Saturday, September 1, 2012

Book Review: A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman


Neil Gaiman Sherlock Holmes pastiche A Study in Emerald

Neil Gaiman (The Sandman series) has delivered a Sherlock Holmes pastiche that scores big on Canonical references and is just about adequate on the mystery element.

In the classic tradition, Inspector Lestrade comes knocking at 221 B, seeking Holmes’s assistance. A German royal has been murdered and the word “RACHE” has been inscribed nearby. Holmes applies his powers of observation and deduction and brings the case to a successful conclusion. The story is very brief (about a 9 page PDF to be exact) and revealing any further details will be going into spoiler territory. 

As readers of the canon would have realized, the story is influenced by both A Study in Scarlet and A Scandal in Bohemia. The first encounter between Holmes and Watson at St Bart’s Hospital has been expanded on and Gaiman nails this one perfectly.


Another nice touch is related to Holmes’s advice to Watson in The Final Problem about picking not the 1st or the 2nd hansom. I loved this part and I am sure other Sherlockians will do as well. 

Overall, a decent effort from Gaiman. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz is still my favorite Sherlock Holmes pastiche. 

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Image Sources: Neil Gaiman 

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16 comments:

  1. I will look this one up.
    I still not getting why you like house of silk so much. I was very disappoint
    In it.

    I am still trying to find where to get Bill's book for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, John.

      I loved 'The House of Silk'. My review here might convince you of the merits of this pastiche :)

      I would love to hear from you about your favorite Sherlock Holmes pastiches. I am always looking for new pastiches to read.

      Cheers!

      Delete
    2. I think I agree with Foxessa. I was expecting more from Horowitz since I love his other work and Foyle's War.
      I don't think the story showed Holmes anywhere near his best.

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    3. I have not read any other books by Horowitz and am not able to compare 'The House of Silk' to his usual standards.

      I don't think anyone other than Sir Doyle can show Holmes at his best :)

      Delete
  2. thx for the heads up on this; i like gaiman. is this story in a collection?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Divers and Sundry.

      I am not sure if this story is part of a collection. You can read this story online
      here .

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    2. great! free online is even better. :) thx

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  3. Funnily enought, I've just started House of Silk!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great coincidence, Gypsy King!

      Please do let me know your thoughts on the book.

      Delete
  4. I love hearing about new Holmes pastiches. Thanks for the review of A Study in Emerald. I'm sharing this with my Holmes group.

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  5. Whereas I was not impressed with House of Silk. Partly, because it came across somehow as a cheap, unimaginative shot, what the House was about, which these days of constant bombardment of pedophilia abuse, was signaled just about immediately by Horowitz. It was too easy, which is what I think I mean by cheap and lazy -- as opposed to creative and imaginative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which reminds me of the proverb - 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' :)

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  6. I just don't get it.
    House of Emerald.
    I must be missing something real obvious.
    The writing style was fine, but it lacked any purpose.
    Oh, well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the writing style was a good imitation of Sir Doyle. The plot did not have much going for it though...

      Delete