Wednesday, February 25, 2015

'Sherlock Holmes-The Missing Years: Japan'

Yes, I'm still reading stories written by some friends and their family members, and I'm totally amazed at the raw differences in style.  Mind you, reading a rough draft is rather hard, but it's fantastic to find a few diamonds-in-the-rough.  One of the stories I'm reading is now in book form, and I promise, I really promise, that I'll be writing a review.  I'm taking it slowly.

And then there's an advance copy that I only read at night before I went to sleep.  Yes, it's a mystery.  And, yes, it was good.

And it's a Sherlock Holmes story.  A new one.

The Doyle estate has given its blessing to new Holmes stories, and most aren't really my cup of tea, although I love Laurie King's 'Mary Russell' series (if you're a Holmes fan, read her books).

'Sherlock Holmes-The Missing Years: Japan', written by Vasudev Murthy, was first published by HarperCollins India, and Poisoned Pen Press has re-edited this story for its American audience.  It's thrilling, and (believe it or not) funny.  It's another perfect 'whodunit' in typical Doyle style...but with a fresh voice.

It's 1893, and Sherlock Holmes has not been seen since his encounter with Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls.  Dr. John H. Watson receives a strange letter from Yokohama, so he sets sail from Liverpool. His cabin mate, Mr. Hashimoto, is murdered on the voyage to Bombay...but did the assassin enter the locked room via the small porthole? And who, out of their small group, killed him?   

As Dr. Watson narrates the story, we learn about what happened to Sherlock, and why murder and mayhem are found around every corner during the journey to Japan.  It's a thrilling global chase that will leave you wanting more...and occasionally laughing.

The surprises are many, and the style, while very close to Doyle's, is a bit more lively, most likely due to some funny sequences that Mr. Murthy added with great brilliance.

Author Vasudev Murthy

This is a long, Victorian-era journey across countries that, in our present age, aren't so far away anymore, thanks to social networks, Skype, and cell phones. Although we've grown closer as a global community, and the fear of the unknown is almost nonexistent, it's still rather fun to read a story that takes place when that unknown was worthy of exploration (but let's not forget about the coming eras of domination and exploitation).

If you're in the mood for a good Holmes and Watson story, the wait will not be long. And to whet your appetite even further, 'Sherlock Holmes-The Missing Years: Japan' is the first in a series. Rumor has it that the next one will take place in Timbuktu.

'Sherlock Holmes-The Missing Years: Japan', written by Vasudev Murthy, will be published by Poisoned Pen Press in March 2015.  Book Hog would like to thank the publisher for the chance to read and review it!

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