Holmes Volume One by Melvyn Small – Book Review
Holmes Volume One by Melvyn Small – Book Reviewed by Stacey
Publisher – Sixth Element Publishing
Pages – 238
Release Date – 20th November 2015
ISBN-13 – 978-1908299819
Format – ebook, paperback
I received a free copy of this book
Sherlock Holmes: Enigma, Detective, Boro Lad.
Six short stories inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. What if Sherlock Holmes, with his dry wit and natural predilection for data, deduction and logic, had been born on Teesside and lived in present-day Middlesbrough?
This smart-arse Boro lad hides his talents under a bushell of misdirection, self-deprecation and good old Teesside sarcasm, served up with some rather coarse language.
With the assistance of his associate, Doctor John Watson, a psychologist he met during some court-ordered counselling sessions, Holmes wends his way through a string of adventures, baffling and entertaining as he goes, with many a three-pint problem solved over his favourite libation, a pint of Engineer’s Thumb in the Twisted Lip, before he staggers back to Flat 1B, 22 Baker Street, Middlesbrough.
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Cohan Doyle, has been brought bang up to date in this remaking of six classic stories written by Melvyn Small.
Just like in most of the original books, Sherlock is narrated by Dr. John Watson, who this time is a psychiatrist, rather than a physician. Jeans, hoodie and trainers wearing Sherlock, who is a convicted computer hacker, is solving crimes in his home town of Middlesborough, Teeside, using the same deduction techniques as the original Sherlock.
The book starts with the case ‘A Scandal in Boro’, a play on the original story ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’. Approached by two FBI agents, Sherlock is asked to locate a stolen file. Hot on the heels of the thief, he meets Irene Adler, but Irene will become known as the only person capable of outwitting him.
Throughout the short stories, Holmes and Watson have incredibly dry banter between them, banter that will often have you smirking, if not laughing. The connection between the two is as strong as it is in the original books. The two bounce off one another, especially when they are mulling over cases in the pub, whilst downing many pints of ‘Engineers Thumb’, most often at Watson’s expense.
Melvyn Small has also included some of the original characters, such as Inspector Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, and John Openshawe, to name but a few, to give it that authentic feel.
The stories are all engaging, and if you have watched ‘Sherlock’ the television programme, you will find yourself imagining Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman throughout, it’s hard not to.
The cases are all interesting. I especially liked ‘The Goldfish Bowl’ with the seven redheaded teenagers, and the game show, or to be more precise, no game show. I’m still in awe as to how Sherlock comes to the conclusions he does, with little to go on.
I loved this book, it is one of the best books I have read this year, perhaps helped by the fact that I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan.
Book reviewed by Stacey
Born in Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England and raised in nearby Billingham, Mel left school at 16 to train as a civil engineering technician within the engineering department of the local authority, Cleveland County Council. Continuing his education he gained certificates in a number of civil engineering qualifications including a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil and Structural Engineering.
After 14 years Mel drew a finally drafted line under the world of hydraulic modelling and roundabout design and undertook a Master of Science degree in information processing, before commencing a career in information technology.
It is perhaps Mel’s technical upbringing and his drafting of countless technical reports and specifications that give him a succinct and efficient writing style that lends itself to the fast-paced short stories he has had published to date. This layered with the gin-dry humour, garnered from a Teesside upbringing, provides a thoroughly entertaining read.