Skip to main content

CR3 #58: The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, M.D. by Nicholas Meyer

So this is another "lost" Holmes story written by Nicholas Meyer. Although I very much enjoyed The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (Look! Look! My review was posted on Pajiba!) The West End Horror leaves much to be desired.

This story begins with the murder of a theater critic during the winter of 1895. Holmes and Watson are drawn into the case by Sherlock's friend Bernard Shaw (yes, THAT Bernard Shaw). Soon, they are wending their way through the dark and shady world of London theater as more murders soon pile up. In the course of their investigation, they meet several notable theater figures of the time: Gilbert and Sullivan! Bram Stoker! Oscar Wilde (just as he gets involved in the libel trial versus the Marquess of Queensbury)!

Unfortunately, it seems that the author go so carried away trying to stuff in as many historical figures of the time that he forgot about the other minor but necessary details of writing a book, such as character and plot. As thrilling as having Oscar Wilde as a character was, I would much rather have had more time with Holmes. Even though he was ostensibly the main character, I didn't feel like we got much of Sherlock's personality in the story at all, and ordinarily I find him the most interesting thing about any story he's in. In The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Sigmund Freud was a character, but he felt integral to the tale, rather than a last minute add-in to make things more exciting. Also, the plot was not just thin but stupid. It made almost no sense, and did not fit together until a giant burst of exposition toward the end (as the murderer confesses his deeds and motives, of course.)

I was quite disappointed in this novel, since I enjoyed the other so much. I recommend stopping with Meyer after finishing The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. You'll probably be much happier.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 #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 …

CBR9 #3: Missing Wives, Missing Lives by JJ Slate

There's a lot of discussion these days about things that are dangerous to women--is it heart disease? Is it stress? Car accidents? Drugs? Serial killers? Trans women in bathrooms?--but it seems like one of the biggest hazards to women are the men in their lives.

This book details the cases of thirty women who vanished. Stretching back to 1976, and with cases as recent as 2007, the women featured in this book seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. For some, the legal system was able to prove a case against the men in their lives, but for others, the search for justice may never be resolved.

The amazing thing to me was the stories that the husbands gave upon their wives' disappearances. "So, you had a fight, and she just left the house--at 3am. In her pajamas. Barefoot. Without her purse, or her glasses, or her car, or her TEETH? Leaving her small dependent children behind. And you decided to say nothing for three weeks? And while she was gon…