Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning

Sherlock Holmes. A name, that when spoken, brings to mind a genius. A man who uses his brilliant mind to solve the most puzzling of crimes. A man whose name has become synonymous with deduction and reason.

Warlock Holmes, on the other hand, is an idiot who couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. He is a good man with an incredible amount of arcane power and the might of a thousand demons at his beck and call; but he is also brilliantly dim. Fortunately he has his newest flatmate, Dr. John Watson, to steer him on the straight and narrow. And perhaps prevent Holmes from accidentally bringing down Armageddon on us all.

Friends of mine and fans of this blog will know I adore the character Sherlock Holmes. After being introduced to his original stories in high school (more years ago than I would care to admit), he wormed his way in to my heart and still he resides as one of my favorite characters. So when I saw this newest retelling of the familiar Holmes stories, I of course was intrigued.

Warlock Holmes is one of those books that I am so glad I bought for I will definitely be reading it again. Denning has a firm grasp of the original stories which allows him to mimic them while still leaving them recognizable. For instance, the first story is a retelling of the original ‘A Study in Scarlet’ which introduces us to Holmes and Watson. In the original story, we first see Holmes flogging a dead body with the intent of learning of post-mortem bruising patterns. In Denning’s version, Holmes is beating a dead body with a cricket bat because it is supposedly a zombie and wishes to dine on Holmes’ brain.

Personally, I found how Denning gave the familiar characters a complete makeover. He has taken two well known individuals and practically switched bodies on them. It is Watson who does the observing and deducing with Holmes being along for the ride. Denning does this with all the characters; from Moriarty to Mrs. Hudson; and it makes for a well done and refreshing read.

It isn’t often that I find a book that actually makes me laugh out loud, but I found myself doing just that several times while reading Warlock Holmes. Light hearted yet with a macabre side, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I recommend this one highly to all my readers and eagerly await the next novel!

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