June Thomson is an 87-year-old retired schoolteacher who has been writing mystery novels since 1971 and Sherlock Holmes pastiches since 1990. Based on this latest outing, I have to conclude that it is getting to be past time for her to hang it up, at least on Holmes pastiches. What we have here is an entirely uneventful short novel in which Holmes, in retirement in Sussex, invites Watson down for a visit... they haven't really interacted since Watson's second marriage, and Watson is eager to see if he can break down whatever barrier has come between them. It turns out that Holmes seems to need Watson mainly for the use of Watson's car, and while some small degree of investigation takes place, the "sleuthing" involves almost entirely fairly dry and dull research into the history of a once-prominent family. There is a thin sub-plot involving some thefts of silverware from local houses, but it is always unimportant. A number of the characters are borrowed from an ACD story, "The Lion's Mane," one of the few tales in the canon that is narrated by Holmes. Gossip columnist Langdale Pike makes an appearance, and there is some fairly modern-sounding talk about how females tend to be ignored in the recounting of family histories. It's fairly accurate to say that little or nothing happens during the course of the "adventure." Many readers might not be able to finish the book.
While I'm generally a big fan of June Thomson's Holmes & Watson stories, these seemed sub-par compared to her other work. Overall just didn't feel original or inventive, although tone-wise it was fine.
I have long been a fan of June Thomson and my includes The Secret Files, Documents, Chronicles, Journals and Notebooks of Sherlock Holmes and Holmes and Watson. My ratings have always been in the super to superlative realms. Not here. Although a decent outing, the information seems disorganized, the narrative seems to lose its way and, although the elements are all there, they are not put together in a manner which keeps the reader glued to his seat unlike her other offerings. Definitely buy the book. It isn't money wasted although oce you get some of her other offerings you'll understand my less than stellar marks.
I have read all of June Thomson's books, so I would say I enjoy her Sherlock Holmes writing style. The sad thing, there are no more books right now by author. Fair pricing for what I received in return, Fast delivery.
I have read a couple of June Thomson's collections of Sherlock Holmes short stories, and have generally found them enjoyable and in the same tradition as the originals. I was disappointed with this novel. The story rambled vaguely along, lacking a central momentum of any real interest. I have the impression that the author's main goals were (1) to re-establish Holmes and Watson as close friends and (2) to credential Holmes as a proto-feminist. I'm much in favor of friendship, and I'm willing to allow Holmes to mellow somewhat in his old age - but one needs to have a good story to carry these themes forward. This isn't it.
June Thomson has a greal love for the Holmes stories . I used to read the stories as bedtime reading and I never thought about the habits of Mr. Holmes . I never thought ,for example ,that he might be a cocaine addict. Holmes was a brilliant detective . I watched the movies made in the last century in which the stories had been adapted and the actors who played Holmes and Watson filled out my conception of these characters in the stories. However there has been a sea change and there have been novelists who have emphasized all the Holmesian bad habits including even the housekeeper is a person whom Holmes has difficulty with. I did not see any evidence of this coldness between Holmes and the housekeeper in either the Conan Doyle stories or the black and white movie adaptations. Thomson is excellent in skilfully making the sense of location of the events oif her story. important events of her story . She is excellent in creating suspense and always moving her story forward. and never forgetting the limitations of crime detection in the late nineteenth century.The problem with the novel is that at the end of the novel the mysterious lady in black whom Holmes has observed on the cove is just another wife who has been drained of her fortune by a conniving husband .Holmes has some of the positive characteristics of the Doyle stories and Thomson beautifully suggests that Holmes wants to restore the olds friendship with Watson which Thomson suggests was destroyed by the second marriage of Watson. and the last chapter there is an inference of success. The Holmes of the Thomson book is a nicer character than some of the other Holmes' characters in other Holmes ' novels and closer to the Doyle stories than in the recent TV series.;. Holmes is a gentleman and as in the Doyle stories he wants a married woman to enjoy her inheritance and Thomson beings into the story the effect on Victorian women of the Married Women's Property Act..Even if the ending is sad in some respects , Thomson suggests that even a great detective cannot push aside fate. Now that the Holmes of the Thomson is fully formed ,it is my hope that there will a new story will be on the bookshop shelf shortly, ;