One of the great things about some of the Sherlock Holmes pastiches out there is how some of the authors set about linking their stories back to hints and tips in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original short stories and novellas.
Jane Rubino does this with her three stories in this collection. The additional twist in this miscellany is how the law some times fails (any more detail and we are in spoiler territory) and how Holmes can be, well, a Knight Errant.
The stories in the book are longer than a short-story but not long enough to be regarded as a novella in, say, A Study In Scarlet style.
Some of the plot lines have echoes with ACD’s original formulae and in fairness to Rubino she gets Watson’s narrative style spot-on. However, the overall feeling I had from these books was one of an opportunity lost. Not disappointment, just a nagging sense of dissatisfaction. Like the one you get when you get a McDonald’s. You know, how you anticipate a nice bit of grub and soon realise it was a bit characterless.
This may seem harsh on a relatively fine collection of stories but I felt as if I was going through the motions and that there was more style than substance in the trio of yarns herein. It’s hard to pinpoint just why that would be the case other than Rubino concentrated on getting the presentation just so good that she forget to make the stories as gripping as they could have been.
- The Case of the Uncommon Necklace
- The Case of the Notorious Practitioner
- The Case of the Eccentric Bequest