The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
This novel covers the great gap in the Holmes canon, between the time Holmes was supposedly killed at Reichenbach Falls with his archenemy Professor Moriarty and the moment, some years later, when Conan Doyle was forced to resurrect him. The narration is certainly true to Dr. Watson’s style, and the characters of Holmes, Watson, and Mycroft Holmes are authentic. India, Nepal, the Dutch East Indies, and Ceylon are the Oriental settings in which Holmes, often in disguise, solves cases that have baffled the local authorities. The nine tales included in this volume suffer from excessive layers of narration and would have benefited from tighter editing. Holmes’ recollection of wandering the British Raj alone lacks the immediate spark of Holmes and Watson pursuing their game in London. The storytelling is leisurely. To the extent that The Oriental Casebook originates with Doyle’s notes, it is a must-have for Holmes aficionados, but it won’t hold the attention of a new audience.