Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The Reichenbach Problem - by Martin Allison Booth
This is an unusual and interesting fictional story featuring Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle is going on a vacation to Switzerland, hoping to escape his fame. However, on the train he meets Holloway, a man who invades his space and decides to stay at the same place as Doyle. Soon after they arrive, a guest of the hotel is discovered dead and Doyle is pushed into investigating by his new acquaintance. As he searches for clues, he begins to suspect almost everyone and when suspicion falls on him, he'll be lucky to make it out alive.
I liked the uniqueness of this story and that it featured a real author who I was aware of. I like mysteries, too, so it was interesting to follow his investigation. However, his mood swings were exhausting and Holloway incredibly frustrating. Also, while he talks about how much he loves his wife, he practically falls in love/lust with two different women he just meets. There are some good spiritual elements to the story, though Doyle is portrayed as not believing, even though he grew up in the church. There was an odd scene where a seance is performed to conjure the spirit of Holmes, which I didn't like but at least a priest points out the danger in participating in such things. There's also some talk about homosexuality, though nothing explicit. The author writes that he tried to incorporate as much about Doyle's life and work as he could, so things that I disliked about his character could be true. If you like historical mysteries, especially relating to Holmes, you might like this book.
I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.