Member Review

The Sherlock Effect

Pub Date:

Review by

Joel S, Reviewer

Last updated on 21 Jan 2018

I Recommend This Book


A Fine Holmesian Diversion

Since it seems that anyone nowadays can write a story or book featuring "Sherlock Holmes" there are a dizzying number of choices out there. To me, most of these copycats and knockoffs suffer from trying way too hard to capture and copy the lightning in a bottle that was Doyle's actual Sherlock Holmes character.

This book follows a different and wiser course. It is set in modern times, (well, the 1990's, when the book was originally written). It features a character who more or less falls into a marketing scheme to set up a Holmes-style detective agency. (His middle name is Sherlock and his Dad was an obsessive fan.) Allied with his pal Mo, this Sherlock adopts Victorian era clothing and starts to play detective. The fun here is that as the action progresses our Sherlock develops more Holmesian characteristics, and the cases taken on by the duo begin to feel more and more like legit Holmes casebook cases, (murder, deception, fraud, blackmail, sometimes a red herring hint of the weird or occult).

This is all worked on a few complementary levels. Each case is a fair enough mystery, with suspects, clues, sometimes a bit of action or a twisty touch. Sherlock and Mo work well as a Holmes/Watson team, or at least their version of such a team. The supporting characters feel very much like the sorts you would find in an original Conan Doyle story. Even the reliance on the deductive method, (which is a bit shaky in the earlier cases), gets better over time.

So, these ended up being tasty morsels, (there are five cases in the book). The lead characters were engaging and the Holmes part was fun without being tedious, heavy-handed or false-feeling. The writing was fine, and served well the generally fast pace. Touches of humor some clever banter spiced things up. All in all this was a fun find.

(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

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