Any Mystery Fans?

Feb 2010
Sunny Bournemouth, Dorset
Mark Billingham is an English author whose character Tom Thorne, a London Detective Inspector who appears in at least a dozen books so far.

Detective Sergeant Logan McRea polices the cold wet mean streets of Aberdeen in Stuart Macbride's cop series. There's a fair bit of comedy mixed in with some harrowing detail. An odd one.
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Jan 2016
There's a new movie based one a Christie book out this year, John Malkovitch plays Poirot lol
Looks good! The ABC Murders and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd are my two favorite Agatha Christie novels, and I've read MOST of her novels, I believe. I like the Miss Marple mysteries, too, but not quite as much as the Hercule Poirot ones.

And I read all of Sherlock Holmes when I was around 10 to 12 years old. LOVED them. The Hound of the Baskervilles was AWESOME!

But that is about the extent of my exposure to mystery novels. Much more into science fiction. Isaac Asimov did write some science fiction mysteries; I've read those, though it has been decades.
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
Great new TV crime/mystery drama came out this year in Russia, couple months ago, "Rostov", named for the Southern city where it is set, shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution, during the Civil War (because they mention that monarchist/nationalist White Guard forces are still active in other regions, including nearby, still threatening the city itself, Red Army hadn't yet vanquished them all), so, very early 1920s, I'd say

Artur Smolyaninov, famous Russian actor (left, mustache) portrays Ivan Kozyrev (street nickname "Kozyr")

Himself a "former" thief and gang-banger, now recruited by the Bolsheviks to help rebuild a police force in the city. He knows the mean streets of Rostov and the criminal world that flows around them, like the fingers of his own two hands. He knows where all the secret lairs and hideouts are located, and where all the treasures and corpses are buried. In his won way, a perfect man for the job. Yet, he is also conflicted at time, about betraying, essentially, his old comrades, especially when the Cheka, the new Bolshevik secret police, gets tough, and wants to crack down and mass execute folks in the city, to get a handle on the crime situation there faster. Kozyrev despises his new superiors, and clashes with them frequently. They, in turn, are hardly thrilled with him (and his methods) either. But, he was assigned his position, apparently, via a mysterious letter from Feliz Dzerzhinsky (Cheka founder and first head) himself, which also ordered everyone to cooperate with him and placate all his eccentric wishes, and nobody ever dared go against the Iron Felix...

Sofia Ardova plays Elza Petrovskaya, a local schoolteacher

She helps Kozyr himself finally learn to read (nothing strange about that, 80% of the population back then was still illiterate...); and then becomes his love interest

Viktor Terelya plays Elza's father, Sergey Petrovsky, a distinguished former detective of the Tsarist police

He is, at least initially, repulsed and disgusted by Kozyr, after the latter attempts to convince him to join the new police unit he is setting up. Working for Bolshevik scum is against his honor, as a man who gave his solemn Oath to the Romanov Empire. And it is especially beneath him to now work with a lowlife scumbag like Kozyr, whom he himself once chased and even at one point apparently put in jail, back in the day lmao You can imagine what he feels when he learns that Kozyr is now hanky-pankying with his daughter too :D Eventually, however, he comes around, and does, in fact, join the new police. He becomes very useful, as an educated man (really, the ONLY educated man among them), with knowledge of criminal sciences, including forensic pathology, among other things. There was one hilarious exchange when he and Kozyr and another guy were sitting together in Kozyr's office, and that third guy says, "I heard you had to go to university to work in the police, before the Revolution, is this true?" And Petrovsky, looking straight at Kozyr, says "Da, well, we did not hire every piece of garbage that walked in off the street, no..." Class and ideological hatred was a very, very real thing, in those days...

You have to understand, Rostov was back then a lawless place; think like the worst shitholes in the Middle East today, like Somalia or Yemen or something; there were bands of armed thugs rolling around the streets freely, shooting up the town, robbing people, whatever

There were many, many gangs in the city.

And Kozyr, meanwhile, when he first set up his new anti-crime unit, had at his disposal just 4 (!) men, including himself (they became 5, when Elze's dad joined; but then 4 again, when one of them got killed at the end of Season 1... and then 5 again, when this new girl cop, Bolshevik volunteer, joined later also)

4-5 men, for the whole fucking city, no joke. And this is how it really was, back then, too. While West/South. Crazy... Later, they could call in Red Army troops as reinforcements and such, when needed; but, early on, those ones were far too busy still fighting the White Guard. These guys were basically on their own, outnumbered and outgunned by the gangs.

Alexander Golovin co-starred as Alexander Vorobyov, a Revolutionary sailor who becomes Kozyr's second in command

Yanina Melekhova was Valeria Orlovich, the new girl cop

Vorobyov would gradually develop a very serious crush on her; but she would, at least early on, have nothing to do with him, she is not a woman, she is a Soldier of the Revolution, she has no time for such crap. He'd win her over eventually though, love always wins against any propaganda bs :D

Ivan Okhlobystin, another famous star in that part of the world, portrays Kozyr's main arch-nemesis for Season 1, ruthless gangster known only by his street name "Kotelok" ("Bowler Hat", because he always wears one haha)

His gang openly raids Rostov's trendy clubs and restaurants, stripping what used to be the city's wealthy elite citizenry, before the Revolution, of their cash and valuables, in broad daylight

Yep, they have a fucking machine gun, among other things :D

At one point, they even will roll right up to Kozyr's new police station, and shoot the place up, again, openly, broad daylight

As I said, Rostov was like Somalia, back then lmao

Great show, all in all, really recreates the wild atmosphere of those days. Though, not without controversy, the "Southern" accent Kozyr and others use in the show, for instance; vitriolic debate continues on fan sites and chat boards, about whether anyone ever talked that way in Rostov haha Some say yes, back then, though not necessarily today; while others maintain it is entirely a Southern UKRAINIAN accent that has never been spoken in RUSSIAN South.

Doesn't really matter to me, honestly, I am not a historian or linguist or any kind of purist, really.

One of my faves now. Two seasons, so far. Two more being made. Can't wait :)
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Feb 2011
New York
Reading Tarnished Icons by Stuart Kaminsky.

If anyone is interested in police procedurals that take place in Russia, the Inspector Rostnikov novels are excellent
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