Thursday, August 4, 2016

The West End Horror!

The West End Horror is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche by Nicholas Meyer who made such a splash with the notorious volume The Seven-Per-Cent Solution which made much ado about Sherlock's cocaine habit. 

This time the drug abuse is a back burner issue hardly mentioned at all and instead we have a cavalcade of famous and infamous celebrities of the Victorian drama scene. George Bernard Shaw, Bram Stoker, Henry Irving, Oscar Wilde, and others decorate a yarn which presents us with a threat to the very survival of London itself before all is said and done.

The manuscript is given a faux provenance with Meyer taking some pains to encapsulate his story inside a bogus history which does add to the choice blending of real and fictional which these lush Sherlock narratives often take. Per usual this is a story written by Dr. Watson from his point of view as the classic Doyle stories all do, but it's absence from the official canon is laid to the scandalous revelations which it contains about notables of the time, which no amount of clever disguise could adequately mask. But that's all rubbish we know, still a lot of fun.

There are some nifty red herrings in this one, subtly planted by Meyer and which make the reader feel they are doing quite well until of course they aren't. The upshot might be a bit bodacious but I confess I never saw it coming.

I found mine for small money but if you can scout up a copy cheap it's a neat read.

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