Mycroft Holmes, by Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
For those who haven’t read the Sherlock Holmes stories religiously, Mycroft is Sherlock’s older brother. Jabbar, who apparently has read the Holmes mysteries avidly, has decided that there is much to make of Mycroft apart from Sherlock and Watson. And so he’s created a very Holmesian novel, although with distinct characters and settings.
The story? Mycroft is seemingly happy and about to celebrate his engagement to Georgiana Sutton, when his beloved abruptly leaves London for Trinidad, her place of origin. This bumfuzzles Mycroft, and he engages friend Cyrus Douglas, a black tobacco trader, to accompany him in following Georgiana to Trinidad. On shipboard, they’re accosted for no apparent reason, but finally reach the island, only to discover that Georgiana is engaged in nefarious activities involving an attempt to resurrect slavery.
At its root, the story here is something of a morality tale of how the poor and disenfranchised are exploited for commerce. The writing is a blend of Doyle’s style and modern language, and it works quite well.
If there’s a quibble to unearth here, it’s that the authors give us too many twists and turns. In doing so, they diminish the effect of the famed Doyle’s storytelling that they seek to expand on.
My rating: 17 of 20 stars