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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rivetingly clever!


This Holmsian rewrite, well restructuring really, blew me away! Sheridan has taken the who of Sherlock Holmes and turned it on its head. Sherlock Holmes a woman! Conan Doyle might be laughing, but the Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch incarnations of Shelock, maybe not so much.
The characters are present and believable, despite their various exchanges from what we know. Charlotte Holmes, Livia her sister, the clever Mrs Watson, Charlotte's benefactor, Lord Ingram, Scotland Yard Detective Treadles, and Lord Bancroft as Ingham's brother (think Mycroft). Everyone we know and love translates into someone slightly removed. The characters are like second cousins of the original with for some, their gender being skewed.
Charlotte Holmes is somewhat OCD, with a brilliant mind, and definitely doesn't adhere to the strictures expected of the upper ten thousand. All she wants is to be able to be left alone to be master of her own destiny. She did not expect her bid for freedom  to leave her the subject of salacious drawing room gossip, and to find herself in straightened circumstances in the less salubrious parts of London. Nor did Charlotte expect that her family would come under suspicion for a death linked to her father and sister. Charlotte as Sherlock must look for the truth of the matter.
Several mysteries come together, including that which Charlotte's actions has unleashed.
The story hung together with a believable reality. Any hesitations reflected a young woman of Charlotte's background finding her way to what would become her true vocation. Mrs Watson is a gift, transformed into a woman of secrets and aptitude. I adored her. Mrs Hudson makes her appearance in a most unexpected manner.
An unexpected and delightful addition to the Holmsian trope. I look forward to future developments.

A NetGalley ARC

*****

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