Reviewed by Charles Prepolec
The Singular Society of the Baker Street Dozen
The Canadian Adventures of Sherlock Holmes begins with a telegram from Sir Henry Baskerville in which the baronet requests Holmes’ immediate assistance. The surprise to the reader is that Sir Henry has renounced his ancestral estate and returned to Canada to take up ranching in Southern Alberta. Needless to say that Holmes and Watson cannot resist the plea from their former client and head off to Canada to lend their help. Along the way they run into a number of mysteries that only Holmes, with his remarkable deductive skills, can solve.
Stephen Gaspar manages to create a fairly reasonable excuse to bring Holmes to Canada, certainly as good as any of another author’s multiple reasons to bring Holmes to Minnesota, then sets him up with a variety of mysteries to solve. The writing, while holding the reader’s attention, is somewhat basic and lacking in atmosphere, but does maintain a fairly reasonable facsimile of the “Watsonian voice” throughout the narrative and dialogue. Perhaps a bit more arrogance and pretension in Holmes than I would like, but still within acceptable boundaries. Watson demonstrates the occasional bit of humour, which quite endeared Gaspar’s take on him to me. The travelogue aspect is unfortunately not as evocative of Canada as I would like, and, in this reviewers opinion, fails to present the sense of diverse geographical features that is a hallmark of this country or the relatively large distances between them. That being said, it is the best “Holmes in Canada” book that I’ve read, easily eclipsing Ronald C. Weyman’s books. Well worth a look for the Sherlockian pastiche reader who enjoys stories featuring Holmes outside his usual environs.
While I’m not a fan of reading lengthy pieces at my computer, purchasing and downloading this eBook was a snap. The eBook format was nicely packaged with everything necessary to get the beginner going and features simple instructions with easy navigation. While I still prefer reading while reclining on a sofa with the printed page before me, this was a pleasant enough diversion, however, I would still rather see this book in a traditional print format. UPDATE: Now available as a trade paperback. Click here to order from The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box
The Canadian Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (e-book)
Author: Stephen Gaspar
First Published as an E-book: 2002 - Blackfriars Publications
Price: $4.95 USD (PDF Format)
Reviewed by: Charles Prepolec
First Print Publication: 2004 - The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box
Format: Trade Paperback 224 pages
Price: $20.00 USD