The Many Watsons – Dudley Moore

I am almost at a loss as to how to review the performance of the main characters in the 1978 movie The Hound of the Baskervilles with Peter Cook as Holmes and Dudley Moore as Watson. I understand conceptually that the movie is a farce. The problem is that it is a farce of a farce, if you follow. You almost have to see it to understand how bad it is. It does have some funny moments (like when Moore, playing a one legged man) tries to get hired by Holmes as a message runner. I know, this is confusing to me too. Moore plays three parts: Watson, the one legged man, and Holmes’s mother Ada.

There are a number of good character actors in the movie: Terry-Thomas as Dr. Mortimer, Denholm Elliott as Stapleton, Kenneth Williams as Sir Henry and Spike Milligan as a policeman. But with all the talent the movie never comes together. The basic plot of the story of the hound is followed (a big fluffy Irish Wolfhound, my wife and I raised them for years and we still have two. They are giant pussy cats!). But there are side trips to Holmes’s mother and a massage parlor as well as a piece from the exorcist. It is quite a Hodge-podge of skits. Moore is actually pretty good as Ada Holmes and as the one legged man, his Watson however, is incredibly bad. I’m not a language expert, since I only speak Oklahoman of late with a New York accent, but it sounds like Moore is doing a Welshman with a Scottish Burr. The accent is actually distracting. It’s actually a shame that the movie has tremendous potential as a comedy and falls so flat.

Dudley Moore

Dudley Moore was born in Essex, England on 19 April 1935. In growing up he won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford to study organ and upon graduation in 1958 he was offered a position at Kings College, Cambridge. His true calling though appeared to be jazz piano and the theater. He entered the theater with a bang in the satirical comedy revue “Beyond the Fringe”. Also in the revue was comic actor Peter Cook who would become Moore’s long-time partner. “Beyond the Fringe” would take Moore to Broadway where he received his first Tony Award. By 1965 Moore and Cook had broken into TV with a show called “Not Only…But Also”. In 1966  Moore was in the movies with “The Wrong Box” followed by “Bedazzled” and in 1974 he won his second Tony with the show “Good Night”.

In the mid 70’s there was a series of three comedy record albums with Cook which were a little over the top and were done completely ad lib. They were not well received in all quarters.  Probably Moore is best known for his acting in the two blockbuster hits “10” and “Arthur”. These seem to be the high points of his career.

In 1999 Moore was diagnosed with supra-nuclear palsy, for which no cure was known. In 2001 he traveled to London and received the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) even while confined to a wheelchair. He died 27 March 2002 in New Jersey. He passes on the same day as Milton Berle and Billy Wilder. Moore had been married four times and had two children.

Posted in Doyle, Holmes, Watson | Leave a comment

The Many Watsons – Bernard Fox

Granger & Fox

I am told by a trusted colleague that he considers this the worst Holmes movie ever made. I respectfully disagree and have previously in this blog given my opinion of the worst Holmes film around. For some reason though, both happen to be made for TV movies of our favorite characters. The Hound of the Baskervilles with Stewart Granger in the role of Holmes was made for TV in 1972 and is not readily available except through some classic movie sites. The problem with the film is not really the actors; in fact, the role of accomplished actors is quite good; the problem is the production quality. It’s as if they had a budget of about $1.95 and decided to see how far they could stretch it. Everything from poorly painted scenery to plastic moor plants were used.

Shatner as Stapleton

As I said, the array of actors was pretty good: Stewart Granger as Holmes, Bernard Fox as Watson, William Shatner (in a non-Star Trek role) as Stapleton, and Anthony Zerbe as Dr. Mortimer. Not a bad cast. The script varies from the original story but is interesting. Granger’s performance is adequate, and Shatner is interesting but his role is somewhat limited. Zerbe is great as an evil Mortimer and Fox does a decent job with the part of Watson. Fox is neither the buffoon nor a rocket scientist and interestingly enough, at the end of the film hints at more stories to come. This was obviously a pilot that suffered from inadequate funding. All in all, I guess it’s worth the 72 minutes of run time just to see another variation on the Hound.

Bernard Fox

Bernard Fox has always been one of my favorite character actors. He was born 11 May 1927 as Bernard Lawson in Wales, a fifth generation actor! He married his wife Jacqueline in 1961 and they have two children. Fox spent some time in the theater but most of his work has been in TV and the movies. He has over 120 credits on the screen and you know his face if not his name. He had recurring roles on Bewitched as Dr. Bombay, the witch doctor and on Hogan’s Heroes as Colonel Crittenden. He appears in numerous TV shows, like: Simon & Simon and  Columbo, as the visiting English police officer and in shows like Man from Uncle 12 O’clock High, Combat, The Andy Griffith Show and F Troop as the British Officer or the comic relief. His last movie was The Mummy in 1999 where he played Captain Winston Havlock the alcoholic RAF pilot. In 1997 he was in a movie about the ship Titanic for the second time. In the 1997 film he played Colonel Gracie but back in 1958 in the classic A Night to Remember he played the part of Lookout Frederick Fleet who has the famous line “Iceberg, dead ahead!”

All in all, Fox has had a great career as a character actor and does a fair job with Watson under poor conditions.

Posted in Doyle, Holmes, Watson | 5 Comments

The Many Watsons – John Rhys-Davies

Okay, this one is just for fun. My wife gave me this straight-to-video cartoon for Christmas and I must admit I enjoyed it. While not a laugh fest for those who do not appreciate slap-stick humor (I admit I do) it does have some good moments. In 2010 three well-known actors were talked into doing the voices for Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Prof. Moriarty. They were: Michael York as Holmes, Malcolm McDowell as Moriarty (McDowell is always such a great villain), and John Rhys-Davies as Watson.

The plot is fairly simple (surprise), but clever. Watson informs Holmes of a jewel robbery that is the talk of the RATHBONE Inn. Holmes is interested but Tom has a message for Holmes from Miss Red who is a performer at the BRUCE NIGEL Music Hall. Miss Red is being blackmailed and Holmes deduces that her house is being used to tunnel into the museum to steal the “Star of Punjab”. (A la, the Red Headed League.) So, while Holmes and Watson go to see “BRETT JEREMY, a tailor in Lancashire,” Tom and Jerry must protect the fair heroine of the plot. Of course Holmes and Watson are on a literal “wild goose chase” and it is up to Tom and Jerry to save the day. I won’t give away any more of the plot but I did enjoy the flying cats. It’s worth the 50 minutes of time just to take your mind off the issues of the day. Oh, and Grey DeLisle does the voice of Miss Red and has a catchy little tune, in her music hall routine, about how she prefers bumbershoots to men.

Other Hanna-Barbara characters appear in supporting rolls such as: Droopy, Tuffy, Spike and Butch.

John Rhys-Davies has a long history of doing voices for animation and in fact has a long running association with the Disney Company. John Rhys-Davies is probably best known to the movie going world as the two time sidekick of Indiana Jones, Sallah. He is also famous for his part in the Lord of the Rings films. John Rhys-Davies has one of those voices that is unmistakable, you always instantly know who is playing the part, makeup or not.

Rhys-Davies was born in Wales 5 May 1944. His mother was a nurse and his father a mechanical engineer and colonial officer. He grew up in England, Wales and Tanganyika and attended the University of East Anglia. After a short stint as a teacher he attended the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts. Besides the stage he has 207 film credits and has three movies either in pre or post production at this time. John Rhys-Davies is married but has been separated from his wife for many years. They had two boys, Ben and Tom. He has a daughter, Maia with Lisa Manning of TV. Rhys-Davies has a house on the Isle of Man where he likes to spend as much time as possible.

Posted in Doyle, Holmes, Watson | Leave a comment

The Many Watsons – Harry Reeves-Smith

The very first talking film that starred Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson was The Return of Sherlock Holmes with Clive Brook as Holmes and Harry Reeves-Smith as Doctor Watson. The movie is probably best known as having been the first time “Elementary, my dear Watson” was spoken on the big screen. From that point on its fame goes downhill. Clive Brook does not have the look or feel of Holmes. His long sideburns (not quite as bad as Roger Moore in SH in NY), tweed cap and profile just don’t fit the old mental picture of Holmes. The movie was filmed in an Astoria, Queens, studio that belonged to Paramount Studios. The basic plot is that Watson’s daughter wants to marry a reformed crook who formerly worked for (insert trumpet) Professor Moriarty. In fact, the fiancé has written proof against the Professor. Surprisingly, the fiancé is murdered, the proof goes missing and both Holmes and Moriarty are in search of the paper. The preponderance of the action occurs on board an ocean liner and at different times Holmes assumes the identity of a German musician turned magician and then as a Cockney steward. Neither disguise is very convincing. The movie in general is on a level with the B- films of the third Charlie Chan (Roland Winters).

The New York Times review from 1929 is more kind than I am stating “while the film is far from a masterpiece, it arouses a certain amusement and interest, which, due to those portions directed by Basil Deane, the British producer and playwright, make it better entertainment than most murder mystery films.” I must agree with the reviewer’s statements about Watson: “Dr. Watson is no longer the interesting person created by Sir Arthur. He has some of the characteristics, but he appears to have been well adulterated at the Astoria studio…  H. Reeves Smith flounders about in the role of Dr. Watson”. As I said, the most important part of the movie is the fact that it is the first Holmes talkie. Clive Brook is a well-known B movie actor of the early talkies, having come to the states in 1924 to enter the silent films. He was probably a fair choice for Holmes.

Reeves-Smith on stageH. Reeves-Smith was born 17 May 1862 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. There is contradictory history as to his arrival in the states to trod the boards. This is not unusual since publicity agents don’t have a particular need to stick to the facts. Reeves-Smith either came to the states in 1881 to be in the play “Betsey” in New York or in 1887 on tour with John Sleeper Clark. Reeves-Smith spent most of his life on the stage making only three movies. On the stage, it appears, he was quite impressive. His greatest role was as the title character in the play “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines” in 1901. This was the play that gave Ethel Barrymore her big break. ((This was also one of my Dad’s (the English professor) favorite plays)). In 1925 the stage play was turned into a musical. Reeves-Smith died 29 January 1938 in Surrey, England

Posted in Doyle, Holmes, Uncategorized, Watson | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Great News About Holmes & the Irish Rebels!

The following comes from our friendly publisher: MX Publishing.

Top Ten New Sherlock Holmes Books For Amazon Kindle

Many lucky Holmes fans will be opening their Christmas stocking and retrieving a shiny new Amazon Kindle (if you believe the hype the most gifted item on Amazon this year) – so the question is, what new Sherlock Holmes books are most popular on Kindle in the US?

1. Sherlock Holmes and The Irish Rebels – Kieran McMullen

2. The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes – Tony Reynolds

3. Sherlock Holmes and The Affair In Transylvania – Gerry O’Hara

4. The Outstanding Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes – Gerard Kelly

5. No Police Like Holmes – Dan Andriacco

6. Watson’s Afghan Adventure – Kieran McMullen

7. Sherlock Holmes and The Lyme Regis Horror – David Ruffle

8. Baker Street Beat – Dan Andriacco

9. The Case of The Hungarian Foot [ebook only short story] – George Colliko

10. Shadowfall – Tracy Revels

Posted in Doyle, Dublin 1916, Holmes, Ireland, Irish Rebels, Watson | Leave a comment

Kind Words from the Sherlock Holmes Society of London

Latest Review of Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels

“Kieran McMullen has once more combined his expertise as a military historian and former soldier with his devotion to Sherlock Holmes, and he’s added a third element – his own heritage – in Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels (MX Publishing;; £10.99/ $18.99/ €12.99). Two years into the Great War, Dr Watson is called away from his post with the Royal Army Medical Corps and instructed to join Holmes in Dublin, where, under the alias of Liam Altamont, he has infiltrated the Irish Volunteers, who, believing that ‘England’s extremity is Ireland’s opportunity’, are a rebellion against British rule.

As we know, the Easter Rising was crushed, saving Britain from war in the west as well as the east, but disgust at the speedy execution of the leading rebels only intensified the desire for Irish independence. It’s a powerful subject, and Mr McMullen handles it well. How would Arthur Conan Doyle have tackled it, I wonder?”

Roger Johnson

Posted in Doyle, Dublin 1916, Holmes, Ireland, Irish Rebels, Watson | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Write a Murder Mystery

This blog is about neither Watson nor Holmes. In perusing my collection of mysteries I was rereading some of my favorite Philo Vance stories and came across the rules of the game as proposed by S.S. Van Dine (actual name Willard Huntington Wright). I thought I might share them. So this is for all the aspiring mystery writers out there.  S.S. Van Dine was the creator of detective Philo Vance. Below you will find his 20 rules for writing a detective story. (I admit I have edited it a bit by condensing some paragraphs.)

William Powell and Willard Wright

All old time movie fans will be familiar with Philo. Ten different actors would play Philo over the years but the best was undoubtedly William Powell and the best film the Kennel Murder Case. Warren William was second best.  (And the Gracie Allen Murder Case is a good rainy afternoon comedy.)

Twenty Rules For Writing Detective Stories

By S.S. Van Dine

The detective story is a kind of intellectual game. It is more – it is a sporting event. And the author must play fair with the reader. He can no more resort to trickeries and deceptions and still retain his honesty than if he cheated in a bridge game. He must outwit the reader, and hold the readers interest, through sheer ingenuity. For the writing of detective stories there are very definite laws – unwritten, perhaps, but none the less binding: and every respectable and self-respecting concocter of literary mystery lives up to them.

Herewith, then, is a sort of Credo, based partly on the practice of all the great writers of detective stories, and partly on the promptings of the honest author’s inner conscience. To wit:

  1. The reader must have equal opportunity with the detective for solving the mystery. All clues must be plainly stated and described.
  2. No willful tricks or deceptions may be played on the reader other than those played legitimately by the criminal on the detective himself.
  3. There must be no love interest in the story. To introduce amour is to clutter up a purely intellectual experience with irrelevant sentiment.  (Sound familiar Sherlock Fans?)
  4. The detective himself should never turn out to be the culprit. It is false pretenses.
  5. The culprit must be determined by logical deductions – not by accident or coincidence or unmotivated confession. To solve a criminal problem by the latter fashion is like sending the reader on a deliberate wild goose chase.
  6. The detective novel must have a detective in it; and a detective is not a detective unless he detects. His function is to gather clues that will eventually lead to the person who did the dirty work in the first chapter.
  7. There simply must be a corpse in a detective novel,  and the deader the better.  No lesser crime than murder will suffice.
  8. The problem of the crime must be solved by strictly naturalistic means. Such method of learning the truth as slate writing, Ouija-boards, mind-reading, spiritualistic séances, crystal-gazing, and the like, are taboo. The reader can’t compete with the spirit world.
  9. There must be but one detective – that is, but one protagonist of deduction – one deus ex machina.
  10. The culprit must turn out to be a person who has played a more or less prominent part in the story – that is, a person with whom the reader is familiar and in whom he takes an interest.
  11. Servants – such as butlers, footmen, valets, game-keepers, cooks, and the like – must not be chosen by the author as the culprit. It is too easy a solution.
  12. There must be one culprit, no matter how many murders are committed. The culprit may, of course, have a minor helper or co-plotter; but the entire onus must rest on one pair of shoulders.
  13. Secret Societies, camorras, mafias, et al., have no place in a detective story. Here the author gets into adventure fiction and secret service romance.
  14. The method of murder, and the means of detecting it, must be rational and scientific. That is to say, pseudo-science and purely imaginative and speculative devices are not to be tolerated.
  15. The truth of the problem must at all times be apparent – provided the reader is shrewd enough to see it. By this I mean that if the reader, after learning the explanation for the crime, should reread the book, he would see that the solution had been staring him in the face.
  16. A detective novel should contain no long descriptive passages, no literary dallying with side issues, no subtly worked-out character analysis, no “atmospheric” preoccupations. Such matters hold up the action.
  17. A professional criminal must never be shouldered with the guilt of a crime in a detective story. Crimes by house-breakers and bandits are the province of the police department – not of authors and brilliant amateur detectives.
  18. A crime in a detective story must never turn out to be an accident or a suicide.
  19. The motives for all crimes in detective stories should be personal. International plottings and war politics belong in a different category of fiction.
  20. And (to give my Credo an even score of items) I herewith list a few of the devices which no self-respecting detective-story writer will now avail himself of. They have been used too much.


a. Determining the identity of the culprit by the brand of a cigarette butt.

b. Bogus spiritualistic séance to frighten the culprit

c. The dummy-figure alibi.

d. Forged fingerprints.

e. The dog that does not bark in the night.

f.The final pinning of the crime on a twin or look alike.

g. The hypodermic syringe and the knock-out drops.

h. The commission of the murder in a locked room after the police have actually broken in.

i. The word association test for guilt.

j. The cipher, or code letter, which is eventually unraveled by the sleuth.

Hope you find Wrights comments useful. I think they are definitely worth pondering

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Many Watsons – Richard Woods

Sherlock Holmes by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was done as a stage production by the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 1981 and stares: Frank Langella as Holmes, Richard Woods as Watson, George

Langella as Holmes

Morfogen as Moriarty and Laurie Kennedy as Alice Faulkner. A & E Cable Television filmed the stage play as part of a “support the arts” effort they had at the time. In fact, in those days A & E was quite a good station with some remarkable programing. Unfortunately it has degenerated into “storage wars”, “Lady Hoggers” and reruns of “Criminal Minds”.  (But that’s a different issue.) Anyway, the stage production is well worth the watching. Mr. Langella does a very credible job as the famous detective. He injects, perhaps a little too much whimsy into the character but all in all it is done well. One has to wonder how Gillette played it. There is at least one recording of Gillette but it’s sad that no talking picture was ever made with him as Holmes. The stage notes are fairly clear that this is a dramatic part and was probably played somewhat sternly.

Woods and Langella

The rest of the cast is also excellent. Morfogen really looks the part of Moriarty and gives him some life. He would have been superb in a continuing dramatic series. Kennedy as Faulkner is a character well worth saving and as a love interest for Holmes. Richard Woods does a fine Watson. Granted, he’s not David Burke, but he’s not Nigel Bruce either. He makes Watson “a fine fellow” who is both intelligent and humorous. He’s not comic relief, but he is a relaxing grin.

Morfogen as Moriarty

The story line of Gillette’s play (Doyle always gave full credit to Gillette) takes tremendously from the canon and many lines are quite familiar. It certainly takes liberaly from “A Scandal in Bohemia” and it does end up with a love interest for Holmes.

Kennedy as Faulkner

Some critics complained that the transition to film of a straight stage play does not work. True, we are used to dramatic scene changes, buggy chases, and dramatic shoot ‘em ups from our TV. But I found that my attention was held every bit as much as though I had been sitting in the orchestra at the theater itself. Perhaps you have to watch with a certain mind set? It is theater, not Star Wars. I did love the roar of the crowd when, having explained to Watson how he (Holmes) knows that Watson has returned to practice and moved his dressing table, Langella sits and says “Elementary, my dear Watson”.

Richard Woods was born in Buffalo, NY 9 May 1923 and like many of his generation didn’t find his niche until after the “Big War”. Woods became an actor and a screen writer but is best known for his stage acting, which seems to have been his real passion. From 1950 until 1992 he appeared in no less than 31 stage plays. He played in revivals of Sherlock Holmes twice. Once as Watson with Frank Langella but also five years earlier, 1974 – 1976 where he was at different times the characters Jim Craigin or Sir Edward Leighton. He also starred in such productions as “The Man Who Came to Dinner”, “Murder Among Friends”, and “You Can’t Take It With You”.

Woods also had a TV and film career with seventeen different credits. His last film was in 1998 where he played Jacob Campbell in “The Love Letter”. He also made the film “In & Out” in my old home town of Northport, NY in 1997. Probably Woods greatest achievement (besides playing Watson) was his writing of the story “Endangered Species”. Based on a true story of cattle mutilations the movie stared Robert Urich and JoBeth Williams. Good cops and robbers flick.

Woods died at his home in Englewood, NJ at the age of 77, 16 January 2001.

Posted in Doyle, Holmes, Watson | 1 Comment

The Many Watsons – Peter Sallis

A recent post in the Blog Better Holmes and Gardens (which I highly recommend) reminded me of a wonderful evening I had when I was 16 years old. It was 1965 and one of the benefits of being a native New Yorker was access to the shows on Broadway. I couldn’t wait to see this particular one: Baker Street the Musical. It was GREAT! At least I thought so. I still have the LP record of the show and dragged it out and played both sides. Probably been 10 years since I listened to it and it is stillgreat! Baker Street took the 1965 Tony Award for  Best Scenic Design, and nominations for Best Actress in a Musical – Inga Swenson, Best Costume Design and Best Author. The play ran about one year.

Lestrade, Watson, Holmes and Hudson

Baker Street was written by Jerome Coopersmith and stared: Fritz Weaver as Holmes, Peter Sallis as Watson, Inga Swenson as Irene Adler and Martin Gabel as Moriarty. The play was only two acts but had 16 scenes, lots of set changes, dancing and some memorable songs. I still remembered the words to “Jewelry”.

Inga Swenson as Irene

The plot is kind of convoluted. It is a cross between A Scandal in Bohemia, The Empty House, The Final Problem and the Rathbone, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In fact the first and last stories contribute the most to the story line. Short Version: Holmes saves himself from assassination, soldier asks help getting back letter, meets Adler, becomes partners with Adler to trap Moriarty, gets captured by same, Irregulars save him, fights Moriarty on cliffs of Dover, Moriarty dies, Holmes recovers Crown Jewels formerly stolen by Moriarty.

Holmes, Moriarty and Adler

The singing was very well done and Peter Sallis (Watson) received acclaim as having the best song in the show, “A Married Man” where he sings about his preference for the married state. Personally I liked “It’s So Simple” sung by the client, Holmes, Watson and Lestrade. The song is about Holmes’s ability to make deductions. The other two memorable songs are: “I Shall Miss You”, where Moriarty leaves Holmes and Watson tied up sitting with a bomb; and “Jewelry”, where Moriarty’s gang is singing and dancing as they divide up the loot. (just before being captured).

Fritz Weaver and Peter Sallis

Peter Sallis was wonderful as Watson and was quite a sympathetic character. In case you can’t tell I had a great time that night.

The Original cast album is still available on Amazon. (In case you still have your Hi-Fi and turntable like I do.) You might want to know though that the cast album includes one song that was not in the play after opening night, “I’m in London Again” which is Irene’s first song. On the second night it was changed to “Buffalo Belle”, which was a Wild West number.

The list of Peter Sallis’s film and TV credits runs for almost nine pages. That doesn’t include the legitimate theater credits from London and Broadway. Sallis was born 1 February 1921 in Twickenham, England. Sallis was an only child and after completing grammar school went into the banking business. As with so many others, WWII came along and Sallis served in the RAF as a ground radio operator eventually becoming an instructor. While he was an instructor he became involved in amateur theater and his life was changed. By 1946 he was in his first stage play and in 1947 he was on TV in the UK. Between 1947 and 2010 Sallis would gain 141 screen credits. During the 1950’s and 1960’s he was in constant demand in London and on Broadway for his live theater skills.

Sallis is probably best known for his role as Norman Clegg on the TV show “The Last of the Summer Wine” and for doing the voice of Wallace on the “Wallace and Gromit” TV shows and film.

Sallis is married to his wife Elaine Usher since 1957 and has one son, Timothy Crispian. Sallis was awarded the O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2007 for his contributions to the dramatic arts.

Posted in Doyle, Holmes, Watson | Leave a comment

Latest Review of Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels

Holmes and Watson at the Easter Rising

Kieran McMullen has described his new novel, Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels, as a boys’ adventure story. That it is, and a good one. But I can’t help but think that female Sherlockians — especially Irish lasses — might enjoy it as well.
Part of the appeal of the book to me is the time frame. The post-1914 adventures of Holmes and the faithful Watson have always been a source of enjoyable speculation to me, and this tale concerns the events leading up to the Easter Rising of 1916.
Mycroft Holmes has enlisted his younger and more energetic brother, still in the guise of the Irish-American Altamont, to infiltrate the Irish Volunteers, find out their plans, and — if possible — stop the looming rebellion.
The great detective calls in Watson, who is back in military harness at Lt. Col. John Watson, RAMC, but going by the name of Dr. Thomas Ryan. They reconstruct the Baker Street menage as they board in Dublin with a certain Mrs. McGuffey, who turns to be Mrs. Hudson using her maiden name.
Although this is primarily an adventure and war story, there is also an appropriately criminous subplot that Holmes manages to uncover even amid the fog of approaching war.
The fact that we know what is going to happen on Easter 1916 while the characters do not know the future makes the story more suspenseful rather than less so. And it gets increasingly exciting as our heroes approach their rendezvous with history.
The author of Watson’s Afghan Adventureand a serious student of Irish history, McMullen has filled his book with real people and historically accurate incidents. It’s as if Holmes and his troupe had stepped into history, much like Zelig in the Woody Allen film of that title. And we all know that anything can be made just a little better with Holmes & Co. as part of it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment