"Mr. Holmes is an amateur, Hopkins." Lestrade was smiling around the stem of his pipe as he spoke. Hopkins could hear it. "Not a man who works well in teams, he. He still trusts Dr. Watson not to lie to him...and Dr. Watson's pulled some whoppers to save his skinny neck in the past." Lestrade was still smiling. "Not that that's not the most interesting thing about those fellows. I could tell you some stories about them, Stanley...oh, I could tell you stories..."
Meet Sherlock Holmes through the eyes of his fellow lodger once again... and meet both through the eyes of the Yard - especially those who saw them the most: Inspectors Lestrade, Gregson, and Bradstreet. From Montague Street to a supposedly straightforward case of smuggling in Cornwall, Scotland Yard saw more than the disconcerting and dazzling private detective: it also saw an admirable and steadfast British soldier who shared their need for justice. Doctor John Watson may call himself unremarkable, but the Yard would disagree...
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A Bit of Respect for the Working Detectives!
This was my first exposure to the novel, but I can't imagine the voice in my head being any more enjoyable than listening to Dominic Lopez reading this! The narrator is spot on!
Lestrade! In many adaptations (and some of Conan Doyle's own work) Lestrade gets underplayed as a foil for Holmes. But here, Lestrade comes off as an admirable man. I never would have guessed that Lestrade could be interesting as a lead character, but Marcia Wilson made him a hero in his own right!
Mr. Lopez has a voice that is infinitely easy to listen to. Also, he gives each character his/her own "voice", but this never becomes distracting. The switches between characters and narration flow seamlessly, until you reach the end of yet another chapter and you look at the time and realize you need to go to bed eventually.
There are several moments that moved me, but when the detectives find Watson's notes and realize that he is writing a book about Holmes, and the way each of them reacts -- particularly Lestrade -- felt like a revelation! It felt like Marcia Wilson had figured out how to remain true to Conan Doyle's original vision, but also flesh out the world believably, and add a certain humanity (and likability) to characters whom we have never before bothered to consider in any depth.
I was a bit skittish about this concept. I feared that the author might be trying to rewrite or ret-con Holmes and his world. But I was quickly reassured that Wilson loves Holmes and his world just as much as I do, and surprised at just how much she was able to make me love ancillary characters I had always taken for granted!
- Ray Jay Edwards
Great view beyond Sherlock Holmes
This is a wonderful journey into the world around and beyond Sherlock Holmes. The story is rich with detail while it explores a mystery from the perspective of Dr. Watson and Insp. Lestrade. It is a unique perspective on the world usually only seen through Watson'c chronicles of Holmes.
Well read with clear characters and an accent that is atmospheric without being distracting to my American ears.
- Brian E. Nelson