Eliminate the impossible…
Sherlock Holmes lives on in this extraordinary collection of brand-new novellas. Marvel as the master detective scours London’s sewers to expose the killer of a mudlark; attends a deadly séance that may prove a man’s guilt; visits a dark carnival with an unusual menu; solves the murder of an Egyptologist’s butler; uncovers the shocking secret of a tobacco dealer; sets sail for America to investigate the death of a cult leader and settles an old score for his famous associate Inspector Lestrade!
This collection of Sherlock Holmes novellas is perfect for fans of the originals and is a great opportunity to showcase some new authors. I’ve heard of a couple but most of them were new to me and I loved their writing so no doubt I’ll be keeping an eye out for their other books. I flew through this collection of short stories and was eagerly awaiting the next peculiar case for Holmes and Watson to solve. Each story is very different from the last, with one even taking place in America which I thought was a refreshing change of scenery.
My favourite story by far was The Dark Carnival by Andrew Lane. As the title suggestions, this was an incredibly dark case and one that I found absolutely fascinating. It was quite a disturbing story and left me feeling very unsettled throughout.
The last story – Our Common Correspondent by Lyndsay Faye – was definitely the most surprising and wrapped up the novellas nicely. It gave a much needed change of perspective as it was from the point of view of Inspector Lestrade! I do love looking out for Lestrade in any new story I pick up so I was delighted by this novella. I loved being able to see Sherlock and John through his eyes, especially John. I don’t think it’s immediately obvious what people think of John as he tends to be swallowed up by Holmes’ shadow a lot of the time, so it was interesting to be able to gauge Lestrade’s opinion on him.
One thing that disappointed me and seemed to be a running theme in all of the novellas was that John’s role was downplayed a little. He didn’t seem to be doing much and was just asking the obvious questions. In some stories he seemed to be Sherlock’s lackey and followed him everywhere for something to do. I much prefer when John gets properly involved and helps Sherlock solve the mystery.
Also I really enjoyed Sherlock’s deductions and finding out how he managed to solve each case but in one story, I thought he solved it far too quickly and easily that it was almost unbelievable even when he explained how he did it. I like when there’s mystery after mystery piled on top of one another and it’s not immediately clear what’s happened but sometimes in these novellas Sherlock would almost instantly solve the case which was disappointing or he’d make some bizarre deductions.
All in all, this was a great new collection of novellas that can easily be read in one sitting. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes and love a good mystery, I’d recommend this!