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Cannonball Read III: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D. by Nicholas Meyer

By Siege | Book Reviews | July 8, 2011 | Comments ()


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Siege also recently completed her 52nd book for Cannonball Read III. Congratulations Siege! You are a golden god, indeed.--TU.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting around with nothing to do, unable to watch TV because The Boyfriend was thoroughly engaged in some sporting event. I found myself in front of the computer, poking around through the Netflix OnDemand list. Suddenly, I remembered the Pajibans recent flurries of praise for the BBC's "Sherlock" and figured I might as well give it a try.

Ten minutes in, I was completely hooked and already bemoaning the fact that only four episodes had been made. I mentioned this in a previous entry, but bring it up again because it led me back to the original source material. I already own the collected works, but upon further investigation, I discovered that (unsurprisingly, really) some other authors have created their own Holmes tales. I happened to purchase The Seven-Per-Cent Solution simply because it seemed to be the top-rated of the group.

In this story (purported to be a lost work of Dr. Watson, dictated years after the death of Holmes), Dr. Watson tells the story of what REALLY happened during the period that Sherlock Holmes was thought to be dead (spanning Doyle's stories "The Final Problem" and the one about the airguns, the title of which I can never remember). Watson tells us that the truth is that Holmes had fallen victim to his cocaine addiction, and required serious treatment. The doctor manages (with the help of Mycroft Holmes and a twisty plan) to get Sherlock to Vienna, where he places him in the treatment of Sigmund Freud. From there, a mystery begins to unfold.

I enjoyed the story very much, and felt that the characters were fairly true to the original works. Meyer did a good job with his "alternate history," and I also enjoy the footnote "corrections" and additions the author made on Dr. Watson's "original manuscript." The plot itself was perhaps a little thin when it came to the mystery, but as I said, the characters were enjoyable, there were some very exciting parts--a wild chase on a train, for example--and the little in-jokes to readers familiar with the previous works were enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this for any fan of Sherlock Holmes.

Huzzah! I have completed the Cannonball Read! Fifty-two books read and blogged! I AM A GOLDEN GOD!

...Okay, well maybe not. But I AM very pleased with myself. Now I have to decide whether stop here, or to continue on and attempt the death-defying double Cannonball. I'm not sure I could actually do fifty-two more before the end of the year, but I don't see why I shouldn't try. Might be interesting to see how far I get, at least.


For more of Siege's reviews, check out her blog, The Caustic Critic.

This review is part of Cannonball Read III. For more information, click here.



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