Though I like the legend of Sherlock Holmes, I am not a Sherlockian. If I like a Sherlock Holmes story, it is because I like it; not that it fit well within the Holmes canon as defined by those with a more scholarly bent. Having said that, I found The Whole Art of Detection to be a pleasant trip through Holmes’ life events. The book is a selection of short stories that span much of Dr. Watson’s interaction with Holmes. They are written from a variety of perspectives - most are a retelling of adventures had by Dr. Watson and Holmes, but the book also includes a few 1st person excerpts from Holmes’ personal diary.
The fifteen stories are a bit uneven - some are quite capable of holding the reader’s interest, while other seem a bit longer than necessary. The stories introduce details of Holmes’ and Watson’s life - including the reaction of friends to Watson’s wife’s, Mary, death. Similarly, we see a glimpse of Watson’s response to learning that Sherlock Holmes had returned to Baker Street from his supposed death in Switzerland.
I kept coming back each night to find out what was next in the life of our two friends. In the course of reading, of course, we again meet Mrs. Hudson and Inspector Lestrade. We travel throughout London and its environs.
For the fans of late 19th century London and Sherlock Holmes, this book might just fill the bill for a late night read. It did for me, it will others as well.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.