Here is the latest featured review of a Sherlock Holmes Pastiche: "Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror" by David Ruffle.
Sherlock Holmes Pastiches and Reviews:
"Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror" by David Ruffle.
Reviewed By Scott Harker
Publisher: Fast Printing Publishing, Copyright 2009.
"Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror" contains the title novel as well a a few small vignettes.
The author David Ruffle is a resident of Lyme Regis, England and that I suspect is one of the reasons why the story takes place in the city.
The Story: If you have read Bram Stoker's Dracula or seen one of the numerous plays and/or movies based on the Stoker's novel, you will be able to quickly identify the main plot of the novel.
The novel starts off the a letter inviting Watson to visit an old physician friend in Lyme Regis. And since Holmes does not have a current case, Watson badgers Holmes to take a brief holiday with him and they are soon in Lyme Regis.
And while the first part of the novel is often devoted to Holmes and Watson telling each other how valuable they are in each other's life, a mystery is soon presented to them.
A ship comes to shore without a crew. A woman who has recently died of blood loss has been seen, at night, despite being buried. A ghost dog has been sighted... The well-read reader will instantly know that a vampire is in town.
Holmes, too, quickly recognizes the danger and the novel then continues with a confrontation with the vampire and his eventual destruction.
A more interesting subplot is that of the Widower Watson, whose first wife has been gone for a few years.
The Inn that Watson and Holmes stay at in Lyme Regis is run by a widow and her teenage son. The widow, Lydia Heidler, bears a striking resemblance to the first Mrs. Watson. And soon sparks are flying between the two people. Watson even goes dancing with Lydia...
The Writing: The writing is good enough to keep us reading the book despite the obvious plot and motivations of the characters.
It is in the details that Ruffle's has yet to master as a writer. There are descriptions, of course, but they provide mere outlines of events and not the reality.
For example, the author has Holmes and Watson sit down and consume innumerable meals in this novel, but does not bother to describe anything they eat. I kept wondering if Lyme Regis had any local soup or sandwich that the residents boasted of...
I also was confused over some of the time references of the characters' past, in particular, regarding the time lime of Mrs. Heidler.
The Rating: ... This novel has a rating of 2 "Pipes." If you were planning to buy several Sherlock Holmes pastiches at one time, I would place this book at number three or four on my list...
To purchase this book on Amazon, visit: Sherlock Holmes and the Lyme Regis Horror
Dedicated to the World's First Consulting Detective: Sherlock Holmes!
To see a listing of 100's of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches with abbreviated reviews, please visit: List of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches
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