...to make the book STUD. Vincente really wants it to be STUD, now, in my head, but I shan't, because it's too obvious. (Now he wants BLUE, and presently YELL. Come on, mate!)
It took a few minutes for the low murmur of idle chit-chat to begin, in which Art found himself alternately speaking to the ever-enthusiastic Anna and being introduced to Vincente's acquaintance (Art thought this Spencer Montgomery would get along nicely with Vincente, seeing as they both seem to be old-fashioned and peculiar in their own ways). But finally, Fyodor Waller, as the host, stepped up and made an official greeting.
"So, now that everybody's here," he began, and the murmurs died down slowly, "I guess we can just start now?" A few people voiced their agreement. "Well then, Fragile Things -"
"I'm sorry," a girl from the other side of the circle raised her hand. "I'm afraid I missed last week's decision; which story are we discussing today? I read them all, so I won't be confused, but still..."
"It's all right, Austen," Fyodor waved his hand. Art inwardly wondered who would name their daughter Austen - a Jane Austen fan, perhaps? Or was it her surname? "We're reading A Study in Emerald this week."
Austen nodded. From beside him, Art could hear Vincente shifting in his seat and turned to look at him. Vincente was, as predicted, smiling broadly at the story of choice. But presently, Anna Davis had taken up speaking:
"I just finished reading it today, because I've had a dreadfully busy week. I think it's epic, myself. The ending took a bit to sink in, but I nearly screamed when I got it." And indeed, the way her cheeks caught fire corroborated the truth of her statement. "Genius, that Gaiman."
"Yeah, but I feel a bit... disappointed, you know?" someone chimed in. Art saw it to be a teenage boy, whose lanky build and almost-sickly look reminded him vaguely of his companion. "I mean, we've been led up to believe all along that the story was about, you know, those two, and then at the end it's all just a perspective flip, and we turn out to have been following the Professor and Moran all along!"
"I beg to differ," Vincente sat up straighter on his chair, and it was all Art could to to wish he wouldn't make one of his Holmesian rants again. "To me, that was where the genius lies. It's part of most detective fiction, anyway, that the reader is led to believe what is false, without outright deception from the narrator, if any there be. Seeing through it, picking up the clues, and pouncing on them when right - that's where the delight comes from."
"But doesn't it get impossible sometimes?" Anna frowned. "I mean, you can't expect to know everything."
"Sometimes, yes, but sometimes we can think alongside the detective," Vincente grinned.
Art shook his head. Here we go again.
Apropos of which, I just realised recently that A Case in Identity - the title I used for my dA self-assessment some months ago - turned out to be the title of a Sherlock Holmes short story all along. I never noticed that! Argh... So, naturally, I decided to read the story.
An omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.