Monday, September 9, 2013

Sons of Moriarty and More Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Loren D.Estleman


This is a collection of short stories written by several different authors all based on one of my favorite detectives, Sherlock Holmes. Being a fan of Conan Doyle's original work, I tend to be a bit critical of other authors who write stories with Holmes and Watson in them. I have been pleasantly surprised many times by authors who have done these characters justice, and I have also been really let down. This book has both good and bad stories in it, but mostly I didn't care for the short stories. The first one, The Infernal Machine, by John Lutz was pretty good, but that was it.

The second story in this collection entitled The Adventure of the Double-bogey Man irritated me so much I almost couldn't get through it. The biggest issue I had with this was that the author, Robert L. Fish, changed the names of the characters. Instead of Sherlock and Watson it was Schlock and Watney. Also, this story has Holmes's brother Mycroft in it, but again the name was changed to Criscroft. I know this is the author's choice, but it really bothered me. Part of me hopes that since I have an ARC of this that it was just a mistake. However, with how many times these names were used I would guess this was intentional. So if you are going to read this when it comes out be forewarned, I still hope this is changed once published.

What is it with changing the character of Watson from John to Jane? CBS did this in their show Elementary, but as a long time fan of Doyle's work this really irritates me. I'm not saying that women can't be amazing detectives, but Conan Doyle wrote the character as a man, and I feel when the characters are changed to this extent they no longer are writing a Holmes story.  Right off the bat the third story, The Case of the Bloodless Sock by Anne Perry, frustrated me almost as much as the previous author who changed all the names. I guess I am a bit too critical, but if you are going to write a Sherlock Holmes story try to do the character some justice. That's just my opinion though.

The only thing I did really like about this collection is the title novella Sons of Moriarty by Loren D. Estleman. He is the only one to really capture the essence of Holmes and Watson. I could easily see this being a story that Doyle would have written himself. This story takes place much later than The Cannon, and Holmes and Watson are older men. Lestrade is even trying his hand at politics, so it is an interesting spin on what life would have been like had Doyle continued further.There is plenty of mystery to the story, and Holmes and Watson are still at their best.

I would like to give this 3 stars just because I did enjoy the title novella, Sons of Moriarty, but I disliked the other stories so much I will have to say I am being generous rating this 2 stars for the whole collection.

Also, this is my first Peril in the 'Readers Imbibing Peril challenge. I have agreed to read 4 mystery/horror novels by October 31st, and this is my first of four. I've got a lot of mystery books on my to-read pile, but I am looking forward to getting to some horror novels with Halloween approaching.



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