Sherlock Book Reviews – Sherlock Holmes and The Eye of Heka – Sherlock Holmes Books by MX Publishing
Sherlock Holmes Society of London
David Marcum is a very prolific writer of Holmesian pastiche, and needs no further introduction. This is a full-length novel of depth and subtlety. The plot blends together classic detection, Watson’s personal life, some high ideals, and a lot of the usual skulduggery; in other words, there is something for everyone. The narrative moves seamlessly between authentic extracts from the Canon and Mr Marcum’s own inventions and interpretations, and, because it is so delightfully well written, it all makes perfect sense. As well as the sound Canonical links, there are some nice touches of late-Victorian life. As seems to be sadly inevitable in pastiches, there are occasional outbreaks of twenty-first century attitudes and values which do sound odd coming from Watson and his contemporaries, but these lapses are so infrequent here, that they are soon forgotten in the enjoyment of quality writing. All in all, an excellent piece of work which will be enjoyed by all its readers.
In his superlative first novel, Marcum (The Papers of Sherlock Holmes, a story collection) assuredly handles multiple intriguing plots while plausibly adding emotional depth to Dr. Watson. In 1888, the doctor has resumed living in Baker Street following the sudden death of his wife, Constance, from diphtheria after about a year of marriage. The tragedy, which Watson believes could have been averted had he made better medical decisions, continues to torment him as he aids Holmes in trying to thwart Baron Meade, a criminal also made desperate by a loss. Meade’s son was killed the year before during the chaos of the Bloody Sunday riot (a real-life protest against unemployment and coercion in Ireland), and the nobleman plans a terror attack to avenge himself against the British government. The hunt for Meade coincides with the search for the thief of the large ruby known as the Eye of Heka, part of an effigy of an African deity and a jewel believed to channel magical energy. Marcum expertly balances deduction and action as he more than meets the challenge of recreating the spirit and tone of Conan Doyle’s originals. Sherlockians will clamor for a sequel.
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January 1888: Dr. John H. Watson has returned to 221b Baker Street, just weeks after a personal tragedy has left him bereaved and bereft. Feeling like a broken man, his plans and dreams lying in ruin, he slowly tries to make his way forward, with the help of Sherlock Holmes and Mrs. Hudson. Unexpectedly, he finds himself standing in the path of a madman – who suddenly and irrationally blames Watson for his apparent defeat.
Meanwhile, Holmes has tried to distract his grief-stricken friend by telling stories of his past cases, including how, a decade before, he recovered a mysterious relic – The Eye of Heka – stolen from the British Museum. But Holmes’s plan to show Watson this unique and ancient idol goes suddenly and terribly wrong as both are swept into a series of events, one tumbling rapidly upon another, that lead to thefts, murders, and possibly a war that might quickly escalate to draw in nations from most of the world. And always there is the madman in the shadows – waiting for his next chance to attack . . . .
From The Notebooks of Dr. John H. Watson comes another story by Sherlockian David Marcum, author of over eighty traditional Holmes pastiches, including those collected in The Papers of Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes and A Quantity of Debt, and Sherlock Holmes – Tangled Skeins.
Join us as we return to Baker Street and discover more authentic adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the man described by the estimable Dr. Watson as “the best and wisest . . . whom I have ever known.”
The game is afoot!