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Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Holmes and Watson at the Easter Rising
My friend and sometime co-author, Kieran McMullen, has been in Dublin for the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. Seeing a photo of Kieran raising a glass of Jameson's at the Arlington Hotel, O'Connell Bridge, reminded me of Sherlock Holmes's involvement in those fateful events of 1916.
Kieran tells the story in his novel-length pastiche from 2011, Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels. He calls it a "boys' adventure story." But it's more than an adventure story, and not just for boys.
As Kieran tells the tale, Mycroft Holmes has enlisted his younger and more energetic brother, still in the guise of the Irish-American Altamont, to infiltrate the Irish Volunteers, find out their plans, and -- if possible -- stop the looming rebellion.
The great detective calls in Watson, who is back in military harness at Lt. Col. John Watson, RAMC, but going by the name of Dr. Thomas Ryan. They reconstruct the Baker Street menage as they board in Dublin with a certain Mrs. McGuffey, who turns to be Mrs. Hudson using her maiden name.
Although this is primarily an adventure and war story, there is also an appropriately criminous subplot that Holmes manages to uncover even amid the fog of approaching war.
The fact that we know what is going to happen on Easter 1916, while the characters do not, makes the story more suspenseful rather than less so. And it gets increasingly exciting as our heroes approach their rendezvous with history.
A serious student of Irish history and a retired military officer, Kieran has loaded this tale with real people and historically accurate incidents. It's as if Holmes and his troupe had stepped into history, much like Zelig in the Woody Allen film of that title. And we all know that anything can be made just a little better with Holmes & Co. as part of it!
Kieran did something similar with the earlier Watson's Afghan Adventure and the later Sherlock Holmes and the Boer Wagon. All three war books are collected in a volume called Holmes and Watson: The War Years.
Posted by Doctor Dan at 12:00 AM