Revenge of the Hound

Michael Hardwick, Author Villard Books $17.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-394-55653-6
Two prior books by Hardwick, (Sherlock Holmes: My Life and Crimes and The Prisoner of the Devil) have been enthusiastically endorsed by both the Baker Street Irregulars and the Conan Doyle estate. Such approval may be daunting: one way to explain why, while it faithfully echoes a Holmesian novel in tone and design, this latest effort seems to lack any life of its own. Hardwick roams freely through earlier Holmes adventures, plucking characters and situations, to form a pastiche composed of deliberately familiar elements. Thus that legendary hound (formerly of the Baskervilles) now seems to have surfaced on Hampstead Heath, a compromising letter (like the one in A Scandal in Bohemia) must be retrieved and the throne of England saved from the usual madmen. The purloining of Oliver Cromwell's bones, the beheading of a statue of Charles II and the death of a Chinese seaman provoke the appearances of most of Holmes's comrades from Scotland YardLestrade, Gregson and White Masonbut it is up to Holmes to discover the pattern underlying those events, which he does with his usual aplomb. Though this book does little to advance the Holmes legend, it does pay tribute to a character who has been fascinating readers for a hundred years. Drawings not seen by PW. (October)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-166-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-59687-262-2
Hardcover - 444 pages - 978-0-8161-4527-0
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-671-03891-5
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