- Publisher: Doubleday; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (Jun. 1968)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385090633
- ISBN-13: 978-0385090636
- Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,176,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Asimov's Mysteries Hardcover – 1 Jun 1968
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.