Sherlock Holmes is dead or so most of the world thinks. His fatal plunge over the Reichenbach Falls as he struggled with his archenemy, Moriarty, has been widely reported.
But Holmes has escaped and is alive.
From 1891 to 1894, Holmes wanders through Asia. He is alone, without Watson, without Scotland Yard, armed only with his physical strength and his revered cold logic and rationality. The adventures recounted in The Lost Years of Sherlock Holmes range from Lhasa to Katmandu, from the East Indies to the deserts of Rajasthan. He confronts the tsarist agent Dorjiloff, the great art thief Anton Furer, and the mysterious Captain Fantme. For Holmes fans throughout the world, the stories in The Lost Years of Sherlock Holmes fill an enigmatic missing chapter in the great detectives career.
I read this book quite some time back but refrained from reviewing it before today because recently I have also read and reviewed two Sherlock Holmes Novels by Donald Thomas. I felt it was only right to give this novel some time to settle down with me because living up to the expectations of ACD is difficult enough without this review being influenced by another author’s work.
As the name of the book suggests, the stories in this book are of the time when Sherlock Holmes was thought to be dead from his encounter with Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. Sherlock Holmes has returned and he finally tells Watson about some of his adventures of the period in between. The stories were mainly set in the backdrop of India, Nepal and Tibet. They not only told us of his various escapades, but also about how Sherlock mastered various art forms during this time.
While the plots of the stories were very typical to the original Sherlock Holmes stories, they lacked the finesse of the original version. However, if you completely ignore the original image of Sherlock Holmes and all that he entails, these stories would mostly be considered to be good. We get quite a glimpse into how Sherlock Holmes’s mind works and the escapades were mostly adventurous. I did particularly like the ‘Preface’ and ‘Afterword’ written by ‘Watson’ where he explains a lot of things for the readers – as a flashback to those who have read the original works of ACD and as a ‘catch up’ for those who haven’t.
Overall, it was an entertaining read and I would rate this book 4 Hearts as a book in the Mystery genre, but only 3 Heart as a Sherlock Holmes Mystery.
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