24 January 2007

Books Update: Demolishing Our Holmes

(Hmm. I think I may have used that one before. Never mind, it was a while ago now and I doubt anyone will notice.)

In accordance with this mini-resolution, here's a brief writeup of the latest book I've finished reading:

Erasing Sherlock by the remarkable Kelly Hale, is the fifth Faction Paradox novel: the story of a modern woman set loose, thanks to some dodgy pirated time-travel technology, in the Sherlock Holmes canon. The narrator -- an academic posing as a maid -- is a delight to read, a brilliant, utterly alive creation, while Holmes and Watson are more vibrant and textured than I can remember them being in any Conan Doyle story, whilst still being perfectly true to his conception. I rather prefer the first half of the book, which is essentially an intellectual-game-turned-romance between the narrator and Holmes on the latter's home turf, to the later chapters where both are having to improvise in unfamiliar territory.

The prose is gorgeous, rich and creamy, and the period detail is excellent, erudite but executed with a light touch. On the whole, a fantastic novel with some marvellous character work, an addictive story and a surprising amount of shagging. I've no hesitation in calling it the best -- just as, sadly, it's the last -- of Mad Norwegian's Faction Paradox range.

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