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Buy for $4.57
Mysteries come in all sorts, and this collection of seven short stories reflects that, from hidden temples beneath the sea, to worlds discovered through a microscope. Murderers, ghosts and demons can also be found in this collection. The stories included are: "The Temple", "To Prove an Alibi", "The Diamond Lens", "The Adventure of the Red Circle", "An Episode in a Lodging House", "How Siva Spoke", and "The Nail."
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performance 5, stories 3.5
The narration really sells this compilation of stories. Though some of the stories end so abruptly it feels as if they have been cut off. This is caused by the reading as opposed to the writing. There is a distinct delineation between stories and that is appreciated. I like the variety of the stories and had only read the Lovecraft story previously.
The Nail, by Voltaire. 2 stars. A coach ride on a dark night, a chance meeting, and a beautiful widow who encounters a judge and his friend on separate occasions. Both men become enchanted by her beauty. Shines a spotlight on forced marriages.
How Siva Spoke by L T Meade, Robert Eustace. 2 stars. A mystery involving a talking Siva statue and a nephew who wants to have his rich uncle committed.
Smith: An Episode In A Lodging House, By Algernon Blackwood. 3 stars. What it might be like for a man of science to have a neighbor who dabbles in the black arts. What is Smith summoning and what will it take for a medical student to believe it? Creepy, but not as suspenseful as some of Blackwood's other works.
The Adventure Of The Red Circle, by A.C. Doyle. 2 stars. A landlady wants Holmes to investigate her mysterious tenant for no plausible reason. The plot that is uncovered is a weak storyline involving a Pinkerton detective trailing Italians who are living in America.
The Diamond Lens, by Fitz-James O'Brien. 2 stars. (1858) I found this to be a disappointing tale of obsession, as this is O'Briens best known story. A young guy becomes obsessed with his main interest, the microscope. He even ventures to a medium in order to learn how to make a better microscope. This leads to a devious plan where the man's callousness and narcissism are revealed. He then becomes obsessed with what he has discovered with the microscope, which leads to his downfall.
The Temple by HPL. 5 stars. The story of a doomed U-boat and its last survivor, related in the form of a message in a bottle. This really captures the atmosphere of an ill fated crew as they slowly go mad. There is a great theme of being haunted by the war dead and the cost of robbing the dead. The 'master race' may need to re-think its place in the hierarchy. Only Lovecraft would think of making swarms of dolphins creepy. The descriptions of the dead underwater city are pure HPL at his best.
To Prove An Alibi by L T Meade, Robert Eustace. 5 stars. This is a cunning conspiracy mystery. Two men meet on a voyage home to England; one is coming from Australia after earning his fortune.