Review of Sherlock Holmes on The Roof of The World (Holmes Behind The Veil Book 1)

25 Jun

Glad to finally have this as a real book … .
I’ve been collecting Sherlock Holmes pastiches for over four decades. When I started, as a boy in the mid-1970’s, they were hard to find. Since then, I’ve managed to collect, read, and chronologicize literally thousands of them. I accelerated my collecting dramatically in the 1990’s, when I went back to school for a second degree in civil engineering and gained much better access to the internet, a capacity for unlimited printing at the university, and rights to use (and abuse) the school’s interlibrary loan program. I was able to track down many pastiches that I’d never even heard of before. I purchased a lot of them, but a lot more were harder to find, and I could only borrow them from various libraries around the country and then make Xerox copies, which I’ve kept in binders ever since. One of the first that I tracked down, and one that I’d never managed to replace as a real book, was Thomas Kent Miller’s “Sherlock Holmes on the Roof of the World”. Now, finally, MX has brought this rare book to the masses.

This is a tale of The Great Hiatus, when Holmes, traveling incognito, roamed the world between 1891 and 1894, letting everyone but his brother Mycroft believe that he had been killed at the Reichenbach Falls by Professor Moriarty. There have been numerous stories about what Holmes did during those three years, as he ranged from Tibet and the Far East, the Middle East, and even the United States and part of Europe. (His short summary of where he went during this time, as provided to Watson in “The Empty House”, was just a tiny fraction of all the he was able to accomplish during this period.) 

Of course, this volume isn’t narrated by Watson, who remained behind in England, believing that Holmes had died. Rather, the narrator of this tale is the engaging Leo Vincey, who encounters “Sigerson” in Tibet, and of course becomes involved in a plot of far-reaching implications. The discovery that they make has been explored in other books as well, but to my mind, having the subject matter revealed by Holmes takes it to a whole new – and much better – level. 

Mr. Miller’s other works, “The Great Detective at the Crucible of Life” and “The Sussex Beekeeper at the Dawn of Time” have also been re-released with this volume by MX as part of a handsome matching set. As with this volume, there is a heavy association in each of the stories with matters relating to Allan Quatermain. (I haven’t personally read any of those narratives, but it isn’t necessary to appreciate Mr. Miller’s works.) 

I highly recommend this book, and I’m glad to have it as a real book now, after having re-read it for so long in the binder where the old Xerox copy resides. Thanks, Mr. Miller and MX!

Reviewed by David Marcum

Sherlock Holmes on The Roof of The World is available from all good bookstores including The Strand Magazine, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository. In ebook format it is in Kindle.



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