Sunday, August 28, 2011
Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Letter, by Barry Grant
Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Letter
By Barry Grant
In my typically haphazard fashion I somehow managed to read Barry Grant's second Holmes knockoff before reading the first. Okay, so be it. That first adventure was The Strange Return of Sherlock Holmes and Grant is apparently a sort of pen name for one Barry Grant Brissman (sez one source).
I try to read as little as possible about books before actually sitting down to read them, so it came as a bit of a jolt to realize that Holmes was operating in the present day here, along with his journalist sidekick, James Wilson. This has all come about because the great detective was recently defrosted after spending nearly a century frozen in a glacier. Yep. Really.
Which leads one to believe that this is not going to be your standard Holmes knock-off. But actually, if you push these details to the side, it is a fairly standard Holmes knock-off - to a point. I say that because about thirty pages from the end the author goes completely nutso and winds things up in a ridiculously over the top manner that would have fit quite nicely into any of the most lurid pulp fiction rags of yesteryear.
Which might not work for everyone, admittedly. I think the key here was just to abandon oneself to the sheer silliness of it all and go with the flow. Holmes purists might cringe at this sort of thing, but I gave it high marks all around.
For someone else's thoughts on this decidedly loopy book, take a look at this brief piece from Cleveland.com.