Skip to main content

CR3 #52: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer

A few weeks ago, I was sitting around with nothing to do, unable to watch TV because The Boyfriend was thoroughly engaged in some sporting event. I found myself in front of the computer, poking around through the Netflix OnDemand list. Suddenly, I remembered the Pajibans recent flurries of praise for the BBC's Sherlock and figured I might as well give it a try.

Ten minutes in, I was completely hooked and already bemoaning the fact that only four episodes had been made. I mentioned this in a previous entry, but bring it up again because it led me back to the original source material. I already own the collected works, but upon further investigation, I discovered that (unsurprisingly, really) some other authors have created their own Holmes tales. I happened to purchase The Seven-Per-Cent Solution simply because it seemed to be the top-rated of the group.

In this story (purported to be a lost work of Dr. Watson, dictated years after the death of Holmes), Dr. Watson tells the story of what REALLY happened during the period that Sherlock Holmes was thought to be dead (spanning Doyle's stories "The Final Problem" and the one about the airguns, the title of which I can never remember). Watson tells us that the truth is that Holmes had fallen victim to his cocaine addiction, and required serious treatment. The doctor manages (with the help of Mycroft Holmes and a twisty plan) to get Sherlock to Vienna, where he places him in the treatment of Sigmund Freud. From there, a mystery begins to unfold.

I enjoyed the story very much, and felt that the characters were fairly true to the original works. Meyer did a good job with his "alternate history," and I also enjoy the footnote "corrections" and additions the author made on Dr. Watson's "original manuscript." The plot itself was perhaps a little thin when it came to the mystery, but as I said, the characters were enjoyable, there were some very exciting parts--a wild chase on a train, for example--and the little in-jokes to readers familiar with the previous works were enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this for any fan of Sherlock Holmes.

Huzzah! I have completed the Cannonball Read! Fifty-two books read and blogged! I AM A GOLDEN GOD!

...Okay, well maybe not. But I AM very pleased with myself. Now I have to decide whether stop here, or to continue on and attempt the death-defying double Cannonball. I'm not sure I could actually do fifty-two more before the end of the year, but I don't see why I shouldn't try. Might be interesting to see how far I get, at least.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CBR9 #2 - Southern Gods

I've had Southern Gods on my TBR list for so long I no longer remember why I put it there. Was it a recommendation from Amazon? From Goodreads? Did someone I know recommend it? Did it cross my path as a "If you liked __________ then you'll like this too!"

Maybe I heard it through the grapevine?

I only know that recently, I happened to come across it on my wishlist and decided to go ahead and splurge on it.

I'm glad I did.

In 1951 Memphis, war veteran and leg-breaker-for-hire Bull Ingraham gets a new assignment: a record company has lost one of their employees somewhere. Early Freeman set off to deliver new records to radio stations, and has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. His boss at Helios Records is anxious to find him...and also anxious to find a mysterious blues musician whose music can do terrible things to the living -- and to the dead.

Meanwhile, in Arkansas, Sarah Rheinhart leaves her abusive husband and returns to her family home, where …

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…