Friday, November 30, 2012

Sherlock Holmes and the Swedish Enigma, by Barry Grant

Sherlock Holmes and the Swedish Enigma
By Barry Grant

"My grandfather was a bag of pumpkins," proclaimed Billy.

Here's another one from Barry Grant, who's written a series of Sherlock Holmes knockoffs that are set in the present day and in which the great detective has been thawed out after being frozen into a glacier for ninety years. Yes, really. This is book three in the series. I last reviewed book two, Sherlock Holmes and the Shakespeare Letter. There's also The Strange Return of Sherlock Holmes and the latest, Sherlock Holmes and Frankenstein's Diary, neither of which I've read yet.

Which I'll probably get to eventually, given my penchant for Holmes knockoffs, and no, I still haven't read any of the Conan Doyle stuff. I'll get to that one of these days. This time around I was reminded somewhat of The Hound of the Baskervilles (haven't read it, but have seen various cinematic versions) in that after the theft of some pricey ancient Greek statues, Wilson heads to the gloomy coast of Cornwall to look into the matter, while Holmes falls off the map for a good chunk of the story.

Yes, I said Wilson, as in James Wilson. Since no one thought to freeze John Watson into a glacier Wilson plays the sidekick in this series and arch-villain Lars Lindblad steps in and takes over the Moriarty role. There's also a descendant of Lestrade acting in his official capacity as a sworn law enforcement officer.

By the time Holmes and Wilson meet up in Cornwall the plot has thickened quite a bit, as seems to be the case with Grant's books, or at least the two I've read. But unlike the last time out, when Grant pulled out all the stops for a rollicking ending, this time things kind of fall flat and the various concerned parties seem content to sit around talking about the case. Given that my favorite character of the book was a parrot, I guess it's safe to say that I recommend that you start your explorations of this series with another volume.

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