Jan. 19, 2017

And strike three, you may consider yourself out…

Sherlock Holmes in Montague Street Volume 3 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 the first two books and this sequel. 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 were many detectives, with similarities and differences to Sherlock Holmes being published in the Strand and other magazine simultaneously.  Dr Thorndyke, created by R. Austin Freeman, was a doctor who solved crimes thanks to his extensive medical knowledge. Ernest Bramah came up with Max Carrados, the first ever blind detective, who enjoyed popularity in the Strand. Lady Molly of Scotland Yard was another detective from the mind of Baroness Orczy, and one of the premier female detectives.

The thing is that they can stand on their own merit. And so can the tales of Martin Hewitt written by Arthur Morrison. Hewitt was much more of a “people person” than Holmes. Then too, Hewitt worked out of an office in the Strand, not a private residence.

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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