16 April, 2014

#BookReview :: The Secret Cases of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes #1) by Donald Thomas

What if Sherlock Holmes did not retire in 1903 to a life of bee-keeping in Sussex but instead returned as an occasional Consulting detective in some of the Edwardian eras most baffling, actual cases?Donald Thomas combines his expertise as a novelist and criminal historian to give a brand-new twist to the adventures of Conan Doyle's famous creation. Accompanied as ever by Dr. Watson, Holmes here investigates the alleged bigamy of King George V, the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels in 1907, the suspicious death of President Faure of France after the Dreyfus affair, and four of Great Britain's most notorious murder trials.

The Secret Cases of Sherlock Holmes provides the Great Detective's numerous fans with their first look at clandestine investigations too damaging to the monarchy, the government or the nation's security to be read until now. 

This is supposed to be the first collection of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Cases by Donald Thomas. Unfortunately for me, I have read the later books first – but that is only because I like to read books in order. These books can very well be read in any order and also treated as standalones.

This particular book narrates certain cases that are based on true stories from Edwardian Era. Sherlock Holmes, instead of retiring and retreating to Sussex to entertain his hobby of bee-keeping, remained at Baker Street to perform his duties of a consulting detective to solve these actual cases. The cases ranged from the alleged bigamy, to the death of a president, to the theft of the Crown Jewels, to the four of England's most notorious murder trials. The authors take on these cases are really interesting and entertaining, but his delivery of Sherlock Holmes’s handling these cases were perhaps a bit disappointing.

The one thing that is constant in all the Donald Thomas books about Sherlock Holmes is the dynamics between the great detective and Dr.Watson. I am starting to believe that it has been done intentionally – to keep some distinctions from the original works. I cannot say I enjoy this new shade of their relationship as much as the original. However, when judged as an independent book, free from any comparisons, this book can stand tall on its own. Donald Thomas does a great job of narrating the mysteries and the thrills and I can’t help but think that I would have rated these books higher if he had written these as original series of a character created by him than instead of stories of Sherlock Holmes.

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