Vasudev Murthy,
Sherlock Holmes, The Missing Years: Timbuktu
(Poisoned Pen Press, 2016)

Fans of Sherlock Holmes cannot get enough, and this is an excellent pastiche -- with a very similar tone to the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This is an "alternate" narrative, taking place between Sherlock's purported death in "The Final Problem" and his much-anticipated reappearance in "The Adventure of the Empty House."

Here, he gets involved in somewhat occult Arabian matters, with an eye to the lore and the goal of possible eternal life. High stakes! In pursuing this quest he meets all kinds of people from various nationalities and walks of life, and that's pretty interesting stuff.

I do have to say, though -- when looking at the situation, Holmes was NOT actually intended to get the goodies, and his opponents were. He cheated. Thugs or not, the other side pretty much had the right of it...

...except when you consider that they were tools of MORIARTY! Who, with his miraculous ability to make correct calls based on no data whatsoever, looks to me more like a paranoid fantasy on Sherlock's part than anyone plausible.

I admit I am not a dedicated Sherlock fan. However, this is a fun book, and I think it did keep the tone of the Doyle's original tales. My husband -- a more devoted Sherlock fan -- really liked Vasudev Murthy's previous Missing Years: Japan novel, and is looking forward to reading this one.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

27 February 2016

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