Monday, November 20, 2006

MRS. HUDSON AND THE MALABAR ROSE by Martin Davies (Berkley)

When someone messes around with Sherlock Holmes, they'd better do a good job for me to finish the book. Although Mrs. Hudson is the detective in this pastiche, the narrator is her young protege Flotsam, an effective "Watson." All of London is talking about two events: the unveiling of a gift to the nation, a rare jewel known as the Malabar Rose, and the debut performance of the Great Salmanazar, a reknown magician. When the Home Secretary requests Holmes to ensure the safety of the stone, the great detective naturally doesn't have time to investigate the disappearance of a young husband, so Mrs. Hudson takes on the case. Although I didn't like the portrayal of Holmes, and Mrs. Hudson seems a bit condescending, the puzzles are first-rate and worthy of Doyle himself.

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