After the last page of the last story
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 9 years ago
Most people remember when they first discovered Sherlock Holmes. Whether their first entry into the world of 221 Baker Street was by reading on of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories or seeing one of the old Basil Rathbone films, or a modern TV adaptation at some point most begin to delve into the original stories by Doyle, eagerly turning the pages until the awful realization that there is a limited number of stories, that there will be no new stories from Conan Doyle himself. No matter how carefully they are rationed out at some point a fan will reach that dreadful last page of the last story. What to do? Into this void a few brave writers have over the years attempted to pick up where Doyle left off. In THE REVENGE OF THE HOUND Michael Hardwick has joined this group. As the story opens Watson has determined to attempt matrimony one more time (his third) and Holmes begun to contemplate retirement. Soon both their plans are put on hold when a mysterious hound has begun to plague the countryside. Fresh upon his recent triumph over the Hound of the Baskervilles Holmes is called in to deal with this latest menance. The game is soon afoot taking Watson and Holmes to the continent solving various other puzzles along the way including a murder on the English Channel and the disappearance of Oliver Cromwell's skeleton. This is definitely not a place to begin reading about Sherlock Holmes. By all means read all of Conan Doyle's works first but when that dreaded last page has been turned this is a good way to fill the void. The story does tend to drag a bit in places, and also covers a bewildering amount of material but for a true fan it is a welcome chance to return to the familiar Baker Street address.
One of the best, but still a retread.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 10 years ago
Michael Hardwick is unquestionably one of the best post Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes authors. He has adapted so many of the original stories in several different formats and has authored several great reference books on the great detective. His extensive knowledge is amazing. Unfortunately he makes some mistakes in the writing of this book that make me drop it one star. First, such an eminent writer and scholar shouldn't retread the work of Conan Doyle. Hardwick did a great job with PRISONER OF THE DEVIL, but echoing HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES seems... a little lazy. He even makes the eroor of quoting from Doyle's book AND drawing attention to it! Second, he weaves too much extranious information into the story, going into detail about the history of Oliver Cromwell, Watson's third wife and a convoluted blackmail plot against the King of England. Doyle didn't always place events into a timeline that was recognizable, and when he did he almost never dwelled on current events. The first page sets the time frame and political climate in ways that Doyle never bothered with. It draws attention with it's stylistic change. Third, sort of like the first, the book begins with the same conversation Holmes and Watson have in Doyle's story, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LADY FRANCES CARFAX. The reason this bothered me is that Hardwick was a good enough writer to create his own dialogue. I don't understand why he resorted to a scene we've read before. THE REVENGE OF THE HOUND was first published in 1987- I don't know how long before Mister Hardwick passed away. I suspect he just wasn't as fresh with this one as he was his previous books. despite my kvetching, this is still a pretty good, entertaining book. Hardwick at his worst is better than many at their best. The book is busy, lots of story, lots going on. The hound seems like a small part of the whole tale. If you're looking for a non-Doyle book to read you can do a whole lot worse than this- or any of Hardwick's books. Check it out. Check him out. Check out his scholarly tomes as well. You won't regret any of it.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 11 years ago
Its title notwithstanding this is not really a sequel to The Hound of the Baskervilles ,and those requiring such an item are directed to the Rick Boyer novel The Giant Rat of Sumatra .It is -like other novels from Hardwick in his revivals of the figure -a well crafted and enjoyable novel in its own right with solid research and well rounded plots that stand comparison with the Doyle novels ,other ironically than The Hound of the Bskervilles itself ,by far the best full length Sherlock Holmes novel written by DoyleThe period is early 1901 and England is awaiting the once postponed coronation of Queen Victoria;s son the future Edward VII.(The future monarch makes a cameo appearance in the book )Holmes investigates a series of what appear to be unrelated crimes but which turn out to be linked to a conspiracy to unseat the monarchy by a campaign of terrorist violence mounted by anarchist groups .There is the death of a Chinese steward on a cross -Channel ferry ; the theft of Oliver Cromwell's remains from beneath Marble Arch ,and a blackmail threat to the soon to be King which centres around one of his many romantic and sexual assignatiuons with society ladies .In the bacjground are rumours of the re-appearance of the fabled Hound which is reputedly on the loose on Hampstead Heath where it has attacked a vagrant .The historical background while sketched quickly is spot on .It shows an England in transition from the certainties of the Victorian era to an altogether less assured future under a new and flambouyant monarch .Foreign anarchists are rife in the city and the country is beginning to entertain doubts about its place in the world having performed badly in the Boer War in Africa and social unrest is in the air .There is a telling statistic -drawn from historical record -of how many potential army recruits were rejected on medical grounds ,the result of malnourishment rooted in grinding poverty.Add to this Holmes persistent threats of retirement and Watson's remarriage to a young and vibrant American ,and the sense of an era coming to a close is palpableIt is however more than anything a rattling good period crime yarn with a splendidly melodramatic climax in the vaults at Highgate CemeteryHardwick wroye novelizations of the Upstairs , Downstairs TV series and was expert in the era as well as a commendable crime novelist .It all combines to make this a solid entry in the best post Doyle Holmes series apart from the Laurie R King series Recommended
a great read
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 16 years ago
My dad is a great Holmes fan. . . I was hesitant to buy a non-Doyle sequel to Hound, but he did not put it down! He pronounced it "a great read!" Please write more! !
steranko cover makes book worth the price alone!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 16 years ago
a semi-sequel to sherlock holmes' hound of the baskervilles. cool@@