Wednesday, 16 September 2015

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Scroll of the Dead

David Stuart Davies
Titan Books

Holmes attends a seance to unmask an impostor posing as a medium, Sebastian Melmoth, a man hell-bent on obtaining immortality after the discovery of an ancient Egyptian papyrus. It is up to Holmes and Watson to stop him and avert disaster...
In this fast-paced adventure, the action moves from London to the picturesque Lake District as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson once more battle with the forces of evil.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless creation returns in a new series of handsomely designed detective stories. From the earliest days of Holmes’ career to his astonishing encounters with Martian invaders, the Further Adventures series encapsulates the most varied and thrilling cases of the worlds’ greatest detective.

So, my guess is that David Stuart Davies is a bit of a Sherlock Holmes nut.  I've read several things with his name on and have several more waiting their time in the sun and they are all Holmes related.  A quick check of his website reveals many more strings to his bow (a Stradivarius played at night whilst pondering a tricky conundrum) but for me he's a Sherlock writer and a very good one at that.

David Stuart Davies
'The Scroll of the Dead' is an ancient Egyptian papyrus purported to contain the secret of immortality to whoever can crack it's code.  Hunting for it is a sadistic dandy by the name of Sebastian Melmoth who is determined to defeat death itself.  Through a tangle of events Holmes finds himself increasingly drawn into the hunt for the scroll as a trail of murders leads him further into it's mysteries and the obsessions of those surrounding it.

It's a fairly faithful Holmes tale with a hint of the supernatural about it although the arch-rationalist is having none of that in his pursuit of his quarry.  There are moments when I think DSD left Holmes uncharacteristically wide open and defenceless (the confrontation in the cellar for one) which is too out of character but for the main part Davies knows his characters and has created a very readable Holmes pastiche.

No comments:

Post a Comment