Sherlock Holmes and the Mysterious Friend of Oscar Wilde

Russell Brown, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (176p) ISBN 978-0-312-02280-8
In a foreword about the purported discovery of an 1895 manuscript, Brown asks why anyone would paste together other authors' words. Readers will wonder the same about this implausible whodunit, subtitled ``A Mystery Based on Writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde.'' Strung together with quotes from those eminent Victorians, the story begins with Sherlock Holmes's initial refusal and then agreement to Oscar Wilde's request that Holmes save a ``noble'' Swedish inventor from a vicious blackmailer. As Dr. Watson relates subsequent events, London is the target of dynamiters; Holmes is marked for death by the vengeful Marquess of Queensberry; and Watson needs rescue from a pederast hangout where he is lured by a small boy. The tale's gimmicky artifice is most apparent in the author's references to Watson as leaning ``so''meaning homosexual (the word that dare not speak its name?)and in his attempt to re-create Holmes's housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, as a militant feminist. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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