Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Execution of Sherlock Holmes

book review thursday

book review thursday I'm going to throw up a disclaimer here that I don't actually know a lot about Sherlock Holmes. My first encounter with the character was on a television show I obsessively watched growing up: Wishbone. Apart from references in various movies, TV shows, and books, I still wasn't too experienced in his canon until fairly recently. I've since read a handful of the original stories, but again, I'm still no expert. After the first movie came out, I rushed to get an anthology of stories. After reading one (and a half), I set the book down because I couldn't knit and read at the same time (this is one of the main reasons I really want both a Nook *and* an iPad). I loved the stories, the characters, the mysteries, everything about the book. It was just too frustrating to just sit there and read. I was still anxious to read more int hat era, as I've come to really love mystery novels, particularly one set in the past.

I entirely blame my grandmother for that one. When she bribed me to read her Nancy Drew novels, she sparked a love of reading that has never subsided. And, apparently, a love for detective stories.

At any rate, when I stumbled across The Execution of Sherlock Holmes at my local library's overdrive site, I immediately queued it up. From the first story, I was hooked. I listened to the majority of this while deathly ill, and it absolutely perfect timing. My normal routine when sick is to drown myself in as many truly horrible Lifetime movies as possible and cry for hours on end, but this took my attention away from self-pitying.

The writing truly sounded like what I've read of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The stories were thoroughly engaging, and each had interesting twists that kept me guessing. My only minor quibble was that the first story was by far the strongest, so it was a bit of a disappointment that the subsequent mysteries were not as excellent. While they were good, they weren't as amazing as the first. Holmes and Watson both rang true to me, and I really enjoyed how the first story tied in with the last.

One odd thing about this book, however, was that one of the middle stories was so annoyingly familiar that it drove me crazy while listening to it. This was by no fault of the author, but it reminded me of something I had read or seen ages ago that had similar notes. From what I can remember, a young, unmarried girl is either believed to be or actually was having an affair with a married man. Her "lover" leaves a note for her asking her to leave a light and door unlocked on if she wishes to see him. The next morning, her corpse is found. I have no idea what or where I encountered this shell of story. Now it's driving me absolutely crazy.

At any rate, I really enjoyed this book, and it's definitely moved more Sherlock Holmes-esque fiction into my To Read list. I can't wait to read more of the actual canon as well. This book receives two thumbs up from me!

(4/5 stars)