Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sherlock Holmes - The Albino's Treasure!

The Albino's Treasure pits the inimitable Sherlock Holmes against an exceedingly worthy foe, the mysterious albino of the title. Stuart Douglas weaves a compelling Holmes mystery here with all the right moving parts and a real feel of proper tone and pacing.

Holmes and Watson are once again saving the British Empire, or think they are at the very least. They chase a couple of gangs it turns out as they vie for a prize which purports to be of staggering national significance. The case gets underway when an anarchist slashes a painting in the National Portrait Gallery and both Watson and Holmes work separately and together to unravel an elaborate puzzle hidden inside some paintings from hundreds of years before.

Spoilers below, so tread with care. 

Holmes really seems to have some worthy foes this time, and not just the Albino who it turns out is someone I knew already. Zenith the Albino was a longtime foe of Sexton Blake and his turning up in a  Sherlock Holmes story seems logical enough in a literary universe where all characters seem to be part of a larger tapestry.

The irony for me, and a literary coincidence for me personally was that just before reading this story I had just finished on a whim Elric of Melnibone's debut adventures contained in the volume The Stealer of Souls. (More on this tomorrow.) Elric's connection to Zenith is widely acknowledged by creator Michael Moorcock and to unexpectedly find Zenith so quickly on the heels of reading of his literary child was a pleasant surprise.

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