wonder where Mycroft was throughout this one
And we also have to wonder why more security wasn't allowed for with such an important document on the premises.

We once again get a nobleman with a weak chin, and a beautiful woman with lots of backbone.

You also have to wonder why on this occasion, when Holmes expected someone to break into the house, that had been shown to carry a sharp possible weapon, he did not have an armed Watson and a Lestrade type individual with him. (We know Lestrade always keeps something in his hip pocket.)
He felt it was needed in BLAC, so why not here.
Surely Percy could have been gotten out of the way into his old bedroom. Or was Holmes unsure of his plan and thought if it failed, the case most then be pursued in London? Or did they need to be nearer a hospital in case Percy did not survive the theatrics.
(Note in the picture on the right, where breakfast is being served. It is depicted as a table other than in the sitting rooms of Baker St., where we always assume Holmes and Watson took there meals. Paget depicted the table as one other than near the fireplace we are accustomed to imagining. No slipper on the mantel, which is referenced in this story. No pen knife affixing letters either. Platters on the mantel instead,  as you would expect in a more formal dining room. How interesting.)

But even with all this great material to chose from, none of these are my favorite part of this story.

For me, as with many of the cases, it is the little references and objects peppered throughout that are a symbol of the contemporary time in which the tales were written. Objects we no longer have a use for or at least are not commonly referenced any more.

How often have to heard someone ask for char-slippers? And would we even know what to look for if they did?
Matter of fact, other than in cooking, do you ever use the word char?

Have you ever heated up something on a spirit-lamp? (Now, Watson said spirit-lamp, not spirit stove.) If you do a lot of camping you may have used a spirit stove, but they aren't called that much anymore. And the fuel you use is probably a little different
You don't have to ring a bell to get your coffee; no phones, no intercoms, no text message.

These are the types of reference I love in the stories. Things that make the atmosphere for me. Things I would love to put in my replica of 221b.

Like I said; What's not to like about NAVA.

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