Monday, March 28, 2011
Holmes and more Americans and The Sign of Fear by Molly Carr
In the Adventure of the Yellow Face, Americans again play a part. When Grant Munro asks Holmes to investigate the mysterious stranger living in a cottage near his home, Holmes deduces that Munro's wife, Effie, must have hidden her first husband there. She had said her husband and child had died from the yellow fever in Atlanta, Georgia. This is one of Holmes' less notorious cases, and one can surmise that this is due to the fact that this case is one of his "failures" and also due to the racial overtones of the story.
A daring tale of mixed races for the times, perhaps the sympathy that Doyle shows in his writing is due partially to his Jesuit education and artistic temperament. This story deserves another read by all.
In The Sign of Fear author Molly Carr presents a Holmes adventure unlike no other. Watson's wife, Mary, unhappy at being left so often by Watson as he pursues adventures with Holmes, decides to do a bit of sleuthing on her own. She is a strong character with decidedly un-Victorian views of a woman's behavior and sexuality.
She investigates a jewel theft and the murder of a Duke with some assistance from Raffles and Miss Jane Marple's mother! This Sherlockian pastiche is a roller coaster ride of characters, shifting points of view and plot twists. The story has a decidedly Travels with my Aunt feel to it so if you are a Graham Greene fan you will enjoy The Sign of Fear by Molly Carr.