Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sherlock Holmes Among the Fairies

My good friends Joel and Carolyn Senter, proprietors of Classic Specialties, were shocked to learn that I enjoyed Tracy Revels’s novel Shadowfall. I was a bit surprised myself. And I like the new sequel, Shadowblood, maybe even more.

On the surface, these books would seem to run contrary to my tastes. Pastiches almost always disappoint me because of their failure to convincingly imitate the original, often at a very basic level. It’s not rare to find Holmes and Watson addressing each other by their given names, for example, which they never did. In addition, many pastiche plots seem to me to be simply un-Holmesian, not the kind of case he took on in Canonical tales.

How in the world, then, could I enjoy a series of books in which Holmes is portrayed as half fairy? It took me a while to figure that out myself.

The answer has to be that these stories are so far from the original that I simply suspend disbelieve and don’t even compare them to the Canonical stories. This is some alternate-universe Holmes, not the one we know. Once I accept that, I can settle back and enjoy Tracy Revels's good writing and the excellent plot.

Shadowblood begins with a client who claims his daughter is more than 100 years old. Not surprisingly, then, the plot involves the fabled Fountain of Youth. That takes Holmes and Watson to St. Augustine, Florida, by way of Paris and Prague. The tale is well-researched and peopled with interesting characters that include a Seminole showman, a blind photographer, and the central figure in one of the most infamous murder trials in U.S. history.

All in all, suspending disbelief, I found it to be a fast and engaging read.

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