My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Sherlock Effect is a collection of five short stories following Christopher Sherlock Webster, known simply as Sherl, and his friend, Mo, as they set up a detective agency called Baskerville’s. They aim to solve crimes using the methods of observation and deduction most associated with Sherlock Holmes.
Things I liked about this book:
1. The Cover: The Benedict Cumberbatch-esque silhouette dominating the front was enough to make me squeal with excitement.
2. The Holmesian theme: I’ve recently finished all fifty-six short stories and four novels of the Sherlock Holmes stories for the second time and was still left wanting more. This book definitely helped to fill the massive gaping hole left behind by the Arthur Conan Doyle stories, and also helped with my serious withdrawal symptoms from the BBC’s most recent modern adaptation.
Things I disliked about this book:
1. This book differs from that of the original Sherlock Holmes stories in that it is narrated in the first person by Sherl himself. I feel that this takes away a little from the mystery surrounding the detective, and I wonder if the book would have been made better if it was written from the point of view of Mo in a similar way that most of the original stories were written from the perspective of John Watson.
2. I guessed the solution to two out of the five mysteries. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (because it’s fun to feel like a clever genius sometimes), but in this case, I would love to have been derailed and blown away by a twist or two. This never really happened in any of these stories.
In the end, a major appealing feature of this book is its association with the world of Sherlock Holmes. I was left wondering if this book would have stood on its own without this association; if Christopher Sherlock Webster was just Christopher Webster and he set up a detective agency named something other than Baskerville’s perhaps. I think the answer is yes. It’s fun to draw parallels with a Holmesian world, but I believe that this book does also stand on its own as a strong collection of mystery short stories.
(Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)