G S Denning – Warlock Holmes: The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles

Readers with functional memories might recall me mentioning the first book in this series, A Study in Brimstone, late last year, and won’t be surprised that I grabbed this sequel as soon as it appeared.

We join Watson some time after the dramatic events at the close of the last book – as Warlock Holmes had been possessed by Moriarty, Watson did the sensible thing and shot him very dead. Which might have made for a short book, but a little matter of being dead isn’t going to stop Holmes[1], and before long he’s resurrected and gradually re-composing[2] and ready for more cases.

And the cases, as in the first book, are gloriously silly riffs on some of Conan Doyle’s stories. There’s The Adventure of the Blackened Beryls, in which the coronet is a little bit more than a nice shiny thing, Silver Blaze: Murder Horse, which should put you off racing for life and The Reigateway to Another World, where things start to get very silly.

These are all topped by the definitively ridiculous Adventure of the Solitary Tricylcist, which is even sillier than the title might suggest.

But all those pale in comparison to the main body of the book, in which we enjoy a much more believable version of the Devon Dog, learn a great deal more about Warlock Holmes himself[3], and generally have a lot of fun.

Good stuff, recommended to Sherlock Holmes fans, and to anyone who likes laughs with their soul-eating horror.

And there’s another one coming next year!

[1] Worked for the original….
[2] Rather like decomposing backwards
[3] He’s still an idiot, of course