Thursday, 9 June 2016

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning

The character of Sherlock Holmes has had new life breathed in to him through countless novels and screen versions starring his infamous powers of deduction and crime solving abilities. As much as I enjoy the intelligent mysteries and old-fashioned charm of most Holmes stories, I actually find Sherlock as a character quite arrogant and tiresome at times.

Warlock Holmes is a completely new take on the Holmes universe entirely and I lapped up every word. Warlock Holmes would like to believe he has the powers of deduction to rival his name sake, but he is not as rational or quick thinking as most detectives.

He is a being with strange and unusual powers, what with the spirit of his nemesis Professor James Moriarty trapped in his head and connections to numerous demons; he certainly makes for a remarkable character.

The story is told from the journal of Holmes’ loyal sidekick Dr. John Watson. Down on his luck, the poor doctor thinks he has found his feet when he finds cheap lodgings with Holmes at 221B Baker Street. Of course it is all too good to be true, and far from getting an easy ride, Watson is swept up in Holmes’ crime capers.

Usually, I end up feeling sorry for the traditional character of Watson, as he is dragged on cases and undermined at every turn. In this take however, although Watson provides the majority of the brain power despite putting up with Holmes’ bizarre behaviour, you can tell that he cannot help but get up in and actually enjoy the adventure, just as the reader does through Watson’s recollections.

We meet a variety of characters, but two regulars in this novel are a couple of detectives in the form of a temperamental ogre and a melancholy vampire, both adding extra weirdness to proceedings. It is a unique investigative combination but each person has their invaluable uses.

There are several short mysteries that string this novel together and each one is as exciting and entertaining as the last. This book is laugh out loud funny and charming in an oddball kind of way. No spoilers here but the ending was brilliant too and I cannot wait for the next Warlock Holmes case.

Packed full of comedy, supernatural mystery, comedy and demons, this is an awesome start of what is undoubtedly the freshest and most entertaining take on Holmes I’ve ever encountered. 

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