All posts by nickczardas

Some say he does not exist. Some say he is a spy. Some say he is a Hungarian nobleman. All we know is that he blogs here at Wordpress.

A Shot in the Dark

In an attempt to become a better (amateur) criminologist, and there-by a better crime writer, I have just re-watched “A Shot in the Dark”. Here are some gems from Inspector Clouseau:

You fool! You have broken my pointing stick! Now I have nothing to point with!

  • Facts, Hercule, facts! Nothing matters but the facts. Without them the science of criminal investigation is nothing more than a guessing game.
  • And I submit, “Inspector” Ballon, that you arrived home, found Miguel with Maria Gambrelli, and killed him in a “rit of fealous jage”!
  • It’s all part of life’s rich pageant.

(Regarding his having fallen into a fountain)

  • I believe everything and I believe nothing. I suspect everyone and I suspect no one.
  • Ohh… Do not trifle with me, Monsieur… I am skilled in karate… My hands are lethal weapons!

Bob Dylan Tuesday

In another blogging life I used to post Bob Dylan lyrics on a Tuesday for no good reason. And for that same reason I feel like posting some now:

Shadows are fallin’
And I’ve been here all day
It’s too hot to sleep
And time is runnin’ away

Feel like my soul has
Turned into steel
I’ve still got the scars
That the sun didn’t heal

There’s not even room
Enough to be anywhere
It’s not dark yet
But it’s gettin’ there

Well my sense of humanity
Is goin’ down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing
There’s been some kind of pain

She wrote me a letter
And she wrote it so kind
She put down in writin’
What was in her mind

I just don’t see
Why I should even care
It’s not dark yet
But it’s gettin’ there

And I’ve been to London
And I’ve been to gay Paris
I’ve followed the river
And I’ve got to the sea

I’ve been down on the bottom
Of a whirlpool of lies
I ain’t lookin’ for nothin’
In anyone’s eyes

Sometimes my burden
Is more than I can bear
It’s not dark yet
But it’s gettin’ there

I was born here and I’ll die here
Against my will
I know it looks like I’m movin’
But I’m standin’ still

Every nerve in my body
Is so naked and numb
I can’t even remember what it was
I came here to get away from

Don’t even hear
The murmur of a prayer
It’s not dark yet
But it’s gettin’ there

Bob Dylan)

Read more: Bob Dylan – Not Dark Yet Lyrics | MetroLyrics

A Fairly Old Cold Case and a Starry Starry Night

Its always been “common knowledge” that Vincent van Gogh committed suicide,unable to livee in the world that did not understand him or appreciate his art. But, according to some new research,perhaps he was murdered…………this just in from BBC News………..

Van Gogh did not kill himself, authors claim

Vincent van Gogh did not kill himself, the authors of new biography Van Gogh: The Life have claimed.

Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait, 1887

Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith say that, contrary to popular belief, it was more likely he was shot accidentally by two boys he knew who had “a malfunctioning gun”.

The authors came to their conclusion after 10 years of study with more than 20 translators and researchers.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam called the claim “dramatic” and “intriguing”……..

read more here:

E-mail Address Out of Action

Friends, Romans and Countrymen,

my e-mail address is temporarily out-of-action as it has been (illegally) shut down by Webmail after scurrilous accusations by a nameless party. Apologies to anybody who has tried to contact me, please message me via the comments section if you want my alternate address.

One More Cup of Coffee – NaNoWriMo (Part 2)

Some people only drink one, or perhaps two, cups of coffee a day. Worse than that, some people drink decaf. To quote Charles Bukowski out-of-context “What truly horrible lives they must lead”.

No novel gets written, whether it is November or not, without lots of coffee in the day and sufficient wine at night.

The opening paragraph is written. The synopsis is taking shape. And now the terrible blank page sits in front of me.

Bring me coffee !!

“A Cold Case” by Philip Gourevitch

I don’t do many book reviews, partly because I tend to buy most of my books second-hand from the local Hospice shop, and therefore they are no longer shiny, new and topical when I read them. But I reckon the story of a dedicated police detective solving a 27 year-old murder is, in its way, timeless, and so I will review it here – even though it was a rather tatty paperback copy I bought for R10.coldcase

It is a short book (my copy is 182 pages) and its sparse prose flows easily; I read it almost in one sitting, as did a person I lent it to. The facts tell of a detective who is about to retire but who is determined to finally solve a 27 year murder, but the beauty of the book is it unfolds as a series of portraits of the main characters, the cop, the lawyer, eventually the killer, as well as various side characters. And it is written by  New Yorker staff writer Gourevitch who has a superb ear for dialogue, and whose prose is at once poetic and down-to-earth.

The idea of a cold case is familiar from various television series and movies, but the fact is that most murders will “fall through the cracks” if not solved quickly, and it takes the dogged determination of a particular somebody to go back and slowly trawl through the clues, through the evidence, to track down old witnesses, to retest alibis, to see if testimony changes with time, to find discrepancies, to retrace footsteps, to knock on doors of people who had long since moved on with their lives. In this case the determined particular someone is Detective Rosenzweig, and Gourevitch brings him to life as a hard-boiled streetsmart detective but also a romantic who truly believes he needs to solve each and every crime that crosses his desk. He is quotes a homicide detective he once worked who said “Who speaks for the dead ? Nobody. As a rule, nobody speaks for the dead,unless we do”. This, it seems, could be Rosenzweig’s own mantra.

Highly recommended if you like your prose sparse and business-like.

(Gourevitch also wrote the more famous “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda”)