Tuesday, December 9, 2014
The Stalwart Companions!
The Stalwart Companions like few other pastiches I've come across goes to great pains to create the illusion that it is real. Others will assert it and even dabble in some details, but this volume produces an elaborate back story along with copious notes on each chapter to enhance the verisimilitude of Sherlock Holmes aboard in the streets of New York City, ably assisted by a young but capable Teddy Roosevelt.
Now a knock on this one is that it rarely gets above a simmer, as the mystery unwinds with careful management. The action is present, but somehow the style of writing keeps us away from real thrills. That said, the adherence to Holmesean lore is careful and reasonably subtle.
As Teddy and Sherlock, two friends find a simple murder is of course more than it seems, the political consequences of the case loom larger and larger as the police find Holmes a useful tool in pursuit of some truly dastardly villains.
The Stalwart Companions is a carefully fabricated story, lacking perhaps the energy of the pulp adventure which positively informs a good Holmes romp, but it nonetheless offers up plenty of intellectual fruit for the reader.
I have to recommend this one with proper advisement. It is indeed worth your time.