This paranormal, comic tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle’s original characters includes a simple-minded yet incredibly powerful mage in Warlock Holmes, a John Watson that is the real deductive genius behind the duo’s adventures, and a cast of assorted supernatural sidekicks and baddies.
Picking up where the last book left off, the fifth volume of the spoof series, Warlock Holmes: The Finality Problem, finds Watson ensconced with the wife Holmes selected to be soul-bonded to him and banned from helping Holmes for his own safety. Off course, a little thing like not being able to find 221B Baker Street is not going to keep Watson out of trouble for long.
After all, Watson has become so accustomed to the supernatural world that it seeks him out in his own home; it is invited to his wife’s parties, and seeks his council. Naturally Groggson and Lestrade need Watson as well, and only Warlock’s insistence and vanishing spells can keep them away for so long.
In tribute to the original books, Watson and Holmes are reunited just in time for Holmes to make a fateful visit to Reichenbach Falls, but the book ends on a, pardon the pun, cliffhanger, as the greatest of evil spirits are released with no Warlock to stop them. (Thus Watson’s fatalistic retelling of events as if the world is about to end. He believes it to be true.)
I’ve read every book in this series so far, and I have greatly enjoyed every minute of them. As a fan of Sherlock Holmes and paranormal stories, I love the mash-up Denning has created, and am impressed with how he’s largely stayed true to the style and time of the original work, while inserting his own tweaks and complicated plots that link each story with the next and prior volumes. While there are countless imitators of Conan Doyle out there, this author has managed to put and keep an original spin on the series that adds elements of horror, humor, and potential world-altering events.
I award this book five stars and wait to see if Warlock Holmes, like his namesake, will rise again in another book.