44. – 557.) The Execution of Sherlock Holmes by Donald Thomas – An intriguing title since we all know Holmes was never executed. Rather than a lengthy novel featuring Holmes and Watson there is a return to the original Holmes stories with individual cases being solved by the famous detective. Arthur Conan Doyle’s combination of penetrating observations, clever deductions, forensic analysis and bold confident actions are skillfully continued by Thomas. It was a refreshing to return to the stand alone stories. After reading the book I think Holmes is better suited to stories than novels. I have enjoyed Laurie R. King’s series of Holmes and Mary Russell but they tend to lose the flavour of individual cases being solved in different ways by Holmes. The title story features Holmes kidnapped and imprisoned by a nefarious band of master London criminals. After a mock trial he is to be executed. How Holmes manages to escape while being shackled, nightly drugged and continuously watched was deftly done. Holmes needed all of his skills, especially mental talents, to find a way out. As usual with Holmes the body count in stories is minimal. Holmes does not solve mysteries by the multiplication of victims or the attrition of suspects. The second story involves Holmes applying his methods in pre-WW I espionage. Watson remains a devoted aide, always stalwart, usually slow in understanding but never a caricature. It was an entertaining collection. I shall look for earlier collections. Hardcover or paperback. (Dec. 3/10)
- Bill Selnes
- Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
- I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.