Sherlock Holmes, The Missing Years: Japan

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9781464203633: Sherlock Holmes, The Missing Years: Japan
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It’s 1893. King Kamehameha III of Hawaii declares Sovereignty Restoration Day ... Tension grows between China and Japan over Korea ... The Bengal Famine worsens ... A brilliant scientist in Calcutta challenges the system ... The senior priest at Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji temple is found dead in mysterious circumstances.

Dr John H. Watson receives a strange letter from Yokohama. Then the quiet, distinguished Mr. Hashimoto is murdered inside a closed room on a voyage from Liverpool to Bombay. In the opium dens of Shanghai and in the back alleys of Tokyo, sinister men hatch evil plots. Professor Moriarty stalks the world, drawing up a map for worldwide dominion.

Only one man can outwit the diabolical Professor Moriarty. Only one man can save the world. Has Sherlock Holmes survived the Reichenbach Falls?

In a seriocomic novel that radically ups the ante, Sherlock Holmes and Watson find their match in more than one man (or indeed, woman) as a clock inexorably ticks. History, mystery, romance, conspiracies, knife-edge tension; a train in Russia, roadside crime in Alexandria, an upset stomach in Bombay, careening through Cambodia, nasty people in China, monks in Japan–here’s a thrilling global chase that will leave you breathless (occasionally with laughter) as the Sherlock Holmes: The Missing Years series begins.

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About the Author:

Vasudev was born in Delhi and has meandered around the world with lengthy stopovers in Tallahassee and Dallas. His books span a variety of interests, from Indian classical music to crime fiction, humor, and business management. A violinist and animal rights activist, Vasudev lives with his family and five snoring dogs in Bangalore, India where he runs a consulting firm.

Review:

Efforts to keep Sherlock Holmes going―and maybe cash in on that mighty name―have taken some strange turns over the years. He’s battled Dracula, thwarted Nazis, even gone to see Dr. Freud. Now Indian author Murthy is here with another Watsonian revision, telling us that the great detective didn’t stage his return to life in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” Rather, Holmes and Watson were in touch soon after the Reichenbach Falls, heading off to Asia to thwart Professor Moriarty’s attempt to dominate the world’s opium trade. Murthy displays considerable narrative skill, setting up a locked-room mystery, mounting chases and confrontations, and doing it all so artfully that one wonders: Why drag Holmes in? In a prologue, Murthy says it’s like riffs in jazz, new twists on an old tune. Maybe, but why do so many of these pastiches end up making a joke out of Holmes? Before the story’s done, we see Holmes wearing a pigtail, turning vegetarian, and lecturing on it at the Royal Society. This is a first-rate adventure yarn, though many Sherlockians may be holding their noses.

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