Saturday, August 29, 2009

The tool cycle

Fictional Amateur detectives represent the ultimate in tooling. you solve a case in an hour (or as long as your book or tv show lasts) and take a break for the rest of the week. Sherlock Holmes had no other work. He played the violin badly and morphine had little effect on his deductive powers. Mrs. Hudson does the cooking, cleaning, washing, and Dr. Watson is there to lend a ear and keep a watch on his health and boost his ego. And when the right case comes, you turn on your industrial strength detective-lights and save the day and have an immediate impact on ground reality. No nagging women at home. The rest of the time, you polish your skills by publishing 'monographs' on bees, cigar ash, and other important stuff. You have just enough clients to keep this tool-cycle going.

Sounds like a nice job description.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Top-10 detectives in fiction - updated

This tab returns to what it does best. tool. In the spirit, we see some seismic shifts in our old top-10 detectives list that was released a few months ago.

Firstly, reviewing some of the old episodes of Sherlock Holmes boringly confirms his position at the top. He's good enough to publish analytic monographs on bees and cigar ash. no contest.

Ok, we add to our list, the brilliant native Tamizh-speaking detective from Kerala, Mr. Sethurama Iyer (or SRI). Sri comes to us from a cool sequence of plot-driven movies in Malayalam, brought to life by the eminent Indian actor Mammootty. Or ma2m2o2ty if u are into alphanumerics. In a judicial system dominated by self-servers, stupidity, and sloth, SRI brings scientific temper, vigor, and a devotion to the truth. He can also debate Vedanta and Hindu philosophy with the best.

Next, we go all the way to Sweden to meet Mr. Wallander. This TV series (check out is so dark, and the character so bleak and driven, the economic recession is a relative piece of cake for that one hour.

Our updated list with geographical locations looks like this now. We have booted out the Law-Order duo of Brisco and Green, and Indian favorite Karamchand, who were tied at 10, as well as the sole female representative, Miss Marple.

10.Goren (USA, NY city)
9. Cadfael (England, Shrewsbury)
8. Monk (USA, Frisco)
7. Wallander (Sweden)
6. Der Alte, The Old Fox (Germany)
5. Sethurama Iyer, (India, Kerala)
4. Byomkesh Bakshi, (India, Bengal)
3. Hercule Poirot (Belgium)
2. Columbo (USA, Los Angeles)
1. Sherlock Holmes (UK, London)