Sherlock Holmes and the Ghosts of Bly: And Other New Adventures of the Great Detective
by Donald Thomas
Review by Gayle Surrette
Pegasus Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781605981345
Date: 29 December 2010 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Sherlock Holmes and the Ghosts of Bly is a collection of stories featuring Sherlock Holmes doing what he does best – solving crimes. Thomas manages to tell a good mystery with the flavor and feel of Conan Doyle. There's definitely a respect for the original characters and material and it shows in each of these stories.
In "The Case of a Boy's Honour", Holmes is called on to look into the case of a young boy who has been accused of stealing a postal order and is on the verge of being expelled from St. Vincent's Naval Academy. Holmes and Watson find there is more going on at this establishment than meets the eye and that not all cadets are equal. We also get a taste of Holmes' idea of justice and recompense.
The Honorable Hereward Douglas asks Holmes to look into the case of Miss Victoria Temple who has been accused of murdering Miles Mordaunt in "The Case of the Ghosts at Bly". She's been sentenced to life in an insane asylum. What else could be done when her diary claimed that she saw ghosts? Holmes decides that he will look into it and we can be sure that he will not be swayed by talk of ghosts, only the facts will carry any weight in determining his judgment. This is one of those stories that seems to head in one direction while giving you all the facts and standing them on their head.
"Sherlock Holmes: The Actor" is not a story but a 'scrap of biography' that helps to set us up to understand Holme's familiarity with the players in the next story in the book, "The Case the Matinee Idol" when Carnaby Jenks asks Holmes to help him as he's accused of murdering Caradoc Price in front of the entire audience.
It seems in this case the solution revolves around Holmes' familiarity with "Hamlet" and the theater. There's a saying, I forget who said it, that everybody lies. In this case that is certainly true. Holmes has his job cut out for him as everyone lies, whether to protect themselves, or someone else, or to cast blame on another. There's certainly enough clues to lead to any of a dozen different conclusions, but Holmes manages to navigate his way through to the story that matters.
All in all, a wonderful addition to the continuation of the career of Sherlock Holmes.