Friday, December 2, 2016

The Ripper Legacy!

The Ripper Legacy  by David Stuart Davies from Titan Books offers up a competent Holmes pastiche which tears into the vintage conspiracy theory that the Jack the Ripper murders were actually an elaborate hoax by the British government to cover up an illicit affair by a royal and that there might even have been a bastard heir to the throne. Holmes and Watson take on a case of a kidnapped young boy and quickly find themselves up against a dangerous gang of very murderous criminals.

But to be honest, I had a difficult time getting going on this one. It did its job and and I was diverted, but unusual with a Davies Holmes story, I never really got fired up about the proceedings. It all seemed a bit too remote and cool for my taste, despite some decidedly pulp action. Maybe it's that the mystery isn't all that mysterious and the revelations are pretty easy to see coming. This tale never shocked me, though I did find myself mildly entertained.

For those who like Mycroft, there's plenty of him here, maybe a bit too much actually as his aloof nature seems a bit undermined and his tendency to stay at rest seems at times forgotten. There are plenty of villains, some very well drawn, but maybe there are too many as some of them seem to get forgotten as the story unfolds.

I have to give this one a recommendation but with a mild caveat that I didn't find it up to the standards of previous Davies efforts, which I've enjoyed mightily.

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  1. I haven't read any of these new stories, so I'll have to see if my local library has any and give them a try. I'd like to re-read a Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula story I read in the '70s - can you give me any details of it, Rip?

    1. There are several in which Sherlock encounters Dracula. I think you're thinking of Loren Estleman's The Adventures of the Sanguinary Count. I have a review here somewhere. My favorite Sherlock-Drac confab is David Stuart Davies' The Tangled Skein, it's a doozy. Fred Saberhagen has one too that's okay.

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