Two Strikes And I’m Still In

August 14, 2014

Since writing my last post on Serial Detectives I have known and loved, I have to add a new nane:  Robert Galbraith, author of two novels featuring the hard-boiled London-based private detective Cormoran Strike.  The first novel in the series was “The Cuckoo’s Calling” and the second, published earlier this summer, is “Silkworm“.

Robert Galbraith is a nom-de-plume of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series and “A Casual Vacancy.”

I really enjoyed “The Cuckoo’s Calling“. I enjoyed the characters (major and minor) and the style and the easy knowledge of London.  And I was satisfied with the result — the bad guy got his just desserts.  I enjoyed “Silkworm“, too, but was left less satisfied. Perhaps I was expecting something more, or something else.

It is not possible, so far as I can tell, to simply read a Galbraith mystery and try to figure out the clues that are being left.  Strike keeps too much to himself and, in both books, he finally reveals his theory and plan to his assistant (when he needs specific help) in such a way as to not tell us, the reader.  Fair enough, now I know.

In the future, I will simply sit back and enjoy the fine writing when new volumes arrive.



August 14, 2014


Talking Vancouver

August 14, 2014

I had a delightful lunch yesterday with Corina McKendry, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.  She is, as she described it, the “sustainability” professor in a conservative and heavily military state where the word virtually guarantees a no vote.

Ms. McKendry has made a study of Chicago and London and knows San Francisco well.

One of her major interests, as I understand it, is how “green” is being used by cities as a brand, and how “public engagement” is being utilized to further that brand ; thus her obvious interest in Vancouver where Vision has made a career of rebranding Eco-Density to Greenest City.wihile accepting all of the former’s densification concepts and formalizing the totalitarian top-down implementation strategies.

We had a wide-ranging conversation covering Vancouver’s outlier position as a major city with political parties and no wards, planning histories from LAP through City Plan and Community Visions to the current disaster, the problem of our loss of third-party appeals, the appeal of heritage.

It was a fun lunch and I enjoyed it.