Monday, 24 July 2017
FANTASY REVIEW: WARLOCK HOLMES - THE HELL-HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES BY G S DENNING
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: Out Now!
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
We all remember the original novel by you-know-whom, so it is a great surprise to find G S Denning's version of events in my hands. Here within this tome are four short stories and a novlette.
Warlock Holmes is still an accidental detective and his assistant, Dr Watson is still as befuddled as ever in The Adventure of the Blackened Beryls, Silver Blaze: Murder Horse, The Reigateway to Another World, The Adventure of the Solitary Trycicalistand The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles. In The Adventure of the Blackened Beryls, Alexander Holder has a proposition for Dr Watson while Holmes is away. He wants him to steal back a powerful ancient artefact. It is a crown missing several stones that are able to bring a person back to life. Once owned by the legendary King Arthur at Badon Hill during the battle, the last person to have the crown is Moriarty himself, but as he is lying dead at Watson's feet, it might not be as easy as he thinks. The start of the story had me in stitches and it is likely the rest of it will too.
In Silver Blaze: Murder Horse, Holmes and Watson this time are befuddled as to how a horse could have murdered its owner, while Watson can't understand how many odd minions Holmes could sit in his living room. Silver Blaze seems too perfect as a race horse but someone didn't want him to win any more races. The very idea of a Meat-Crow, Willow-Bark and a Smoke-Puff should send readers into fits of laughter.
The Reigateway to Another World has a rather deceased Bill Kirwan holding a note in his hand. Holmes sees it is part written in blood while the other part is in ink and the strange thing is it is a torn scrap with no sign of the other part of it anywhere. Holmes and Watson are no strangers to crime scenes that don't make sense and this one is enough to befuddle the perpetually befuddled. What GS Denning brings to this story is the great pacing and humour that is right for the moment.
With A Study in Brimstone already out, and My Grave Ritual due out May next year it's a bumper time for Warlock Holmes and his comical antics and I will be waiting for it coming round. This is what it's like to have humour injected into a classic.