A Slight Trick of the Mind

10 Aug

I am truly at a loss as to how to describe “A Slight Trick of the Mind” by Mitch Cullin. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle meets Akira Kurosawa is probably the best description. But even that really doesn’t begin to touch it.

In “A Slight Trick of the Mind”, Sherlock Holmes is 93 and his memory is failing.

The book doesn’t so much have a plot as an obsession with death… and bees.

The narrative flits between Sherlock Holmes at home in Sussex, his recent trip to post- WWII Japan, and events of 1902 involving a married woman that he is mildly infatuated with.

Only Sherlock Holmes stands out.  The other characters are vapid and shadowy, and at times I found myself wondering if any of them were real, or if they were all just figments of a demented old man’s imagination.

There is no real mystery to be solved.  The book is mostly just the meanderings of Holmes’ mind in his twilight years.

I shut the book when I had finished and thought “What the hell have I just read?”  Pretty sure that’s the first time I have come away from a novel completed bewildered.

I do wonder how the hell they’ve managed to turn this novel into a script for the movie “Mr Holmes”.  There’s nothing there to work with.  It’s all smoke and mirrors; mist and metaphors.  I’m not sure I really want to find out.

One Response to “A Slight Trick of the Mind”


  1. Mr Holmes | margysmusings - August 27, 2015

    […] A few of you may remember that I read and reviewed Mitch Cullin’s book “A Slight Trick of the Mind” last year (https://margysmusings.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/a-slight-trick-of-the-mind/). […]


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