Sunday, April 1, 2018

Scotland Yard Photo Crimes: Review

The Scotland Yard Photo Crimes from the Files of Inspector Black (1983) are published as if they come directly from the "famous" Inspector Henry Black. This first volume contains twenty cases of murder, theft, kidnapping, and fraud. The reader is invited to take on the role of inspector and, using the photo clues provided as well as descriptions of the case, evidence discovered, and interviews conducted by Black, to try and solve the crimes. Points are awarded based on how astute would-be detectives are. Can you solve the crime given just the details as they were presented to Black? Or will you need bonus clues--also provided if necessary? The object is to accumulate the maximum points possible to rank as an equal to the famous detective. Points are deducted for each mistake as well as for any extra clues consulted. 

These are fairly amusing mini-mysteries done in the style of classic detective novels of the Golden Age. I did pretty well--though not always picking up on the clues that Inspector Black insisted were the primary pointers. There were a few cases where the pictures needed to be much bigger (or a magnifying glass needed to be employed) because it just wasn't possible to see the supposed clue clearly. And one of the stories claims a clue that just doesn't hold up. It claims that of two women, one of them clearly doesn't have a permanent wave--but the dear Inspector obviously doesn't know what that means in all circumstances. I still got the right answer--but not because of a curly clue. The few mysteries that I had difficulty with turned on clues such as this, so I don't feel too badly about not scoring perfectly. Overall, a diverting afternoon's read. ★★

[Finished on 3/24/18]

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