My Review (5 out of 5 stars)
Long before partnering up with Doctor Watson, Sherlock Holmes fulfils the role of the world’s only consulting detective from his apartment at 59 Montague. When a client arrives claiming that her fiancé is not her fiancé, Holmes initially sees the case as of being little interest to him. However, on investigating further, he becomes drawn into a mystery that could well be the death of him.
As a long-time fan of all things Holmesian, I was keen to find out what MK Wiseman might bring to the fray in her own interpretation of the characters. For a start, she allows Doctor Watson only a small appearance at the beginning, and only then as a means of introducing the tale. What is most interesting about The Singular Affair is that it is written from Sherlock’s point of view and, aside from one or two (presumably accidental) ‘Americanisms’, the writing style and language is very much in keeping with Conan Doyle’s original stories. The author has also managed to create a suitably complex plot that, again, echoes the classic tales. Conan Doyle would love it.
The book is not a particularly long one and I read the entire thing in half a day. What I most enjoyed is the wonderful scene-setting and descriptions that really bring the characters to life—I could picture each scene as if I were watching a movie.
A thoroughly entertaining read from a highly gifted writer.
M. K. Wiseman has degrees in Interarts & Technology and Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her office, therefore, is a curious mix of storyboards and reference materials. Both help immensely in the writing of historical novels. She currently resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
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Fascinating! I always worry about using Holmes’ POV, as the man’s not one for “romantic” language like Watson was and can therefore lead to some pretty cold prose. Your review intrigues me!
It’s certainly an interesting tale, JL, though I think I generally prefer Watson’s POV, which tends to be less clinical (if you’re sticking rigidly to ACD’s character traits).
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Yes, I was curious about that. Still, it never hurts to explore a bit! If I recall, other authors have used Holmes’ perspective…wasn’t there a book about Holmes facing off with the Phantom of the Opera? Something Something Canary….that was from his pov…
You have to remember, too, that Conan Doyle himself referred to Watson as Sherlock Holmes’ rather stupid friend, which says something about ACD’s intentions – maybe that Holmes needed the stupid pal to make him look good. Anyway…
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Oooooh, that is true! Or perhaps that’s ACD’s way of calling the readers stupid as well, since we connect more with Watson than Holmes…or that the social mores of the time make folks a bit dumb…hmmm, there’s a lot to wonder about there…