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The nine mile walk; the Nicky Welt stories…

The nine mile walk; the Nicky Welt stories of Harry Kemelman (edition 1967)

by Harry Kemelman

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Title:The nine mile walk; the Nicky Welt stories of Harry Kemelman
Authors:Harry Kemelman
Info:New York, Putnam [1967]
Collections:Your library
Tags:Mystery, Short stories

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The Nine Mile Walk by Harry Kemelman



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Kenelman is probably better known for his Rabbi Small detective novels; I have read several of them but much prefer the NIcky Wwlt short stories. As Kemelman himself says in the introduction, the short story is best suited to the strictly puzzle detective story, and for me as a Gentle academic the basically non-religious academic background of these stories is more agreeable than the Jewish atmosphere of the Small stories, which sometimes involves rather ill-informed Jewish/Christian comparisons. The title story is one of my absolute favorites, I love the concept that a series of rational inferences fro the simple sentence "A nine mile walk is no joke, especially in the main." leads to the solution of a murder.However, after many rereadings I've realized that it is very much a set up --beyond the first few inferences, they all depend on the particular fictional geography and even the particular fictional bus and train schedules, so (unlike Kemelman's claim in the introduction) the reader has no fair chance of matching Welt's deductions. They also depend on the "fact" that a nine mile walk would take 4 hours, which I think too long and too exact. For me, even at age 65, I think it would be not much over three hours ( I do 5 km in less than an hour, and 5 km. is over 3 miles) , and for a younger man, even though specified as non-athletic, it should take less. Still, it is a masterpiece of presentation. For the duration of the story, it all seems credible. I also love "The Ten O'clock Scholar" set at a student's Ph.D. orals. It catches the academic atmosphere very well. The others are less academic but still very competent. This is one of the few books of which I own 2 copies of the same pb because I'm afraid I will read one to death. ( )
  antiquary | Jun 16, 2015 |
Read just the title story. Couldn't get hold of the other ones. Got this one through mail.

Quick read. Interesting. Not sure if I would agree to the pace much.
But, for a 1947 story in a newspaper column, the pace and things make sense.

Would recommend to everyone since its quite easy to finish. ( )
  maheswaranm | Mar 20, 2014 |
This is a collection of short mystery stories featuring the "arm-chair" detective Nicky Welt and there is also an introduction by Kemelman explaining the origin of the first story about Welt. The original copyrights for these particular ones range from 1947 to 1967 so they tend to have an all male cast. The narrator is the County Attorney for a college town near Boston and a friend and former teacher at the University where Welt teaches. While I spotted the solutions for some of the stories they were enjoyable.
  hailelib | Oct 13, 2012 |
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