Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Valley of Fear: Review

This Sherlock Holmes graphic novel grabbed my attention while I was helping the hubby find graphic novels at the library. Since I love Holmes and mysteries and needed another library book to help me wrap up the I Love Library Books Challenge, it seemed like it really needed to come home with me. Graphic novels aren't my favorite medium for reading, but I have to say that they do help one quickly add another notch to the reading belt. 

The Valley of Fear is loosely based on real events in late 19th Century America featuring Pinkerton agents, the coal mining district of Pennsylvania, and the Molly Maguires. Holmes is sent an coded message from an informant in Moriarty's gang warning him--too late--of impending danger to one John Douglas of Birlstone. The Great Detective has just deciphered the warning when Inspector Alec MacDonald of Scotland Yard comes calling to ask his help in the death of Douglas. 

The murder is an early version of the English country house mystery--complete with faithful butler and an apparently impossible crime. Douglas's home is surrounded by a moat and has a drawbridge--which, when closed, makes the house fairly inaccessible. There are clues that point to an intruder, but Holmes soon sees that appearances may be a bit misleading. 

Ian Edginton and I. N. J. Culbard give the reader the familiar story by Doyle in an easy to follow format. It is a very quick and enjoyable read that manages to cover the story's highlights and present them in a very entertaining manner--particularly to those who may not wish to read standard texts. My one complaint? Holmes looks more like Superman than the Holmes I picture. He's drawn with firm, bold strokes, giving him a very square-jawed, superhero look. Not that Holmes can't seem a bit super-human with his deductive powers, but I don't care to have images of capes and bodysuits in mind rather than greatcoats and deerstalkers. ★★


fredamans said...

This one sounds cool! Sherlock Holmes mashed with a graphic novel... YES!!!! I know the hubby would love it too. Great review!

Anonymous said...

Not really engaged with this form of adaptation for decades and yet I really should - sounds great Bev, thanks.