Comments: 24
Amen to that. And also, thanks for warning me off this series once and for all. I'd been afraid of something along the lines exactly as you describe it even from just reading the blurbs, and you've confirmed my worst fears -- and actually let me know it's even worse than I'd feared. Both on the *Mary Sue* count and -- particularly -- Watson ...!! -- So, another series I'll henceforth stop worrying over and pass by for something better, once and for all!
Lillelara 7 years ago
Glad I could be of assistance :).
You certainly were, even if, alas, it was at the cost of your own reading pleasure!
Lillelara 7 years ago
I will survive. The last four books I have read were mediocre at best and this one hasn´t even been the worst one.
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.

Have you read Samantha (CarpeLibrum)'s "Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen"? If you haven't, that might be something to brighten up your reading experience ...
Lillelara 7 years ago
Definitely!
Lillelara 7 years ago
I guess it´s supposed to be some kind of Sherlock fan fiction. At least it´s not badly written fan fiction. But I still don´t get this book. Does the author have a secret crush on Sherlock or why does she bother to write a story like this? One of the many unanswered questions of my life ;).
BrokenTune 7 years ago
As we discussed in a previous post, I will give this a shot, but I can't say I have high hopes for this one.
I suspect that must be it -- secret crush on Holmes. Unfortunately, she's no Dorothy Sayers it appears ... (and anyway, Sayers at least had the grace to fall in love with a creation of her own, which was probably not surprising in the first place as she created Wimsey as an embodiment of her ideal man). All of which I'm typing, incidentally, while binge-watching the Harriet Walter/ Edward Petherbridge adaptations of the first 3 Wimsey / Vane novels! :)
Lillelara 7 years ago
Yeah, I just don´t get it. That implies that the author is picturing herself as Mary Russell. And if that´s the case she could at least have pictured her a little less "Mary Sue"-ish.
This is so not my kind of book!
And I have to do some catching up to do when it comes to Dorothy Sayers. Don´t know a single one of her books as well.
The good thing about her books is that you don't have to read them strictly in chronological order, except for the 4 Wimsey / Vane novels (where chronology is totally key OTOH). You may want to start with "Murder Must Advertise" -- if she doesn't get you there, she may not be for you anyway. (But for the "chronology" thing I'd suggest "Gaudy Night", which is my absolute all-time favorite Sayers novel, but it has major spoilers as to Lord Peter and Harriet Vane that you'd really rather not know yet when you're reading the earlier ones. And come to think of it, the first Wimsey / Vane novel, "Strong Poison", is actually pretty good, too.)
BrokenTune 7 years ago
Yeah, got to page 60. Will DNF here.
Mike Finn 7 years ago
I enjoy this series but then I've never liked Watson much. I don't see the Mary Sue thing. This is a clever but damaged young woman - survived the car crash that killed her family but still bears the scars, is living with an unloving free-loading relative and is totally isolated. Her relationship with Holmes is odd and would raise eyebrows even today, never mind at the beginning of the 20th Century. I think the fact that the story is being told by the ninety-something version of herself is meant to take out the sting but it doesn't lose the creepy factor. Still, if freaks you out, you may not like the later books that take place after their marriage.
Mike Finn 7 years ago
Yep. The 40 year age gap was apparently not a problem. Actually, I think they make quite a convincing married couple - I've just finished "The Moor" and their relationship seems strong and plausible.
Murder by Death 7 years ago
Yeah, but it's not by any stretch of the imagination a romantic marriage. An obscure line here or there is just about all you get romance wise. And I do mean obscure.

I don't get Mary Sue either, but I think from an intellectual exercise, if you try to come up with a compatible woman for Holmes, she has to be pretty close to a machine to get it right, and I suppose that would include some level of 'perfection'. After all the 'real' Holmes is rather machine like himself.
Murder by Death 7 years ago
Strong Poison is one of my favourites of Sayers. Whose Body? is the first Sayers and, while it's not her best (the murderer was not much of a mystery) I'm glad I read it first because I thought it did a credible job of setting the scene and describing Wimsey's world and his place in it. As Themis says, except for the Wimsey/Vane books, chronology isn't necessary.

Sorry you didn't like this one more, but pastiche is a tricky thing and never done perfectly (imo). (For the record, I totally have a crush on Holmes, lol.) :)
Murder by Death 7 years ago
Just so everyone is clear and in the name of fairness - Watson doesn't get bashed beyond this book and even in this book Mary quickly becomes ashamed for her comments after meeting Watson. So, it's there, but it's short lived and while Watson is a rare character in these books, he's always treated with respect and affection from book 2.

Not that that is reason enough to try the books, only just wanted to clear that up in case anyone else sees this. :)
Couscous 7 years ago
I loved this series tbh. I can see where you're coming from, though. Good review :)
Lillelara 7 years ago
Thanks :). I must admit, I have been in a nitpicking mood lately and this book just didn´t stand a chance.
Couscous 7 years ago
Oooh yes, I know what you mean! I've DNF'd books after 40 pages when I was in the right (or wrong) mood :D