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review 2017-08-09 18:02
From Holmes to Sherlock
From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon - Mattias Boström,Michael Gallagher

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read, more than I thought it would be—the matter of course I was definitely interested in, but the way the author gathered and presented his material gave the whole book a ‘storytelling’ side that kept me wanting to read, and read, and read. Much like Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. A biography-slash-history book that is in itself a big story.

I won’t deny that some chapters towards the middle (the period between Conan Doyle’s death and the modern adaptations after the 1970s-80s) weren’t the most interesting for me, but even those didn’t detract from the book as a whole. It takes us through the genesis of the original Holmes & Watson stories, how they came to be, how their author perceived them, the conundrum of seeing them more successful than his ‘most serious’ works and of wanting to kill Holmes... How they gradually escaped his and his family’s grasp, in spite of efforts to keep a hand on them, because what Doyle gave birth to was bigger than him, bigger than just a handful of people, and wanted out, plain and simple.

I’ve read all the original stories (will read them again), yet I admit I’m lagging behind when it comes to movies. Well, now I know exactly what to catch up on, what to look for, and what kind of tone these adaptations’ would be—the movies with Basil Rathbone won’t be the same than the BBC Sherlock series, nor is their Holmes the one from the 1980s series with Jeremy Brett. I’d need half a lifetime to catch up on all this (and I’d want to catch up several times, for sure), but now at least I have a clearer view of ‘the bigger picture’.

Arthur Conan Doyle gave life to Holmes and took it away, but the Great Detective just won’t stay dead, will he? It’s all the readers and actors and directors and other authors that gave him a much, much longer life than expected.

Conclusion: Highly recommended!

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review 2017-08-03 15:18
Works really well
Arrowood: Sherlock Holmes Has Met His Match - Mick Finlay

Arrowood has a problem. It isn't the fact that his sister has returned. Nope. It isn't the fact that his wife left - his fault that. It isn't that the beer has gone off.

It is Sherlock Bloody Holmes.

Finlay's book is about the anti-Holmes and Watson. Not bad guys, no, but the ones who handle those cases that are not classy enough for Holmes. Along the way, Finlay also subtley digs at Watson's martial status.

Overall the book is good. The mystery is a bit wrapped up in a bow, if you know what I mean, but the characters are engaging, and Finlay nails the period. He also puts in commentary about Holmes, and quite frankly, I think he should get a bonus for the whole riff about Adler because honesty, after what Moffat did with her, I so needed that.

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review 2017-08-01 14:52
Meet a more mature Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes and the Eisendorf Enigma - Larry Millett

I can't claim to be an expert in Sherlock Holmes, so I can't judge Larry Millett's version as in-keeping, or otherwise, with the genre of Holmes also-rans, but it kept my attention and benefited from the narration by Steve Hendrickson.

 

The Sherlock Holmes of this novel is a much older, less fit version of the man in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books. He is visiting the Mayo clinic in Minnesota, US, to find answers to his health problems and comes away with a diagnosis of emphysema, from years of smoking.

As he prepares to return to England, he receives a note under his hotel door, from a past adversary, The Monster of Munch. The Monster had evaded capture nearly thirty years earlier and is now living in near-by Eisendorf. He issues a challenge that Holmes's pride cannot allow him to ignore.

 

So Holmes visits the ailing town of Eisendorf, with only forty residents remaining. They are a fascinating characters bunch of though, all of German descent, who relocated to this part of America in three waves, very few of whom remain.

 

There is secrecy and violence, a fascinating series of tunnels and a somewhat simple girl who wears angel wings and a tiara. An interesting mix, and plenty of puzzles for Holmes to solve.

 

I listened to this rather than reading it and enjoyed Steve Hendrickson's voice, which was perfect for Sherlock Holmes. His characters were easily distinguishable, just his German voices didn't quite ring true.

 

With thanks to Audiobook Boom for the audio version in exchange for an unbiased review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-06-29 01:55
Fun Mystery
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bras... Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Brash Blonde (Marty Hudson Mysteries) (Volume 1) - Gemma Halliday,Kelly Rey

Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Brash Blonde by Gemma Halliday and Kelly Rey is an entertaining read.  This well-written book is loaded with fantastic, lovable characters.  Marty's story is full of humor, mystery and suspense.  I enjoyed reading this book and would happily read more from Gemma Halliday and Kelly Rey.  Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Brash Blonde is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2017-06-28 17:20
not bad, but not what i'm looking for
Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows - James Lovegrove

So... this book.

 

I'm not sure if my ambivalence towards Sherlock Holmes made this book better or worse than it would be otherwise.  There are some Holmes stories I greatly enjoy, others I don't care for.  In this story I found Holmes a bit annoying.

 

But what really bothered me was how early on the explicit statement that C'thulhu exists came up.  Part of the creeping horror of Lovecraftian horror is the uncovering of horrors.  to have them by and large so casually revealed is a bit of a let down.  Not even halfway through the book and that which man is not meant to know is already being called baldly by its name.

 

But it moves along at a brisk pace, and has some interesting elements, as well as a neat way of weaving itself into the body of work about Holmes.

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