First, a side thought. I never know whether to include the book’s subtitle in my post title. In this case I did because it really is essential, usually I don’t though. Honestly, subtitles in fiction just tend to annoy me. Give me a good title without feeling you need to explain further. Just my opinion.
Back to the book. I am a die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan. While Doyle’s stories will always be first in my heart, I do enjoy the new adventures, re-tellings, re-imaginings, sequels. For a second there, I thought I was talking about Austen’s works. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my favorite of the pastiches.
Appropriately, Between the Thames and the Tiber is a collection of Holmes’ adventures transcribed by the ever-loyal Watson. It mirrors the originals in tone and style, but the I just didn’t like the stories. They were missing the spark that makes Holmes enjoyable. Yes, Holmes uses his deductive reasoning and Holmes and Watson’s friendship matches the originals, but the plots were lacking.
Several of the stories take place in Italy, which is fine with me. Why shouldn’t Holmes travel? But instead of clever mysteries and colorful characters, we get stick-figure historical names, Wagner, Puccini, Strauss, Liszt, Pope Leo XIII,Tesla. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself makes an appearance, at a séance where Holmes is determined to prove the medium is a fake. Which he of course does, but in a way that seems to contradict the opening of the book, unless I got my names confused. That’s part of the problem, the stories don’t seem to be in any order. I had trouble keeping track.
I’m not going to go into the plot of each of the stories. They’re all similar to some degree. You’ve got the mystery told to Holmes by someone. Holmes investigates, some of which the reader sees, some he doesn’t, then Holmes announces the solution to the inevitable how did he figure that out. Some of the stories were convoluted, some simply dull. It’s not horrible, just not good.
If you don’t love Sherlock Holmes, Between the Thames and the Tiber is surely not going to change your mind and really why would you bother reading it? If you do like Holmes, read one of the originals or maybe one of David Pirie’s books.
By the way, Sherlock Homes 2 is coming out in the theaters in December. I can’t wait. I loved Robert Downey, Jr. in the last one, not the standard Holmes, but still perfect.
You can purchase Between the Thames and the Tiber on Amazon or at an Indie bookstore.
2½ out of 5 stars
Category: Mystery & Detective- Sherlock Holmes
Riccardi’s Holmes pastiche #2
Published June 1, 2011 by Pegasus Books
Book source: For review
I love the Sherlock Holmes movie and books and you are right Robert Downey Jr plays a great Holmes. Can’t wait for the release of the second movie too. Thanks for book adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Can’t wait to read them.
I should really finish the original Holmes books before I glance in the direction of retellings and spin-offs… Recently I read ‘A Study in Emerald’ by Neil Gaiman in the Fragile Things collection. It was a pretty good retelling. It combines Doyle with Lovecraft.
I haven’t read that one. Sounds like I should.
Perhaps not the tale for me then…
And I did not know Holmes 2 is coming out that soon. very cool
I have never read anything Sherlock Holmes…I need to one day. I havent seent he first film, and I did see the trailer for the next one. They both look good.
This is exactly why I usually don’t like it when author’s use another author’s character without that author’s approval. Maybe it is the writer in me but I don’t think it is right for someone to steal a famous character that someone else worked hard to create. For this reason, I rarely read sequels by those authors. It is just not the same because someone else is writing it.
Sometimes I like them. This time, not so much.
I haven’t seen the first movie, although I thought the trailers looked fun.
There are so many good renditions of Holmes out there that it’s always sad to come across one that isn’t quite up to par. 🙁
I absolutely cannot wait for the new movie! It looks great!
Did you ever read the Holmes/Watson books by Nicholas Meyer??
The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, M.D.
The Canary Trainer: From the Memoirs of John H. Watson
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D.
Nick Meyer is an excellent writer/ director.. I think you may have heard of the movied The Seven Per Cent Solution by the same name
No. I’ll have to put them on my list. Thanks for the suggestion.
I feel like I should reread more Doyle before getting too heavily involved in the retellings, although I did read The Beekeeper’s Apprentice recently (not a favourite).
However, I’m really looking forward to the new film. I actually also really like Jude Law as Watson!
There is a BBC show called Sherlock. It is on Netflix instaque, I watched it all in one night and kept telling myself when this one is over I will go to the gym. Then it was just one more. If you have not seen this verson check it out. I love Holme, and this show was wonderful.
I did see a couple of them. I liked them but wasn’t in love with them.
I’ve got this one. I seem to be collecting Sherlock Holmes books. Haven’t managed to get around to reading it tho. Especially since i’ve been so thoroughly side-lined by the BBC Sherlock version of Sherlock Holmes.