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Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper of Whitechapel Hardcover – November 3, 2020
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I am afraid that I, Sherlock Holmes, must act as my own chronicler in this singular case, that of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. For the way in which the affair was dropped upon my doorstep left me with little choice as to the contrary. Not twelve months prior, the siren's call of quiet domesticity and married life had robbed me of Watson's assistance as both partner and recorder of my cases. Thus, when detective inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard required a lead-any lead-I found myself forced to pursue Jack the Ripper alone and without the aid of my faithful friend. And all for the most damnedable of reasons:
Early on in my investigations, Dr. John H. Watson, formerly of 221b Baker Street, emerged as my prime suspect.
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- Publisher : Megan Wiseman (November 3, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 212 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1734464100
- ISBN-13 : 978-1734464108
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.63 x 9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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This novel offers very, very little in the way of another worthy adventure of Holmes and Watson that fans expect and deserve. Give it a total miss, unless you are fascinated by modes of literary failure.
to bring together the great fictional detective -- more real to us than many historical figures -- with perhaps the most ghastly 'fiend' of the 19th century. Congratulations to the author for so spectacularly delivering on that challenge!
I'm very pleased and thankful to say my worries were uncalled-for. Yes, Watson is presented as having secrets and definitely acting suspiciously, but no-one would genuinely believe the decent man we have come to know and love would be such a person. It's a difficult trick to pull off but M.K. Wiseman has done it: shown reasonable grounds for suspecting Watson, even as we refuse to believe he could possibly be guilty, but he definitely has a secret so what is it?
The treatment of the Ripper is no worse than many other stories, and the author has chosen not to delve too deeply into who or what he might have been. I applaud the restraint shown here - she doesn't want to give him more notoriety after all these years, and since we may have suspicions about one historical character or another but no firm grounds for any particular one, any speculation about "it was X and he did it because Y" is just that - speculation. Whoever Jack was, he committed a series of horrible murders. Let it rest at that.
There are some minor flaws - common Americanisms crept in (at this stage I'm resigned to the fact that an American author writing for predominantly an American audience is going to have American expressions and usages creep in no matter what the ostensible setting or era), and Holmes switches between "John" and "Watson" in the same paragraph.
But in the main it's a neat little story, it's always nice to see Holmes taking on the mantle of narrator and seeing how he manages, and the novel twist of suspecting Watson and what his secret might be is handled lightly and deftly. I was amused by the suggestion that in-world, the supposed author "A. Conan Doyle" is an invention of Dr. Watson (not just a literary agent) to mask his identity and so the fictional characters are the real ones and the real character is fictional - Holmes showing up to the publishers, where they all firmly believe this "Sherlock Holmes" character is an invention, and pretending to be a fake family member of the fake "Conan Doyle" is a small but funny interlude.
So five stars for handling the characters - all of them - with respect and affection and treating them as the people we love in the first place, and not crazed murderers beneath a cloak of outward respectability. I hope Ms. Wiseman continues to write within the world of Sherlock Holmes!
Top reviews from other countries
Unlike other reviewers I wasn't put off by the use of the word 'blocks' in the American sense as Holmes may well have gone to solve crimes in America and picked up that word. The word "fall" was the only one that stood out, particularly as this period is often referred to as the Autumn of terror.
Without giving away anything that would spoil it I thought the use of the very-adaptable Goulston Street message, coupled with the belief that JTR was left-handed worked very well. Along with details from the Sherlock Holmes stories it all dovetailed nicely.
Highly recommended! Thanks
The story built with good pace, just before the wrap up/reveal I was enthralled but the ending fell really flat and let me disappointed. It felt like a tv show episode that wraps up very quickly in 3 minutes…..
This left me wanting a different ending….but the author writes very well and hold space for her characters well. I have pre-ordered the next SH book, but I might cancel it based on the ending…. But I defiantly want to read other works by this author…