warlock holmes: a Study in Brimstone Baker Street irregular
Sherlock Holmes has had more reinventions than Madonna. He’s a kid! (Young Sherlock Holmes) He’s a dog! (Sherlock Hound) He’s an idiot! (Without A Clue) He’s a reanimated corpse! (Victorian Undead) So turning Baker Street’s finest into a master of the dark arts might not be very original – however, in Gabriel Denning’s hands, it is great fun.
As with Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, much of Denning’s shtick revolves around finding new riffs on Arthur Conan Doyle’s original tales. But rather than simply trading up the spyglass for a smartphone, Warlock Holmes goes balls out by, for example, presenting the Baker Street Irregulars as shape-shifting rats and Inspector Lestrade as a vampire who drinks neat nosebleed.
That said, the plot beats stick so faithfully to A Study In Scarlet – plus hocus-pocus spins on five other original Holmes stories – you can’t help but feel Conan Doyle is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here. But a rich seam of black comedy helps add distinction, while the cliffhanger ending sets up an intriguing demonic encounter in the forthcoming Battle Of Baskerville Hall.
Also recently published, by Abaddon Books: alt.sherlock.holmes, a collection of three novellas.