Bingo Square: Classic
The closest I had ever come to reading an actual Sherlock Holmes novel was a young readers’ version of The Hound of the Baskervilles more than two and half decades ago. Since then, it’s been mostly adaptations like the Mary Russell mystery novels, the Guy Ritchie movies, and of course, the more recent Lady Sherlock novels. The first two of those deal with Sherlock Holmes later in life, with the Holmes-Watson relationship already established, so I was surprised that the two men originally came together because they were looking for a roommate – I had no idea that having Holmes and Watson live together in Elementary was actual loyalty to the source material rather than a way to show the characters interacting.
I was overall pleasantly surprised – written in the late 19th century, the language is easy to follow and immensely readable, and Doyle doesn’t waste time in moving along the action. Holmes definitely seemed rather arrogant at points, whenever he was showing the police that they weren’t as smart as him, which struck me as odd since they are also one of his revenue sources as a consultant.
Having known nothing about the story beforehand, I was a bit caught off guard when the novel transitions from Part I to Part II. For a second, I thought Doyle was starting a whole new case without providing satisfying answers to the wrap up of the previous mystery before I realized that the flashback was part of the set up for the motivation behind the mystery. I was rather surprised by the side trip to the American West and Utah. I had no idea that specific part of American history had also captured the imagination of Europeans, enough so that Doyle would include it in a novel.
Bingo Square: Classics