“This is the first Sherlockian fiction by Mr. Foad that I know of. It is a short novel that takes place during “The Great Hiatus.”
This is a lively, amusing tale that occurs while Sherlock is touring England as an actor. He and “The Woman” have been touring together, he as Mr. Sigerson and she as Miss Adler. They seem to enjoy one another’s company but also do not seem to be romantically tangled. Both are taking a rest from their regular lives, using acting to keep themselves occupied.
Holmes receives a small package in the mail which sends him into a depressed state. On December 24th of 1899, Watson queries him about the package and Holmes agrees to explain it as his Christmas present to Watson. Holmes tells Watson to come along and he calls for a cab that takes them to the Diogenes Club. It appears that Mycroft is involved in the events represented by the package.
The package contained a small book which is a piece of Irene Adler Norton’s diary. Together, Sherlock and Mycroft, with the help of the diary, tell the story of a trio of Christmas murders that all three of them investigated in December, 1893.
The story is well-told and enthralling and the characters all act in ways consistent with their personae as revealed in the Canon. The editing is relatively good, with only a sprinkling of neologisms and misplaced apostrophes and commas. The author will, however have to overcome a tendency to drop surreptitious puns like small landmines along the way. Many readers who are not addicted punsters may find them distracting or even corrupting. He must remember why Socrates was condemned, “…for corrupting the minds of the young.” Creating a taste for sneaky puns is definitely a step down that slippery slide.”
Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, October, 2013
Published in “The Beggar’s cap, [V10, # 01, 09/2013]
Holmes in Time for Christmas is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks(iPad/iPhone).