Sherlock Holmes, The Golden Years
Kim H Krisco
Sherlock Holmes lamented, "I fear that retirement will elude me." It surely does in this five story chronicle.
The saga begins with The Bonnie Bag of Bones that lead the infamous duo on a not-so-merry chase into the mythical mountains of Scotland and ultimately to the "the woman" who is tangled within a mystery that has haunted Holmes for a quarter century. Curse of the Black Feather continues the adventure in which Holmes teams up with the Irregulars and a gypsy matriarch, to expose a diabolical "baby-farming" enterprise. Their quest arouses a vicious adversary, Ciarán Malastier, who has Holmes struggling for his very life. Maestro of Mysteries begins with a summons to Mycroft's office and ends with a deadly chase in Undertown, far beneath the streets of London. Malastier escapes, but only into the next adventure. The Cure that Kills sees Holmes and Watson in hot pursuit of Ciarán Malastier, racing across America and pitting them against the largest detective organization in the world.
In the final story, The Kongo Nkis Spirit Train, Holmes and Watson travel to the Dark Continent to derail a "spirit train" that ensnares people's spirit, and enslaves their bodies. In the end, this historically accurate chronicle sheds new light on greatest mystery of all, Sherlock Holmes himself.
Kim H Krisco’s five new Sherlock Holmes (post-retirement) stories are a delight. They can be read as stand-alone tales but are better read in the chronologically order in which they appear.
Retired Holmes and Watson are reunited to solve an initial mystery arising from myth and bones found on the Scottish hills. This case eventually leads to Irene Adler and her daughter, and a story thread that continues to the last tale. In fact Holmes’s relationship with ‘The Woman’ is examined more by Krisco than Conan Doyle ever did.
Holmes and Watson soon fall back to old habits and the interplay between them is natural. Watson’s awe and affection for his friend comes through and there’s some light interplay that will satisfy fans of the original tales.
As you might expect, dark forces are at work. The main criminal mastermind is the Moriartyesque Ciaran Malastier, one of a dangerous group of influential people on both sides of the pond whose sights and practices are set on eugenics.
The chase for the murderous Malastier takes Holmes and Watson across seas as their new adventures see them meet an array of interesting characters, some new, some familiar. Then there’s the many figures from history including President Roosevelt, G K Chesterton, Emmeline Pankhurst, Harry Houdini, and even Arthur Conan Doyle who all make appearances. Having Houdini and Conan Doyle together makes sense, given their actual friendship and shared interests, but placing Holmes and his creator in the same scene was inspired.
The crimes all seem to fit a historical context that rings true. The referencing of the Titanic, the use of the Pinkerton Agency, the stay in the Astoria etc all help but it’s the use of the time’s turbulent politics, that would lead to two world wars, that truly delivers.
Murder - and the serious threat of it - misdirection and mystery is afoot.
About Kim H Krisco:
Born in Chicago, USA. Krisco is the author of three books on leadership in addition to his Sherlock Holmes adventures. Sherlock Holmes-The Golden Years is from MX Publishing.