Tuesday, 29 October 2013

"Sherlock Holmes in Japan" - a book review



Sherlock Holmes in Japan
by Vasudev Murthy writing as Akira Yamashita

The “Great Hiatus” – as the period after “The Final Problem” with the famous Reichenbach Fall until “The Empty House” is called by Sherlock Holmes aficionados – covering three years of the Great Detective alleged death between May 1891 and April 1894 is a time span inviting all apocrypha writers.
It represents a challenge for them. Some handle it in less successfully, others better. However, Vasudev Murthy made a perfect performance and succeeded in rising to the occasion. Like a virtuoso playing his Stradivarius.
Every writer brings into his narration both his canonical as well as personal knowledge, experience, liking... The same is valid for Vasudev Murthy. As an Indian classical violinist he involved India and music into the story. And working for a Japanese company helped him to incorporate Japan and its tradition and culture there, too. All that he shares with his readers in an imaginatively woven story told in a flawless diction using an abundant and poetic vocabulary.
‘Shri’ Murthy thus composed a brilliant and fascinating story about the struggle of Professor Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes ongoing after their presumed death in the roaring waters of the Swiss falls, in which the later escapes all baits and dangers and save the Japanese Empire as well as whole Europe.
Exciting and gripping reading full of dramatic situations as well as imaginative moments. A novel I liked very much, even despite my not being a big admirer of Holmesian pastiches. Very recommendable book for all fans of the Great Detective.
The book has an engaging cover design by Tanaya Vyas and is accompanied by a map of Sherlock Holmes’s two travels to Japan created by Mohan Raj. Nice pieces of artwork.

Published by: HarperCollins India, 2013
Paperback, 276 pages

Book review by © Aleš Kolodrubec, president of the Czech Society of Sherlock Holmes
28 October 2013

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