Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Holmes: Review

In The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Holmes, Loren D Estleman has pulled off one of the most successful Holmes pastiches to mix Holmes with other literary characters. The Wellmans' Sherlock Holmes & the War of the Worlds was decent, but disjointed. Estleman manages to blend Holmes and Watson into Stevenson's story of good and evil with great ease. And the story is a familiar one--even if one has not read Stevenson's novel, one knows what the phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" means.

In Estleman's telling of the story, Mr. Utterson consults Sherlock Holmes when he is worried about his friend Dr. Jekyll's odd bequest to the unknown Mr. Edward Hyde. Holmes barely begins to investigate Hyde's movements and what terrible hold he must have on Jekyll before Utterson calls him off the case. It isn't until the Queen herself asks Holmes to investigate the death of Sir Danvers Carew--a murder committed at the hands of Hyde--that Holmes is officially on the case. Holmes continues to be interested in the links between the evil Mr. Hyde and the highly respectable doctor.

Estleman remains faithful to the original Jekyll & Hyde story, having Holmes take the actions of Utterson in some portions and adding logical actions of his own where necessary. Estleman is also very faithful to the Doyle canon. He perfectly portrays the relationship between Holmes and Watson. And he does a very good job at writing in the Doyle style. Holmes fans and Stevenson fans alike should enjoy this story. It is not as action-packed as some Holmes pastiches, but it remains true to the Great Detective's spirit. An engaging story--and one that does not suffer at all from the reader knowing the answer to the mystery from the beginning. One might even say that it's nice to be ahead of Holmes for once. Three and a half stars.


Yvette said...

Sounds intriguing, Bev. The only Holmes pastiche I've been reading regularly is the one done by Laurie R. King, but I think I'll give this one a look. Thanks for a great review.

I've only ever read one book by Loren D. Estleman and I believe it was a western. He is certainly a writer who doesn't believe in being hemmed in. :)

Gigi Ann said...

This sounds like a fun book to read. May have to see if my library has a copy.