As they blunder towards doom, Warlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson find themselves inconvenienced by a variety of eldritch beings. Christmas brings a goose that doesn’t let being cooked slow it down; they meet an electricity demon, discover why being a redhead is even tricker than one might imagine, and Holmes attempts an Irish accent. And, naturally, Moriarty is hanging around… in some form or other.
I really enjoyed the first two books in the Warlock Holmes series but I feel this one fell flat in comparison. I didn’t find it to be as entertaining and it actually felt very rushed. I still think the author has put a hilarious spin on the original stories but this was definitely wasn’t as enjoyable and it didn’t share the same magic as the first two.
I seem to have an on-off relationship with Watson in this series. I didn’t like him much in A Study in Brimstone, warmed to him in The Hell-hound of the Baskerville and now I feel like we’re back to square one because I didn’t like him at all in this. I found him to be intolerable at times – I really don’t know what Warlock sees in him!
Warlock, on the other hand, seemed to retain his giddy and excitable personality which I was pleased about as that was something I really loved in the other books. He wanted to use magic on EVERYTHING and it was so funny. He didn’t care at all about blowing things up or blasting objects with hellfire. Aside from that, however, it felt like he didn’t really DO anything. He accompanied Watson to crime scenes and did… nothing. Absolutely nothing. It got to the point where I thought he was pretty useless and was wondering why people kept him around. Considering he’s the only character I really like I was disappointed about this – he just didn’t feel like the same character I’d read about in A Study in Brimstone and The Hell-hound of the Baskerville.
The main thing that disappointed me about this book was that I didn’t really feel much joy from the short stories. I was counting down the pages until each story finished and the next one started; hoping it would be more exciting but I think each of them fell flat. Sure there were some bits that were entertaining but with the first two I was laughing out loud and this one was lucky if it got a smile out of me. I think the main reason I didn’t enjoy it as much is because it had a lot more stories. The author has crammed 8 short stories into 420 pages and the result is a bit of a mess. Each story felt very rushed and was definitely lacking the humour and witty language the first two books had. In fact, the writing was very repetitious with the same phrases being repeated over and over.
Normally I highlight some stories that I enjoyed but with this one there wasn’t one that stood out to me as being a favourite or anything. One thing My Grave Ritual had that the others didn’t though was a short story from Warlock and that was The Adventure of the Red Heads’ League. That surprised me and I actually really enjoyed it. It was refreshing to be given a break from Watson and I’d like to see more from Warlock’s perspective!
Like the first two, My Grave Ritual ends on a cliffhanger – quite an exciting one actually! So despite my disappointment with some of the stories/characters, the ending made me eager to pick up the fourth book and continue with this series! The author certainly knows how to end his books with a bang, I’ll give him that.