Monday, January 23, 2017

REVIEW: The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Holmes vs Dracula

Holmes Vs. Dracula
Author: Loren D. Estleman

I am not usually a fan of classic movie remakes or books "based on the original.'' In my experience, most are a disappointment. But, I am also a fair person for the most part. That makes me willing to give new slants on classics a chance before slamming a book shut or shutting a movie off.

Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorite characters from classic literature. Over the years I have enjoyed his original exploits with Dr. Watson many times, loving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's antiquated turn of phrase and Sherlock's slightly snobby banter with Watson. And I've seen the characters portrayed in many movies and television shows. Sometimes I have loved these film versions (Sherlock) and others I have not enjoyed (Elementary). I always hesitate to read stories featuring Sherlock that are not penned by Conan Doyle himself. I automatically doubt that a revisit could match the feel and style of the original.


I am also able to admit when I'm wrong.

Finding The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Holmes Vs Dracula as an offering on my local library's digital site, I must admit chuckling that I would need a bottle of wine to go with the cheese. But my determination to not act like a book snob overpowered my inclination to click right past this book. I did wonder how many eyerolls I could manage during a fight between Holmes and a bloodthirsty Transylvanian vampire. The minute I started reading, however, I must admit discovering my preconceived notions had been unfair. Loren D. Estleman actually is quite masterful at writing in the style and manner of the original. I couldn't stop reading! The story is a mirror of events in Bram Stoker's Dracula, starting with the wreck of the Demeter, with the addition of Sherlock Holmes investigating the matter. Beautiful!

I am sorry that I assumed it would be a cheese-fest. Estleman's writing is not a litany to dairy products, but rather a really good homage to Sherlock and Dracula! And....even better....there are several books in this "Further Adventures of'' series, two of them written by Estleman. I'm going to read Estleman's second Sherlock adventure first before delving into the other writers in this series, but I'm willing to have an open mind and try more new Holmes adventures! Estleman has also written a book of short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, The Perils of Sherlock Holmes. Most of his books are westerns or crime novels. I will definitely be reading more of his work!

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Holmes Vs Dracula is a quick read at 224  pages. It was originally published by Penguin in 1978. It was republished by Titan Books in 2012 as part of the "Further Aventures'' series.  The pacing is great. The writing style is very authentic. I'm impressed! Estleman also wrote Dr Jekyll and Mr. Holmes in 1980. This book has also been re-released as part of the Futher Adventures series of books. It's definitely on my wish list!

There are 25 books in the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series published by Titan Books. The paperbacks are high quality and the cover art is awesome! Their homepage also lists several other series featuring Sherlock, Mycroft and even Moriarty. I must investigate further! To find out more about The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the authors writing the series and the other Sherlock related offerings from Titan, check out their website: 

The game is afoot!! Much reading ahead! (The postman just delivered my brand new copy of The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Holmes! I am so excited.....must start reading!!!!)

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