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review 2020-05-17 04:29
The Last (and Least) of Sherlock Holmes
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

This volume contains the last two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories by Doyle. The book places Casebook first, followed by His Last Bow, although the Casebook stories were written and published after Bow. The reason for the reversal of order is that the title story of His Last Bow features an older Holmes coming out of retirement to serve as a spy catcher during World War I. It is a fitting ending place for the character, and it would have made a fine place to end the Holmes stories, but Doyle continued on.

 

Doyle admitted in interviews that he considered Holmes his cash cow and anytime he needed quick money he would write another Holmes story for the magazines. The stories in Casebook are not bad, but you can tell Doyle has lost interest and may have grown to dislike the character. The tone of the stories is more melodramatic than Holmes at his best. The villains are more mustache-twirly, and grizzly crime scenes are described in detail rather than being left to the reader's imagination. Two stories in Casebook are actually narrated by Holmes rather than Watson, but the results feel like a wasted opportunity. Watson always described Holmes as unfathomably brilliant, but the stories related directly by him come across almost exactly the same as Watson stories.

 

If you want to read the best of Sherlock Holmes, I would recommend The Adventures, Memoirs, and Return of Sherlock Holmes. Bow and Casebook are for completists.

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review 2020-04-21 12:50
"Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? - Shadow Police #3" by Paul Cornell
Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? - Paul Cornell,Damian Lynch

'The Shadow Police' series is a sort of grittier, more working-class, darker version of 'Rivers of London'. Here, magic comes from the weight of London's history, not from river goddesses. The posh folks of The Folly are replaced by a team of London coppers used to bringing down drug dealers and human traffickers and the magic keeps trying to kill them 

 

I found the second book "The Severed Streets" to be well-written but very depressing and soaked in sadness. The Shadow Police themselves are a major source of grief and depression. They deceive each other, distrust each other, despise themselves for the deceit and bemoan the distrust. They are reckless and desperate and well out of their depth.

 

I thought the third book might be more whimsical. After all, how serious can a book called 'Who Killed Sherlock Holmes' be?'.

 

There is a move from total despair towards hope in this book. The main characters are trying to find a way back from the damage that was done to them or that they did to themselves in the last book. I liked that Paul Cornell didn't just have everyone bounce back but recognised that actions have consequences and that dealing with evil always has a price. I also liked that he delivered on the story behind the senior police officer that the Shadow Police report in to. Her story humanised the big reveal and built her into a key character.

 

In 'The Severed Streets' we learned that something big had changed the way magic worked in Londo, letting loose bad things and tainting the magical community by allowing power to be paid for by money rather than personal sacrifice.

 

In 'Who Killed Sherlock Holmes' we learn that the change coincided with the destruction of the magical Establishment - the Continuous Projects Committee that imposes civilised control on magical forces. It's clear that, although The Establishment continued to use traditions that have kept London safe for centuries, they had forgotten why and how the protocols they use to do this operate. They'd become complacent and vulnerable to attack.

 

As a consequence of this::

'The real London was coming back, alongside poverty and tubercolosis and history. The civilised consensus was over.'

Suddenly, I was thinking of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, ripping apart all the shared assumptions and values that defined the England that the men and women who survived World War II had wanted to create. 

 

I checked the original publication date for this book. May 2016, one month before the Brexit Referendum.

 

It makes you wonder, If something evil broke into our world in 2016, wiping away civilised constraint, what would the world look like in 2020?

 

Actually, I think I know the answer to that question.

 

I enjoyed the book for the puzzle it solved, for the development of the story arc and for the evolution of the characters. The ending wasn't a cliff-hanger but it contained a solid hook that made me want to read book four.

 

Then I was told there is no book four. How can this happen? Ask the publishers.

Here's what Paul Cornell had to say about it in 2017: 'The Future Of The Shadow Police'

 

I hope the series comes back. I think we need a darker view of London and the people running it.

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text 2020-04-17 07:44
Reading progress update: I've read 85%. -you'd think you'd be safe from reality with a book called 'The Death Of Sherlock Holmes'...
Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? - Paul Cornell,Damian Lynch

...but you're not.

 

This series is a sort of grittier, more working-class, darker version of 'Rivers of London'. Here, magic comes from the weight of London's history, not from river goddesses. The posh folks of The Folly are replaced by a team of London coppers used to bringing down drug dealers and human traffickers and the magic keeps trying to kill them 

 

This is the third book. We learned in the earlier books that something big had changed the way magic worked in Londo, letting looks bad things and tainting the magical community by allowing power to be paid for by money rather than personal sacrifice.

 

I've just come to the part where the event that caused this is being revealed 

 

This is where the magical Establishment - the Continuous Projects Committee that imposes civilised control on magical forces - gets blown away. It's clear that, although The Establishment continues using traditions that have kept London safe for centuries, they have forgotten why and how the protocols they use to do this operate. They've become complacent and vulnerable to attack.

 

(spoiler show)

 

Having learned all that, I got this:

 

 

'The real London was coming back, alongside poverty and tubercolosis and history. The civilised consensus was over.'

 

Suddenly, I was thinking of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, ripping apart all the shared assumptions and values that defined the England that the men and women who survived World War II had wanted to create. 

 

I checked the original publication date for this book. May 2016, one month before the Brexit Referendum.

 

It makes you wonder, If something evil broke into our world in 2016, wiping away civilised constraint, what would the world look like in 2020?

 

Actually, I think I know the answer to that question.

 

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text 2020-03-27 12:45
TWR Blog Tour ~ 5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Friday Featured Spotlight ~ TWR Blog Tour: 5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

 

 

anthology

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/03/friday-featured-spotlight-twr-tour-of-5.html
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review 2020-03-17 14:17
Review ~ Awesome!
5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Maurice Barkley

Book source ~ Tour

 

Within these pages are five stories told by Dr. Watson about his pal Sherlock Holmes. Five short stories about small jobs that Holmes (and he) have solved. The writing does a wonderful job of pulling me into not just each story but that particular time. I have not read all there is to read about Holmes and I haven’t seen more than a couple tv shows/movies, so I am no expert on the subject. All I know is I love this collection of tales detailing jobs of no big consequence to Holmes, but extremely important in the grand scheme of his work. No job too big or small as long as it piques his interest. These are right up his, and my, alley.

 

5 STORIES

 

The Holborn Toy Shop

The Legacy of Doctor Carus

The Train From Plymouth

The Whitehall Papers

The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/03/5-adventures-of-sherlock-holmes.html
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