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, September 20, 2013

Sherlock, We Hardly Knew Ye

Most of what you think you know about Sherlock Holmes, it isn't true -- at least, not according to Don Libey.

The eminent writer and publisher offers us a unique double-take on the world's first consulting detective in The Biography and Autobiography of Sherlock Holmes. It's two books in one, combining Mycroft Holmes's episodic account of his brother's life and career along with the previously-published autobiography.

The brothers Holmes are full of suprises in these accounts. Mrs. Hudson and Mary Morstan? Didn't exist! 221B Baker Street? Holmes and Watson never lived there! It turns out that Watson disguised a lot of the truth to protect Holmes or someone else. And he also neglected to tell us that there was a third Holmes brother as well as a sister.

Normally I'm no fan of revisionist history when it comes to Sherlock Holmes, but Libey's book is so full of unexpected revelations that I had to keep turning the pages to see what he would come up with next. Thus I learned the identity of the mysterious Mrs. Turner from "A Scandal in Bohemia" and the even more unexpected truth about Fred Porlock, the mole in Moriarty's operation.

Moriarty, at least, was real. So was Watson. Given that Don Libey is the honorable "Buttons" of the John H. Watson Society, it's not a suprrise that Watson comes off well as Holmes's faithful and indispensible collaborator. In fact, some of Holmes's best lines were actually uttered by Watson, who put them in the sleuth's mouth "to portray me in a more favorable light," Holmes says!

Watson was a pure human being, Mycroft tells us -- "a good soul" -- while he is pure brain. Sherlock, alone among the three, brought head and heart together. The triumvirate of the Holmeses and Watson made a strong triangle in fighting Moriarty. Even Mycroft is forced to say, "Good old Watson!"

And I say, "Good old Buttons!"

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