SH vs D

Earlier this year at borg.com we reviewed Kevin J. Anderson’s Martian War, featuring a mash-up of H.G. Wells himself and Dr. Moreau.  We also reviewed Guy Adams’ The Army of Doctor Moreau, featuring a mash-up of Dr. Moreau and Sherlock Holmes.  A few weeks ago we reviewed Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula: Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha, which featured Hamish (aka James) Bond and brief appearances by Dracula and Sherlock Holmes.  It only makes sense then that we checked out The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock vs. Dracula by mystery writer Loren D. Estleman.  Mash-ups are everywhere these days and all of the above were worthy reading.

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock vs. Dracula begins with a schooner that has run aground in a British harbor.  Its only cargo is fifty boxes of dirt and its only living passenger a dog.  The ship’s captain was tied to the wheel, lifeless, drained of his blood, with two strange puncture wounds on his neck.  Enter our intrepid team of Holmes and Watson.

But the book is prefaced with a note by author Estleman, who writes that like a long-sought lost Shakespearean work, this lost chronicle of Holmes by Dr. John Watson was found at an estate auction of the last surviving relative of Holmes.  And that bending of reality pulls the reader into this world to bridge the worlds of reality and fiction where Holmes and Watson—especially Watson—is perturbed by Bram Stoker’s account of the count in his non-fiction work Dracula.  In fact, Stoker left out the integral role played by Holmes in Van Helsing’s pursuit of the Count, and to a lesser extent, Dr. Watson’s role.

Estelman’s Watson and Holmes are every bit the comic duo of the hit movies starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.  And his Holmes is as sharp as the Sherlock of Benedict Cumberbatch in the hit BBC TV series.  As announced by Martin Freeman, BBC’s Watson, on The Colbert Report this week, the cast begins filming Season 3 early next year.  So while you’re waiting for that series to return, you may find Sherlock vs. Dracula as a good way to spend an evening.

For readers who may have wished Anno Dracula: Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha needed more actual Dracula, never fear, Count Dracula plays a key role in the plot here.  This is not just a story where maybe there is no Dracula and all is well at the end—it is a blending of Bram Stoker’s world and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 221B Baker Street.  And Estleman’s research into Doyle’s world and characters is obvious, with many characters from past works showing up for a cameo here.

Estleman’s Sherlock vs. Dracula is only the most recent of the “The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” series.  You can also pick up The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Titanic Tragedy by William Sell, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Web Weaver by Sam Siciliano, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Whitechapel Horrors (A Jack the Ripper mash-up) by Edward B. Hanna, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Giant Rat of Sumatra by Rick Boyer, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Man From Hell by Barrie Roberts, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Ectoplasmic Man (A Houdini mash-up) by Daniel Stashower, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Scroll of the Dead by David Stuart Davies, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Peerless Peer (A Greystoke mash-up) by Philip Jose farmer and Win Scott Eckert, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Seventh Bullet by Daniel D. Victor, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Star of India (a jewel heist story) by Carole Bugge, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes by Loren D. Estleman, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Seance for a Vampire (another Dracula mash-up) by Fred Saberhagen, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Veiled Detective by David Stuart Davies, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: War of the Worlds by Manly Wade Wellman and Wade Wellman, and The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Angel of the Opera (A Phantom of the Opera mash-up) by Sam Siciliano.

But if you haven’t read it yet, don’t forget to start with Doyle’s original Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

C.J. Bunce

Editor
borg.com