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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton

Think Fast, Mr. Moto

Think Fast, Mr. Moto - John P. Marquand As in the previous two Mr. Moto books, the main characters are a callow young man and an independent, beautiful young woman. Pretty much inadvertently, the callow young man and the independent young woman find themselves enmeshed in some form of international intrigue. The callow young man feels a need to protect the young woman and she feels a need to maintain her independence. In the background, Mr. Moto, a Japanese spy master working for his Emperor, is pulling strings to further the aims of his country, which also happen to be in the best interests of the in-over-their-heads young people.

In this particular book, the young man is from a banking family that is prominent in Asia. He is sent to Shanghai to learn the business, but is fairly soon packed off to Hawaii where there are some problems involving the family bank and also involving a gambling institution run by the independent, lovely young woman, who also happens to be a sort of black-sheep cousin. Or at least her father was. Well, the gambling institution has been taken over by gangsters who are in the money laundering business. Their particular laundering is to find a way to transfer funds from Chinese businesses to Manchuria/Manchukuo to support the rebels trying to take it back from the Japanese. Mr. Moto, of course, wants to keep Manchuria/Manchukuo under Japanese control.

It's a pretty good story all in all and well worth snagging from our friends running the Canadian Gutenberg site. Were I a competent writer and were I into FanFic, I think it would be rather fun to rework this tale in some way so as to involve Hawaii's favorite detective, Charlie Chan. An intellectual duel between Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto would be quite fun. There would be very very interesting problems, which would be very very nice to engage, as Mr. Moto might say. Charlie is ethnic Chinese, and has little use for Japanese, whereas Mr. Moto is Japanese and has little use for Chinese. But they are both decent people, and would likely find a way for things to work out for the best of all involved.

Whatever, like the Charlie Chan books, the Mr. Moto books are well written and interesting to read. Please help yourself to Charlie Chan (via Gutenberg.Australia) and Mr. Moto (via Gutenberg.Canada).