Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Legacy by David Ruffle
|Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Legacy by David Ruffle
|Category: Crime (Historical)
|Reviewer: Robert James
|Summary: A really enjoyable main novella is slightly let down by some indifferent short stories. Sherlockians will certainly enjoy the main part, though.
|Date: February 2012
|Publisher: MX Publishing
This is a sequel to Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror, spoiler warning as usual.
Dr Watson is happy to be returning to Lyme Regis, and the woman he loves. He gets more than he bargained for, though, as he is quickly embroiled in a series of killings which bear strange resemblances to some of the cases he and Holmes have been involved in. The great detective joins him, with Lestrade following to assist in their investigations, and the trio realise that they are dealing with a haunting figure from their past...
I read this just after David Ruffle's first book on Holmes, and it has a similar structure - a main novella, followed by a series of short stories. It's markedly different in some ways though, notably in the portrayal of Watson having improved somewhat and the plot of the title story being stronger. Ruffle's Holmes is still a delight to read, with the author capturing him especially well, while the faithful Lestrade is pleasingly close to his established character. Ruffle's Watson admits that it's 'more or less a chase' with little actual detective work to be done, but taken for what it is, it's an extremely enjoyable addition to the Holmes stories.
So far so good - however, while Ruffle's first book was augmented by some really outstanding vignettes, I can't help but feel the additions here are significantly weaker. The dozen or so on Sherlock are generally readable but with little to recommend them, a real disappointment given the wonderful way Ruffle captured the friendship between Holmes and Watson so many times in the first book. (That said, William McGonagall's Ode to Sherlock Holmes is something of a find, a three page piece by the legendarily awful poet which can't be described in words fit for a polite website.) The other shorts are ghost stories, some set in Lyme, and a history of the town. On reading this, there's no doubt that Ruffle loves the place he lives in, but the pieces have little of interest to those of us unfamiliar with the place.
Overall, a mild recommendation to Sherlockians to check out the main novella and the entertainingly dreadful McGonagall poem, at least.
My favourite Holmes stories, apart from the originals, are The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Man From Hell by Barrie Roberts and the enjoyably bananas paranormal series by Tracy Revels, Shadowfall and Shadowblood. We also liked The Outstanding Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Gerard Kelly.
Whilst you're here, we have some other Sherlock Holmes books which might interest you:
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