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Gilbert, Paul D - 'The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes'
Hardback: 224 pages (Mar. 2007) Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd ISBN: 0709082495

Dr Watson opens an old chest and discovers a whole lot of unpublished tales of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. With Holmes' permission, the Doctor agrees to put them forward for publication.

The first story we read is "The Adventure Of The Connoisseur" which tells of a client calling on 221b Baker Street, London, most anxious about a painting that has disappeared. Holmes takes the task on and events take a nasty turn for the worst.

In the next tale, Holmes and the Doctor are summoned to help a Colonel from Cornwall who believes that his wife was almost assassinated. Holmes has to read up on Arthurian legends for this story which is subtitled "The Mystery of Avalon".

There are a total of seven short stories involving the exploits of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in this volume, and whilst I felt they were very heavy on period details, (the pair were always getting into and out of horse and traps and they spoke in the formal manner of the period), they seemed light on good gripping stories.

As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the original author, lived in the era that his hero was depicted in, he was able to portray the 'historical' elements naturally, without the self consciousness of Paul D Gilbert, which I found rather false. Also because Conan Doyle serialised his original stories in newspapers and magazines at the time, he had to write good convincing stories to entice his readers to buy the next day's paper.

No, I was not wholly convinced that this was a good read.

Terry Halligan, England
October 2007

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 7/03/2009 15:37