Friday, May 5, 2017

REVIEW: A Study in Grey

Sherlock Holmes: The Science of Deduction 4:
By: John Lindwood Grant

Genre: Mystery, Sherlock Holmes
Publisher: 18thWall Productions
Publication date: 4.13.2016
Pages: 99

"You are no John Watson, Captain Blake."
            "Indeed not.  He is courageous, steadfast, and many other noble things.  I have no d-d-delusions about my own character.  I lie, p-p-perjure myself, and deceive d-d-decent folk.  In the last week alone I've killed a man with the revolver you saw, and p-p-probably sent at least one other to the gallows."

The Edwardian Era has begun its rot into modernity, exchanging all the virtues of Dr. John H. Watson for the vices of Captain Redvers Blake.  But a case from Watson's era resurges in the present, ensnaring a high official in what may be a ring of German spies.  Not any mere ring of bombs and petrol, but a ring of spiritualism and seances.
            The former case was one of Holmes' failures.  Despite an illustrious employer, despite Holmes' warnings, and despite a vengeful fire, a young woman married a monster and slipped beyond the Great Detective's ken.  Now, she returns to his notice, hostess to the seance ring.
            As England prepares for war, Sherlock Holmes and Captain Redvers Blake must solve these two entwined cases at once.
            All this, to say nothing of 427 Cheyne Walk's new residents and their role...

Sherlock Holmes is yet another obsession of mine.  You should SEE my collection of books that have something, anything, to do with that man.  There are so many that they actually have a separate file on my Kindle so that I can house them all together.  So, when this book was offered to me, I had no choice, but to take it on.  My mind wouldn't actually let me deal with much else until I finally picked it up and read it... and then it got lost somewhere on my Kindle until I happened upon it the other day and realized I had yet to review it.  Bad, book blogger.  Bad.  I'm usually better than that.

This is actually a continuation of an original Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Illustrious Client, which I went back and reread once I realized that, just so I could remember the story in full as we went into this story.  To sum it up real quick, a stranger arrives at 221 Baker Street to hire Sherlock and Watson to help the daughter of General de Merville, Violet, out of a situation.  She has fallen in love with an Austrian Baron named Albert Gruner.  He is a philanderer and murderer, and the stranger accuses Gruner of having murdered his last wife, though he was acquitted of this due to a legal technicality and the sudden death of a witness.  With the help of Kitty Winter, the Baron's last mistress, and a notebook that Gruner has kept listing his conquests, Sherlock strives to prove that he did in fact murder his last wife and stop Violet from marrying him.  In the end, he becomes horribly disfigured and the engagement is called off.

Fast forward to this story, where Violet and Albert are married, and very much into seances with rich people in the area.

In this particular book, Sherlock is not the main investigator.  I introduce you to Captain Redvers Blake.  In typical Sherlock fashion, there are clues, and spies, and blackmail, and answers that must be found in order to save this girl. 

The characters are very interesting.  At first, I didn't much care for Captain Blake and his investigation style, though I do love his first name, but as the story continues, I start to really like him and see the method to his madness.  His team of people, especially Abigail, and the locals that he was able to convince to help him out in smaller fashions, were a very interesting group of people.  I would love to see these characters again in action.

I look forward to reading more from this author, especially after the two short previews that he includes at the end of this book.

"The other, young lady, is that I may have begun to value my beehives and my peace of mind more than I once valued answers." ~Sherlock Holmes

Recommended by: Read 2 Review
Date read: 9.27.2016

About the author:
John Linwood Grant lives in Yorkshire with a pack of lurchers and a beard.  He may also have a family.
            When he's not chronicling the adventure of Mr. Bubbles, the slightly psychotic pony, he writes a range of supernatural, horror, and speculative tales, some of which are actually published.
            You can find him every week on his website which celebrates weird fiction and weird art, often with his dogs.

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