Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror - Expanded 2nd Edition by David Ruffle
|Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror - Expanded 2nd Edition by David Ruffle
|Category: Crime (Historical)
|Reviewer: Robert James
|Summary: An enjoyable novella is backed up by a series of extras, including some quite wonderful vignettes. High recommendation.
|Date: December 2011
|Publisher: MX Publishing
Taking a rare holiday on the Dorsetshire coast, Dr Watson manages to persuade Sherlock Holmes to join him. Delighted to spend time with his old friend Godfrey Jacobs, and charmed by widowed boarding house proprietor Mrs Heidler, the good doctor is set for a pleasant and relaxing stay – until mysterious events occur, pointing to an unimaginable evil, and the game’s afoot once more!
I’ll refrain from actually stating what the unimaginable evil mentioned is, but there’s a fairly major hint extremely early on as the duo are told of a mysterious ship, with no crew, containing crates of soil, which pitches up on the coast. This is far from being original – it’s the second time I’ve read a retelling of this particular story, with Holmes involved, in the past couple of months. As a novella, it's a good read, if leaning rather more towards action than deduction for my personal tastes in Holmes fiction. However, there are a couple of things which lift this one above the pack. Firstly, Sherlock himself is captured very, very well. His genius, his impatience, and his arrogance mix together in just the right quantities for this to feel like a 'canon' story. I’m slightly less keen on Ruffle’s portrayal of Watson, but it’s interesting to see the romance develop between the doctor and Mrs Heidler, while Ruffle also provides us with an enjoyably pompous policeman who doesn't want the great detective involved.
Secondly, the title novella is augmented by more stories of Holmes and of Lyme Regis to get us up to a dozen works here. They’re varied in length – the Lyme Regis Horror takes up two thirds of the length of the book, a tale of cricket and possible catastrophe counts for another forty pages, while some of the others weigh in at just a few. Similarly, they’re a little up and down in quality, but the best amongst them, while little more than vignettes, are absolutely wonderful. Henrietta’s Problem and Christmas at Baker Street are two of the sweetest pieces I can remember reading on Holmes and Watson, yet fit the established characters perfectly, while I absolutely loved the last line of Christmas with Holmes – superb. The Runes Affair, somewhat longer, also stood out as capturing the spirit of the original short stories especially well.
We also have a review of the first edition. What would have been a mild recommendation on the strength of the title novella is lifted to a high one by the added material, which has got me really looking forward to reading more from Ruffle.
Other than the originals by Conan Doyle, which I'm assuming most readers of this one will have already devoured, I absolutely adore The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Man From Hell by Barrie Roberts. For paranormal Holmes then I'm also hooked on the superb series by Tracy Revels, Shadowfall and Shadowblood.
You can read more book reviews or buy Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror - Expanded 2nd Edition by David Ruffle at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror - Expanded 2nd Edition by David Ruffle at Amazon.com.
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