Review – Back to Baker Street

Posted: October 14, 2014 in Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Tags: , , ,

After such a great guest blog from Mr David Thomas Moore, I felt impelled to read a few more of the stories he collected into his fantastic anthology. I also needed a palette cleanser after Swastika!…which I’m still perturbed by…

Anyway, back to Baker Street!

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Half There/All There by Glen Mehn is unexpected, brilliant and wonderfully crafted. It’s a sort of prequel type story that sets the scene for the future iterations of Sherlock and John Watson, explaining their friendship, loyalty and personal traits – Sherlock’s emotionally reticent coldness and Watson’s dogged and jaded humanity – with a left field perspective.

Mehn captures the whole Warhol scene with aplomb, dropping Sherlock and Watson into the setting and getting them to drop some serious pharmaceuticals. It’s post hippy, new scene, far out. It’s also excellent. In a kaleidoscopic haze, the detective duo embark on the discovery of a great crime but are too strung out to stop it. In the mix, Mehn contrasts their investigative stumbling with a foray into their own relationship – one that I’m sure many have considered before but that few could have handled so carefully.

The story is a beautifully jarring piece of post modernist scene Warholites, drug addled ramblings and loss. It is this losing – Sherlock missing the final piece to the puzzle; Watson losing the love of his greatest friend – that gives the piece it’s haunting end but which also sets up the notion of Holmes and Watson as we know them. It’s all ‘what ifs’ but it’s brilliant.

All the Single Ladies by Gini Koch is as different an iteration from the above as possible. It’s a crime investigation with a serial killer at large that brings Holmes and Watson into contact, this time in South California. With Watson acting as the doctor for a girls college, scene to both the murders and a reality TV show, Sherlock is drafted in to help catch the killer. She makes an immediate impression on Watson with her inimitable style of logic and observation whilst Watson’s sarcasm and use of ‘proper English’ set him highly in Sherlock’s estimations.

As usual, Watson is left stumbling behind Holmes as the investigation closes in on the killer. All the while the TV producers try to convince the hapless Doctor into various liaisons for TV ratings. However, Sherlock is less distracted and soon comes calling for Watson to assist in the capture of the killer.

Koch’s story is a neat crime thriller and cleverly put together. A pleasure to read, there’s some great moments between the pair as they verbally spar with each other. Another great addition to the anthology.

Review copy
Published by Solaris

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