The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes Mass Market Paperback – 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
All of Millett's Holmes stories have a very strong sense of place. Millett is something of an amateur historian and fills his chapters with elaborate descriptions of the streets, buildings, parks, and surroundings the characters encounter.
Footnotes appear often, usually explaining details of architecture or other historical details. For a certain sort of leisurely reader, the footnotes are fine, but for others they can become a distraction. For instance, if Holmes meets Watson at an old church in Chicago, a footnote appears that tells us the year the church was built, the kind of glass used in the windows, and the year the church was finally torn down. There's a lot of this. Halfway through the novel, I just disregarded the footnotes entirely, and from there on, I think my "read" went better.
Millett is a very good prose stylist. He crafts excellent sentences and paragraphs. His descriptions are razor sharp, and his characters come to life rather well. Of all Mr. Millett's Sherlock Holmes books, DISAPPEARANCE best brings Sherlock Holmes forward as a real, living human being. And besides Holmes, some of the other characters are also well drawn and three-dimensional.
There is plenty of action in DISAPPEARANCE, and even some tawdry sex.Read more ›
Author Larry Millett has done his historical research and documents it in richly strewn footnotes. His accounts of city geography, turn of the (19/20th) century urban politics, and train travel all ring true. While the historical details ring true, the adventure itself has a bit of a hollow feel. It is difficult to imagine any criminal organization going to the troubles that Holmes's enemies go here. Surely it would have been easier to kill Holmes and Cubitt, if that was the goal, and then ruin their reputation later. Instead, they spend incredible amounts of money and energy for a pointless revenge.
Fans of the Holmes oeuvre may not recognize the Sherlock presented by Millett. Instead of cerebral, this Holmes is physical and impulsive. Watson, in contrast, was presented sympathetically with, I think, a properly balanced sense of loyalty and dogged determination. Doyle's Watson was never stupid--just an everyman like all of us who could not hope to do more than bask in Holmes's brilliance. So too, Millett's Watson is a man of action and integrity with solid if unexceptional intelligence.
Elsie Cubitt has vanished after withdrawing 5,000 pounds from her bank and Slaney is the most likely culprit. Holmes starts his quest by visiting a spiritualist, a confidant of Elsie. However, soon after Holmes leaves, the spiritualist vanishes too. The trail turns murky when a Holmes impersonator seems to be just in front of the London duo, leaving behind fallacious clues to throw Sherlock off and crime victims wanting retribution. The dynamic duo journeys to New York City where Homes also vanishes, leaving Watson and bartender buddy Shadwell Rafferty in Chicago in search of the great sleuth and Elsie.
Though a solid homage to Doyle and Holmes, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES never quite grips the audience as one would expect with Holmes missing and apparently a prisoner of a devious enemy. Instead, the reader sees an insightful look at the late Victorian era on both sides of the Atlantic and the ho hum of another case as related by Watson. Though the candid insight by Elsie, Holmes, and others adds depth, this tribute is more for the Baker Street crowd revering along with Larry Millet one of the notables.
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed the earlier books in this series and this one was especially good. Same day I received it, I read far into the night and finished it the following morning. Read morePublished on July 3 2004 by Lorraine Talbot
My reaction to this book was interesting. I have a tendancy to drop a book after the first couple of chapters if I don't find myself drawn in. Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2004 by MATB
"Disappearance" is a big improvement over "Secret Alliance". Despite the title, Holmes is present for much of the book. Read morePublished on Dec 31 2003
Probably the best of Larry Millet's stories (and the others have been good!) I really loved it when Mary finally got hers! That female Moriarty really deserved what she got! Read morePublished on Dec 1 2003 by Raven