Tuesday, February 7, 2017

REVIEW: The Whole Art of Detection

The Whole Art of Detection
Author: Lyndsay Faye

**I voluntarily read an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from Grove Atlantic via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.**

I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since I was a little girl. I can remember the stormy afternoon I discovered the magic of Arthur Conan Doyle. It was Sunday and every Sunday we visited my uncle. He was a bachelor with no children, so most Sundays I spent the whole day playing outside because there was nothing at his house for kids to do. But this Sunday was horrible -- rain came down in sheets outside. No playing outdoors. So, I ventured upstairs to his library. For that entire afternoon, I lay across the bed in the guest room reading Sherlock Holmes stories. Instant love.

In my circle of family and friends, I'm the one who usually dislikes Hollywood remakes of classic movies, new covers of songs, any Disney movie with a 2 in the title, and tinkering with classic literature.  I like my classics left alone, with very few exceptions. But, I am learning to expand my horizons and give revisits, retellings and remakes more of a chance instead of just shutting down before even attempting to engage. The above 3 Rs are not intrinsically evil. I need to relax and let my classic horizons expand sometimes. In the past few years, I've discovered many retellings and new stories starring classic characters that I like. I'm finding that loving books means learning that new authors tinkering with beloved classic characters sometimes has a wonderous, joyful outcome! But I do have to admit that while I now give revists to classic characters a better chance, I am still very picky. I can't help it. In this case, I was quite pleased and enjoyed my return visit to Baker Street.

The Whole Art of Detection is an homage to Sherlock Holmes written by a long-time big fan of Sherlock who also discovered the character as a young girl just like I did. I'm so glad that Lyndsay Faye wrote these stories!! I absolutely LOVED this book! I felt the same way about this book that I did when I first discovered Sherlock while draped over an old 4-poster bed in my uncle's drafty, old house on a rainy afternoon all those years ago.

The book is divided into several sections: Before Baker Street, The Early Years, The Return and The Later Years. Faye's stories encompass the entirety of Holmes' career from the time he was just learning to apply his detecting skills as a young man to the years following his faked death. Faye grabs the essence of the characters, the language, wit and humor of the original and runs with it!

For me, the most enjoyable thing was Faye's ability to capture the nature of the relationship of Sherlock and Dr. Watson. Those feelings of annoyance, frustration, yet strong love and friendship are essential to both characters.

The stories are all well-written, mostly true to the style of the originals and entertaining to read. It was so nice to read more exploits by one of my all-time favorite characters.

Any fan of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle will enjoy this book. I read an Advanced Readers Copy of this book for review, but have a finished copy on my pre-order list. It will go on my keeper bookshelf with my 2-volume set of the complete Sherlock Holmes. This book will release March 7th, 2017. Mystery and Holmes fans should definitely get a copy and enjoy the return to Baker Street!

Lyndsay Faye is the author of several other Holmes novels and the Timothy Wilde series. I plan to read them all! Definitely a fan! To discover more information about the author and her books, check out her website: www.lyndsayfaye.com

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