Book Review – The Magnificent Madness of Tessa Wiggins
Kim Krisco began writing Sherlock Holmes adventures with the short story collection, “Sherlock Holmes: The Golden Years”, five cases of the great detective in retirement. This was followed by a short story, “Blood Brothers”, which was included in Part III of “The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories”. This tale featuring the best-known of the Baker Street Irregulars, Wiggins, set Krisco on his future Sherlockian path.
Pasticheurs find many paths into the Sherlockian sandbox. Mr. Krisco’s started with this sole story about Wiggins, and it’s now grown to three volumes – and hopefully more on the horizon.
“Blood Brothers” was incorporated into Krisco’s series of collected short stories “Irregular Lives” – which also introduced Tessa Wiggins. She has become Krisco’s muse, leading to the novel “The Celtic Phoenix”, and now “The Magnificent Madness of Tessa Wiggins”. This latest volume is a far cry from Krisco’s first Wiggins adventure. In this narrative, set in 1920, Tessa’s “madness” is intertwined with the old Celtic ways, and the reader is treated to a plethora of previously unknown experiences – Celtic ceremonies, and the view from inside an asylum.
Krisco is an excellent writer, and this is an amazing tale that also gives us a view of Sherlock Holmes from a different perspective. Highly recommended.
The latest in Kim Kirsco’s interesting and well researched series of Sherlock Holmes novels featuring Tessa Wiggins.
Wiggins was a six-year-old street urchin in London when she met Holmes. Growing up in Spitalfields she became one of Holmes’ Baker Street irregulars, getting a penny from the great detective for each bit of help or word on the street she was able to give him when he called on her. Wiggins has gone on to become something of a detective in her own right but that’s not the half of it. She is iInfluenced by the Cetics and the spirit of a priestesses named Ganna appears to her. The effect of which bestows her with ancient wisdom.
She works as a housekeeper with her partner, a chauffeur/gardener called Clark. Meanwhile, in the Sussex Downs, Holmes is completing his magnus opus on crime and criminals, his definitive work on the human mind and methods of detection, based on Holmes and Watson’s most famous cases. Of course, not everyone wants this information being told and re-examined so publicly. One former client is especially worried.
Watson turns up at Holmes’ cottage with a letter from Clark concerning Tessa’s ill health and well-being. Holmes cares about Tessa and worries about her mental strain, perhaps caused by guilt? Could her hearing voices be linked to a past killing?
After Holmes’ manuscript is stolen, a professor intrigues him, and a strange visitor calls on him. Eyes are needed inside Hellingford Asylum – a mission fit for Tessa. But it’s easier to get in to Hellingford than to get out!
There is a rescue, a cave with treasure, and even a free short story at the back of the book. Another enjoyable Holmes novel with likable, familiar characters from previous instalments in the series.
The Magnificent Madness of Tessa Wiggins is available from this site with a share going to good causes and also available from:
1920 – Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales: Tessa Wiggins’s “madness” is provoked by the adopted spirit of a two-thousand-year-old Druid priestess mentoring her to be the servant of The Earth Mother. When Tessa defies treatment, her lover asks a childhood friend, Sherlock Holmes, to intervene. But despite everyone’s best intentions, Tessa finds herself in Hellingford Asylum, where she is driven toward her final breaking point on All-Halloween.