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Asimov's Mysteries Mass Market Paperback – Aug 1986

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Fawcett Books; Reissue edition (Aug. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449210758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449210758
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,290,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE on 6 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Whilst the science behind the stories is now a little dated, the joy is that the mysteries themselves still work. What is particularly interesting is that the science became outdated even as Asimov presented these tales and he himself recognises the fact - for example, the twist in The Dying Light depends on the then current knowledge of Mercury, which was that it was a planet that did not spin - in an edit for the collection written in 1965, Asimov notes that this is now incorrect and there's a certain charm about that but the testament to his skill is that even when you know this, it doesn't detract from enjoying the story.

Some of the stories feature a character called Dr Urth, an extraterrologist who refuses to travel on any space device and is confined to leaving his home only by foot. He reminds me a great deal of Nero Wolfe (who similarly will not leave his house) and like Nero Wolfe, he has great deductive powers. Stories such as The Singing Bell and The Key make great use of his deductive reasoning in a way that makes him human (albeit a slightly pompous, odd-bird of a human) but will also have you slapping your forehead as you wonder how come you didn't come to that conclusion.

My favourite story in this particular collection is the last - The Billiard Ball is a murder mystery that combines billiards, arrogance, one-upmanship and murder in an ingenious and utterly delightful way that will make you pleased to see the criminal get away with it.

Whilst some of the science is a little complicated, you never feel overwhelmed and Asimov's careful explanations are not partonising but instead, enlightening and even more enjoyable. These stories work both as science fiction and as mysteries and as such will stand the test of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
These thirteen stories from one of science fiction's grand masters inform as well as entertain. Originally published during the 1950's and 60's, some of the stories show their age with old technology and sometimes outdated visions of the future. But all encourage readers to draw on scientific principles and logical thinking to solve a mystery before the Good Doctor brings the story to a close.

My three favorites:

In "The Singing Bell" it is clear from the beginning that Lois Peyton murdered Albert Cornwell. It may not be possible to prove it, even with the legal use of a psychprobe.

"Loint of Paw" is a short short story about a court case that ends badly. So very badly.

In "Star Light" the perfect crime is followed by the perfect getaway, planned with all the options in view.

The author's commentaries are as much fun as the stories. This book is recommended for Asimov fans and those who enjoy 1950's-era science fiction. Readers might also enjoy The 13 (Thirteen) Crimes of Science Fiction which assembles science fiction mysteries from several of Asimov's contemporaries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Artley on 15 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
A series of short-story mysteries with a science-fiction bent, some set in the present, some in the future, all turning on the correct interpretation of a particular clue - can you spot it first? Some involve Asimov's amateur-detective character 'Wendell Urth'. In style similar to Asimov's 'Black Widowers' series and his 'Union Club Mysteries'.
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By L K Denyer on 9 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic mixture of intriguing stories. There is something for anyone who loves a mystery with a scientifiic twist.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Carvosso on 17 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read but book was in very poor condition - not as described. Stains of all sorts within the pages and even a dead spider.
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