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Asimov Mysteries
Asimov Mysteries
Author: Isaac Asimov
ISBN-13: 9780449208939
ISBN-10: 0449208931
Publication Date: 4/12/1985

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Publisher: Fawcett
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Members Wishing: 0
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Thirteen short science-fiction mysteries by the acclaimed science writer are presented together with commentary.

From UK:
Whilst the science behind the stories is now a little dated, the joy is that the mysteries themselves still work. What is particularly interesting is that the science became outdated even as Asimov presented these tales and he himself recognises the fact - for example, the twist in The Dying Light depends on the then current knowledge of Mercury, which was that it was a planet that did not spin - in an edit for the collection written in 1965, Asimov notes that this is now incorrect and there's a certain charm about that but the testament to his skill is that even when you know this, it doesn't detract from enjoying the story.

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.