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Falls between two stools
on 28 January 2014
I read ‘My Dearest Holmes’ following a recommendation from the gay author Paul Magyrs whose writing I enjoy very much. As a lover of the original Sherlock Holmes mysteries AND gay fiction, this felt like a match made in heaven for me but, sadly not.
When I read a Sherlock Holmes story the first thing I am looking for is an absorbing mystery; this novel contains two short ‘mysteries’ which are uninteresting and, it seems to me, would have been unlikely to have been accepted by Holmes at all being considered a waste of his time and deductive abilities.
The gay-slant didn’t help to save the book for me either. Conan-Doyle had said that he wishes that he had had the courage to make Homes openly gay, and certainly the original stories contain a frisson between the protagonists which, for me, adds very much to the tension in the stories. If you’re going to put sexual orientation at the front-and-centre then my feeling is that the sex needs to either ‘simmer or bang’ and this does neither; not enough there to create tension or portray a believable love and not enough to be considered erotica. Watson comes across as a slightly petulant wimp with a crush.
If you’re desperate for a Holmes fix, Laurie King and a number of other authors do a far better job.