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A reprint of the author's first collection of Sherlockian Tales,
This review is from: The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Hardcover)
This is a reprint the author's first collection of Sherlockian tales which has been `out of print' for a number of years. It contains seven novella-length tales.
The first tale is "The Adventure of the Connoisseur." This case starts off as a typical Holmes investigation, but turns into a moderately pedestrian mystery. Holmes' intellectual acrobatics are all interior, with little explanation or insight into the processes or conclusions. The story lacks the `flavor' of Holmes and Watson. The second tale is "The Mystery of Avalon." This tale, too, starts in a typical Sherlockian fashion, with all the usual elements, but it progresses into a dark and tragic story that opens a door on Holmes' past and reveals unexpected depths in the Master.
"The Missing Don Giovanni" falls quickly into the classic Canonical pattern and follows through with an interesting mystery and a believable situation. Watson complains about Holmes' lack of communication and Holmes is focused, impatient and impolite to everyone. The mystery is interesting and well developed. "The Hooded Man" is very much a typical Holmes adventure. It is another case introduced to Holmes by Inspector Hopkins, but occurs after the seven cited in ABBE. Holmes' conclusions and deductions seem obvious in retrospect, but, like Watson, readers will feel themselves in a daze during the investigation. "The Old Grey Horse" is another well crafted and ingenious tale. This one has Watson trying to help a client while Holmes is deep in another case with Lestrade. Holmes saves the day, serves up the usual, impromptu but brilliant deductions and hands the villains over to justice.
"The Adventure of the Conscientious Constable" is something of a departure. Holmes and Watson are called in to find a detective constable who has failed to show up for his turn on a diplomatic `stake out.' The Government and Police are sure his disappearance is part of an international incident, but Holmes uncovers an even more bizarre cause rooted in the constable's past successes. "The Adventure of the Dying Gaul" is the final tale in the collection. In it Holmes is forced to take another look at his actions in FINA and the subsequent, belated appearance of two, previously unknown Moriarty brothers. Theft of a classical treasure in Rome leads to a re-evaluation of the identity of `Professor Moriarty' and his role in the intervening years
This anthology introduces a talented writer's efforts to recreate the Canon. The tales are ingenious and the writing improves through the collection. As the tales unfold and the artist becomes more comfortable with his medium, it is easy to allow oneself to feel as if a new issue of The Strand has just arrived and once more it is 1895.
Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, December, 2010.
Published in "The Formulary," [#20, 12/2010].
Published in "The Gaslight Gazette," [V 17, Issue # 1-2, 01/2011]