Brenda Bailey

And In The Beginning

(1) "And In The Beginning" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 13th March 2000

A good short one - Blair's first testing session with Jim after Switchman - good Blair point-of-view, see him thinking on his feet, before the friendship started.

(2) "The Tricks of the Trade" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 25th May 2001 (12)

This is the second story in the series showing the early Jim and Blair. I like this exploration of how things developed. In this one, we have some trouble-magnet time -- a dramatic opening, Blair being shoved into a room by a bad guy... and it goes on from there. I like how Blair is worried about Jim, and Jim is resourceful! And I like the senses use:
    "Man, why do you always insist on doing things the hard way? Use your senses, locate the bad guys."
    "Now's not the time, Chief. I don't have time for this."
    "Jim, you've got to start using your senses in the field to get a handle on them. If you don't practice, you're never going to be able to control them. And that's what you want isn't it, control?"
    Jim frowned at Blair, but the earnest expression didn't falter. "Okay. What do I do?"

Good stuff!

(3) "The Dirty Mr Clean" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 25th May 2001 (13)

The third story in the And In the Beginning series. This is set just after The Debt; Blair promised to clean up the loft after Larry, and he can't be in two places at once, so...

There's some good description:

Blair put his key in the lock and cautiously pushed open the door. While the scene that greeted his eyes wasn't total destruction, it was a good impression of it. Books from the bookcases littered the floors, sharing space with what looked like every piece of clothing Jim owned along with most of the cooking utensils from the kitchen shelves. A glance at the kitchen made him think of a modern art exhibit, as coffee, flour, cereal, laundry detergent, corn meal, and his personal store of tea bags mixed with various liquids and unrecognizable solids in a combination of abstract swirls and disjointed lines. The refrigerator door stood open, its empty shelves a testament to the ingredients of Larry's creation. An empty jar of peanut butter lay abandoned by the patio doors. The sticky peanut butter remained though, on the wood floor, the windows, the dining table. _Good thing we took out the trash yesterday_.

I liked the way that Jim was affected by the chemicals, how Blair blamed himself, and how it all worked out in the end...