Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau

26 Feb

I bought this book on spec with a voucher I got for Christmas.  I am so glad I did.  This has to be one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes books outside of the canon.  Author Guy Adams has created a Sherlockian masterpiece.

The word “romp” is often over used in book descriptions, but it certainly describes “The Army of Dr. Moreau”.  A wild, riotous, romp through Victorian London, the chase led by Sherlock Holmes and a posse of characters from other novels.

The premise of the book is that Dr Moreau was working for Mycroft’s mysterious Department before and during the incidents of Wells’ book “The Island of Dr. Moreau”.  Moreau appears to be dead, but his creations are creating havoc in London.  Who is behind it, and what is their motive?  Mycroft enlists his little brother Sherlock and his friend, John Watson, along with Professor Challenger, Cavor, and one or two others, to get to the root of the problem.

The interactions between the Holmes’ brothers and Watson are gorgeous.  Guy Adams was writing this novel around the same time he was writing the BBC Sherlock tie-in book ( https://margysmusings.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/the-sherlock-files/ ), and there is a little bleed through in repartee, not to mention one genuine steal from his Sherlock book, which had me laughing.

Even though the Mycroft of this book is the fat man of Conan Doyle, the temperament and acid wit is much more inline with Christopher Lee or Mark Gatiss’ versions.

One interesting character is Kane, a human/hound hybrid.  John Watson’s method of disposing of this creature after being hunted by it is both humourous and somewhat poignant.

I heartily recommend this book to all Sherlockians, and I would also recommend it to any Sherlock fans who find the jump from Sherlock to Arthur Conan Doyle canon a little abrupt.  This book is perfect to ease your way properly into the genre.

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