Monday, 19 March 2012

My Dearest Holmes by Rohase Piercy

"... The accounts of these cases are too bound up with events in my personal life which, although they may provide a plausible commentary to much of my dealings with Mr Sherlock Holmes, can never be made public while he or I remain alive ..."

Although Dr Watson is known for recording some sixty of his adventures with the celebrated Sherlock Holmes, he also wrote other reminiscences of their long friendship which were never intended for publication during their lifetimes. Rescued from oblivion by Rohase Piercy, here are two previously unknown stories about the great detective and his companion, throwing a fresh light upon their famous partnership, and helping to explain much which has puzzled their devotees.

Together, Holmes and Watson face disturbing revelations as they investigate the case of the Queen Bee; and we finally learn what actually happened at the Reichenbach Falls and the real reasons which lay behind Holmes' faked death and his subsequent return.

This is pretty much Harlequin Romance meets Sherlock Holmes, recorded in Doctor Watson's voice as so many of the original cases were. The book is divided into two halves. The first, a mystery worthy of Conan Doyle himself, in my opinion, but interwoven with an insight into the relationship, or lack thereof, between Holmes and Watson, and set shortly before the events of The Sign of the Four, which, devoted readers will know, is the case in which Watson meets the woman he will marry. The second half is set during and after the events of The Final Problem and detail the emotions and actions of Watson, Holmes, and his distressingly cold and calculating older brother, Mycroft, as Holmes 'dies' and is resurrected.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes

What other characters from English literature have captivated hearts and minds as thoroughly as Sherlock Holmes and his loyal companion John Watson? Many fans imagine the relationship between these men is deep and more than platonic. In A Study in Lavender, the Holmes universe is queered and ten authors have devised stories in which Holmes and Watson are lovers, or investigate mysteries of inverts hidden from the laws and cultures of the Victorian era; even the indomitable Lestrade has his turn at love; and famous actors who helped put Holmes on the silver screen face trysts they never dared to film.

I was hoping this would be good and not just an attempt to cash in in the sudden mainstream awareness of the homosexual subtext that can be seen in the Holmes stories (thank you Robert Downey Jr!). And luckily I was proved right!

Friday, 9 March 2012

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd

In 1919, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge remains haunted by World War I, where he was forced to have a soldier executed for refusing to fight. When Rutledge is assigned to investigate a murder involving the military, his emotional war wounds flare. It is a case that strikes dangerously close to home--one that will test Rutledge's precarious grip on his own sanity.

I cannot express how much I loved this book! Rutledge is a detective from Scotland Yard who has just returned to work after recovering from the injuries he sustained in the First World War. Although he has kept the fact from almost everyone what he is really recovering from is shell shock. He hears voices. One voice in particular - that of one of his men. I won't tell you why it is this voice in particular that haunts him since we don't discover that til about halfway through the book.

The Best Alternate History Stories of the Twentieth Century

Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century

Explore fascinating, often chilling "what if" accounts of the world that could have existed–and still might yet . . .

Science fiction’s most illustrious and visionary authors hold forth the ultimate alternate history collection. Here you’ll experience mind-bending tales that challenge your views of the past, present, and future. 

The definitive collection: fourteen seminal alternate history tales drawing readers into a universe of dramatic possibility and endless wonder

Another anthology of alternate history stories, some of them utterly heartbreaking. One of them even made me cry!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Other Earths Anthology

one world among many... eleven stories about them all

What if Lincoln never became president, and the Civil War never took place? What if Columbus never discovered America, and the Inca developed a massive, technologicallyadvanced empire? What if magic was real and a half-faerie queen ruled England? What if an author discovered a book written by an alternate version of himself?

These are just some of the possible pathways that readers can take to explore the Other Earths that may be waiting just one page away.

This is an anthology of alternative history stories and it's one of my favourite genres so I was excited about reading it. Sadly, that didn't last...

There are only eleven stories in the book so I'll discuss each one individually.