Member Review

The Sherlock Effect

Pub Date:

Review by

Joanne J, Reviewer

Last updated on 08 Feb 2018

I Recommend This Book


Opening with a short back-story we learn that Christopher Webster's father was an avid Conan Doyle fan, giving his son the middle name 'Sherlock', which didn't bode well for young Webster during his formative years. Later estranged from his father and following his father's death, Christopher is drawn to Sherlock Holmes and ends up reading the Holmes' cannon. Years later an old school friend, Mo, propses 'Sherl' (Christopher) sets up a detective agency based around the infamous Sherlock Holmes, completing their office with Victorian-era and Sherlockian memorabelia, going so far as to give Sherl an authentic wardrobe sans deerstalker, all to market the newly-formed Baskerville Detective Agency. 

From here readers are presented with a series of five short stories, each one covering a case investigated by Sherl and his long-term friend, Mo. The cases/stories themselves were fun, mostly believeable and progressed in difficulty but for the amateur-sleuth reader, the earlier cases will probably be fairly easy to solve. However, I liked that Sherl isn't a brainiac and that Mo, unlike Watson, is more interested in marketing the business than cataloguing cases. Indeed, unlike Conan Doyle's stories that're narrated by Watson, Lyons has presented his detective's cases in a first-person narrative. This may not appeal to traditional Sherlock fans but with so many pastiches out there, I found this approach refreshing.

That said, I felt Sherl and Mo as characters fell a little flat. Other than being new to detective work, little is said about them and apart from the introduction there's little character development. If there is to be a sequel I hope we're given a little more insight into the lives and minds of our heroes.

Overall The Sherlock Effect is a fun, quick read, with a nod to Doyle but without attempting to be an imitation of his work. Well worth a read!

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