Holmes Coming

Narrated by Francesca Ling, Rory Barnett, Jenny Gago, Thom Rivera, and Cary Hite
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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 09 Mar 2023

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Dr. Amy Winslow tells the story: in foggy, nighttime San Francisco a jogging SFPD captain is savagely attacked by a Bengal tiger which then vanishes. In her ER, Amy labors unsuccessfully to save the captain’s life, then consoles his aggrieved closest friend, Lt. Luis Ortega. Neither suspects their lives will intertwine in a life-or-death mystery.

The next day, checking on former patient Mrs. Hudson at her Victorian house isolated in Marin County’s forest, Amy discovers in the cellar a secret, cobweb-covered 1899 electrochemical laboratory containing a Jules Verne–esque steam-punk sarcophagus out of which springs a wild-eyed, half-mummified, crypt-keeper-like man who injects himself with something before falling dead at her feet. Amy barely revives him.

He claims to be a real-life Victorian master chemist and detective named Holmes, who allowed Conan Doyle to write stories based on his cases, though was slightly annoyed when Doyle changed his real first name to the catchier Sherlock. Becoming uninspired by 1890s crime, Holmes devised this method to hibernate for a century to investigate future mysteries.

Amy assumes he’s a lunatic. His Scotland Yard identity papers were stolen while he slept, so it takes her a while to realize his amazing story is true.

Respectably handsome when cleaned up, Holmes is still the same brash, egoistic, uber-English, cocaine-addicted, non-feminist genius—but now a century out of sync—so his still-brilliant deductions are sometimes laughingly or dangerously wrong. Holmes and Amy, his reluctant new Watson, find themselves unexpectedly attracted to each other while perilously involved in reclaiming his proof of identity, aided by cybersavvy street teen Zapper. It’s all connected to the horrific death-by-tiger, only the first of several bizarre, mystifying murders being committed by an exquisitely fiendish descendant of Holmes’ Victorian archenemy, Professor Moriarty.

The tone is classic Holmes—plus a refreshing twist of fish-out-of-water humor with a surprising spark of real romance.

Dr. Amy Winslow tells the story: in foggy, nighttime San Francisco a jogging SFPD captain is savagely attacked by a Bengal tiger which then vanishes. In her ER, Amy labors unsuccessfully to save the...

Advance Praise

“Kenneth Johnson has written a novel that would make Conan Doyle proud. Clever, tight plots, fresh dialogue.”

-Strand Magazine

“Johnson clearly knows and respects his source material…The game is definitely afoot…Splashy Holmes redux executed with skill and style.”

-Kirkus Reviews

“Having the actual character adapt to modern times is a fresh take on the detective. Johnson nails Holmes’s voice…his story is fun and engaging. Fans of the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy.”

-Library Journal

“Kenneth Johnson has written a novel that would make Conan Doyle proud. Clever, tight plots, fresh dialogue.”

-Strand Magazine

“Johnson clearly knows and respects his source material…The game is...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9798200706075
PRICE $19.95 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 40 members

Featured Reviews

The "real" Sherlock Holmes, alive and well in the 21st century? The very idea! And yet the book Holmes Coming suggests the real possibility of such an occurrence. I absolutely love the thought of Sherlock Holmes solving today's crimes while trying to muddle through modern technology and customs. Of course, accepting the premise--that Sir Doyle based his stories on a real detective, and that real detective devised a brilliant method to preserve himself for over 150 years--requires quite a bit of disbelief suspension. So it's perhaps even more critical that the facts be accurate.

Right from the first chapter, I was thrown by some glaring inaccuracies. Dr. Amy Winslow, pediatric surgeon who for some reason spends all her time working in the ER seeing adult cases, tries to resuscitate a mauled detective by--wait for it--trying to shock him with resuscitation paddles when he is clearly flatlining. This is what I consider the #1 error in medical scenes. Shocking asystole does nothing. Even worse, Dr. Winslow tries this twice, and then gives up. Since the brain can survive without oxygen for up to ten minutes, resuscitation typically continues for at least that long (unless it is clearly futile--like, if the head is missing). I'm not entirely sure why the author chose to make Dr. Winslow a pediatric surgeon since she's never actually seen doing surgery, and her descriptions make her sound more like a pediatrician. I understand the idea was to make her a modern Dr. Watson, but it would've made more sense to the story if she'd been an ER doctor, or even a psychiatrist who continually tries to analyze the enigmatic Holmes.

Furthermore, she wants to be a writer, and so the book is told from her narrative. Again, I imagine this was intended to recreate the classic Holmes stories, which were all narrated by Dr. Watson. The problem is, this approach doesn't stand up well in modern literature. Chapters from Holmes's point of view are told "as was recounted to me by Holmes in startling detail", but it makes it difficult to connect with Holmes. And moreover, in some chapters, it jumps to the perspective of other characters, like Zapper. I presuppose this was intended to hide information that Holmes discovered from the reader, but it gets confusing with all the head hopping. And then Dr. Wilson's narrative tone threw me as well. In the first half of the book, she sounds like Holmes in her narration, using advanced vocabulary and formal phrasing that is not at all consistent with her dialogue. Again, I presume this is intended to reflect Watson's style, and maybe even suggest Holmes rubbed off on her, but in the second half of the book, her narration is not nearly as formal.

Additionally, there are long stretches of dialogue between Holmes and Wilson, mostly to give backstory about how Holmes came to decide to preserve himself and about his long history with the Moriarty family. These parts dragged and nearly made me want to quit, but I'm glad I pressed on as the turning point between him and Moriarty Booth was well done and created some excellent tension. The relationship between Holmes and Wilson felt a bit forced and at times more melodramatic than a classic Sherlock Holmes story, with some overly corny lines and exchanges.

But of course what really makes this book shine is when Holmes runs through his masterful deductions, especially when he's just plain wrong due to being unaware of changes in society over the past 150 years. It's clear this is intended to be the first book in a series, and I am curious to know what the future adventures of Holmes and Wilson will be like. The narration, which is a rare recording of multiple authors at the same time, was overall well done, although I was thrown by the fact that Zapper, a teenager, sounded like a 30 or 40 year-old man.

Thank you to the author, Blackstone, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this audiobook in exchange for a fair review.

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Super fun twist on a beloved classic. I’m a sucker when it comes to anything related to Sherlock Holmes and Holmes Coming by Kenneth Johnson did not disappoint. Filled with classic Sherlock mystery and humor Holmes fans new and old will enjoy this rendition on a Consulting Detective.

Thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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I absolutely loved this story, and the cast of narrators was perfect for it!

After the loss of his archrival, Moriarty, Holmes no longer has a worthy adversary. So, inspired by his friend, H.G. Wells, he decides to put his body into stasis for 100 or so years and find new fiends to confound in the 21st century.

Little does he take into consideration how the world will have changed in that time and how much there would be to learn! But with a little help from his friend Mr. Google and a lot more from his hostess Dr. Amy Winslow, he finds renewed purpose in life, recruits a modern-day gang of Baker Street Irregulars, and foils the collaboration between two of the most powerful villains in San Francisco.

I truly hope that this is the start of a very lengthy series because this listener is hooked, especially with this cast!

Bravo to Kenneth Johnson and Blackstone Publishing. Thank you for the advance review copy!

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Advanced Reader Audiobook written by Kenneth Johnson and published/audio by @blackstonepublishing 📖

This book was so cute! Like an adult version of the Sherlock Holmes I loved as a kid. Some points I thought were too drawn out, but in the end all the details and scenes were necessary and truly made for a good book. The only reason it didn’t get five stars is because the ending was unfortunately predictable.

Thank you so much to @netgalley and @blackstonepublishing for this audiobook. I truly loved all the different actors whom voiced many different characters!

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Some Holmes revivals can go really wrong, but this is an example of what happens when they go right. This was exceedingly well done, very enjoyable, and well written. I also enjoyed the various narrators. That was a bold choice but they pulled it off. I'd love a series!

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I LOVED this book!! I’m a fan of Sherlock Holmes in just about any format. Sentimental reasons.

This is such a fun premise! Sherlock Holmes in present day San Francisco with a new Doctor … Amy Winslow MD! His 19th century chauvinism and opinions. Her feminism & intelligence is a perfect foil to his dated ideas.

There are a male & female narrator. Fantastic!

I love the deductive reasoning. A good amount of time is spent proving he is who he is & the both of them getting to know each other before the game is afoot. A tiger malling in current day SF!!

I want much more of these books!! A series please! Same narrators!

Thank you NetGalley & BlackStone Publushing

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Holmes having to adjust to the 21st century
In this case I listened to the audio version of the book and can’t image a better fitted group of narrators to present this story.
I frequently had to smile on the quarreling between Dr Amy Wilson and Holmes. Her been a fairly educated and opinionated woman and him equally hardheaded in his belief of woman capabilities and racial discrimination.
If you are looking for accuracy in the medical field, you might be a bit disappointed but then when you read that Holmes managed to keep his body frozen for over a hundred years and gets back into the action without major problems you just know that you have to take it for what it is. A very entertaining book in a style that remind you of the original Holmes books. We have seen so many adopted versions written and in films, some very good and others a big disappointment. In this case it is a welcome addition. We do not have a modern Holmes but a displaced person that has to get himself adjusted to a different world then the one he is used to.

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I have not read any of the Sherlock Holmes books but after reading this book I am eager to read them now.. It was really creative and interesting how he was brought back to life and also how he adapted to the new life and way we have progressed since his time. He continued to be a great detective and was really cool that he picked up the role that he went to sleep. I love the author and narrator and will continue to look for their books.

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I received this book from the publisher through netgalley.com I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this at first but stuck with it and got sucked into the story. I loved how out of touch Holmes is which makes this all the more believable. With so much to learn about this century his powers of deduction are found lacking. However, he is still the observant and witty character we know.

Dr. Amy Winslow becomes his new Watson as she feels responsible for him since she accidentally helped wake him up. As Holmes adjusts to women doctors, people of color in prominent positions and new technology he makes humorous mistakes and faux pas but also meets an interesting band of characters that help him navigate this new world.

I don't know if this is the start to a new series but I really hope so, I would love to read more of these more modern Holmes stories. The fact that there were several narrators also really helped tell this story. I loved the interaction between them all and I learned at the end that they actually all recorded the narration together almost like a play instead of an audio book.

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This is a very imaginative reinvention of Sherlock Holmes, set in 21st century San Francisco. Holmes and his new companion, a (female) Dr. Winslow, find themselves wrapped up in a perplexing case, one that just happens to involve a Moriarty! They mystery here is intriguing and I enjoyed listening to the characters solve it. There is a fair bit of banter, and many amusing sequences where Holmes tries to make his way through the modern world. The audiobook is wonderfully narrated by a talented team and I have an even greater appreciation for the production after listening to the author’s note at the end. While everything was fairly neatly tied up, I hope that there are more books planned with these characters. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this audiobook.

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Written and narrated in part by Kenneth Johnson, this entry into the 'genre' of Holmes books will keep you reading or listening raptly until the end. Mr. Johnson is a seasoned narrator, having voiced numerous other audio books. Actros Francesca Lin and Cary Hite also took part in the narration.

Dr. Amy Winslow is fresh out of a bad break up. And she has just lost a patient who was attacked by a tiger. Amy is summoned to the home of a former patient where she discovers a secret cellar. When the power goes out, Mrs. Hudson panics and tries frantically to get the electricity running. As she does, Dr. Winslow discovers that a man, looking like a wild thing, has come out of a tomb in the cellar. He drops dead but the doctor manages to revive him.

He tells his bizarre story, claiming to be Detective Holmes who has mastered chemistry and managed to put himself to sleep for a century. He said he was bored with Victorian crimes and wanted to try to solve crimes of a different time. After he cleans up, he does look like a person of the Victorian era but Amy still finds it difficult to believe him. As attacks and deaths with some type of link to a tiger continue, Dr. Winslow begins to believe Holmes because he manages to come up with some answers to the series of crimes. He does have a staggering learning gap to catch up on and his attempts can be comical to Dr. Winslow.

Fans of mysteries, sci fi, and Holmes will enjoy this one. It even has a touch of romance.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing Audiobooks for allowing me to read Holmes Coming.

First of all, Bravo to the narrative team of this book. Listening to this book was so much fun and it took me back to the days when
stories were on the radio. Each story had a time of day and it was so much better than soap operas on TV. Each of the five narrators was perfect for their role. The whole premise of the book was fun and this team made it all the more so.

Holmes Coming is the story of Sherlock, whose name isn't really Sherlock, but it sounds so much better than Hubert. Without giving too much away, through his wonderful talents of medicine, chemistry, and trickery, he manages to insert himself into the 21st century. The great-grandchildren of his enemies are also around so not much has changed. Holmes has to get used to the changes in the second decade of this century while employing his exemplary powers of observation. He is found and hosted by Dr. Amy Winslow who has to be convinced that Holmes is who he says he is and then the game is afoot. Once she is, Can you say Watson, I mean Winslow?

There was a hint of romance that makes this reader wonder if there will be a sequel to this story. I would definitely look forward to that. I think even diehard Sherlock fans would enjoy this book.

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