Jan. 19, 2017

Perhaps some things are best left alone…

Sherlock Holmes in Montague Street Volume 1 by David Marcum

My thanks to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my review copy of this book. You guys rock!

I will admit to a lot of disappointment in this book. I really wish I had read a few reviews before requesting this book and its two sequels. Then I would have probably not cost my sponsors at MX Publishing the cost of the trilogy.

Sherlock Holmes is far from the only sleuth to be written about in Victorian London. There were many contemporaries. Some did build on the foundation laid by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

I am reminded here of 1 Corinthians 3: 10, the Apostle Paul speaking: [10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

There was Solar Pons, written at first as Sherlock Holmes stories before August Derleth was asked by Doyle to change the hero. Pons became an enduring detective in his own right, with Basil Cooper continuing the tales. There was Sexton Blake, and I am unsure of just how many stories have been written about him, but the volumes I have do not touch the stories written!

Then there was Martin Hewitt, written by Arthur Morrison, which had the advantage of gracing the pages of the Strand when a Holmes story was not available. Hewitt a man who solved by logic the problems presented, but also depended on his personality, being quite the people person while maintaining his status as a loner.  Hewitt was not the man who would find a lifelong friend and roommate. He would be friendly to all, but his home was HIS castle.

That said, despite the cleverness of David Marcum in recreating the Hewitt stories as early cases of Sherlock Holmes, I feel it doesn’t really work that well. The stories were fine on their own, and that will be the way I remember the twenty-five stories over three volumes—tales of Hewitt, not Holmes.

Now I concede that other readers may be fine with the changes. I am certainly not going to be as abrasive as some reviewers and cry “plagiarism!”  I just think the stories do not translate well as Holmes stories. I give the books only two stars…

Quoth the Raven…

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