Well, dear readers, it’s been a while, but there is at last something to blog about: a new and detailed review of the novel has appeared on the Well-Read Sherlockian site. Do click the link and have a look if you have a spare five minutes. Although the reviewer, Ms. Guinn, is a Christian, she is intelligent, and pretty fair-minded about my rather un-Christian book.
All that I’d really want to argue with is her closing remarks. She speaks of “occasional sinister portents that ultimately went nowhere.” Now, I know the book rather well, and I can’t remember anything of the sort — unless she was thinking of Holmes’s nightmare on the train in Chapter II, which was not intended to be prophetic (although it may be interpreted along Freudian lines). Ms. Guinn also wonders why, “concerned as Emily Tollemache was about her father, she did not accompany Holmes to actually find him.” To me the answer seems rather obvious: in the first place the journey would have been expensive, and she was, as she says, “quite poor”; in the second place it might well have been dangerous, and she was just a wussy Victorian girl. I don’t mean to say that women can’t be heroic; only that young ladies of Miss Tollemache’s class weren’t expected to be, and that many of them, as a consequence, weren’t.
All in all, though, a jolly good review, for which I’m grateful!
If you’ve read the book, and enjoyed it, why not give a copy to a friend or two? It makes a handsome present for Hallowe’en or for Yule.