Sherlock Holmes and the Element of Surprise – J. Andrew Taylor

Sherlock Holmes and The Element of Surprise: The Wormwood Scrubs Enigma

Sherlock Holmes and the Element of Surprise
J. Andrew Taylor

“Come Watson! The game is yet again afoot!” Do you remember the first time that you accompanied Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson through the dark and foggy side streets and lanes of Victorian London? Do you still thrill as you recall the way that the shadows played upon the fog and gas lit streetlamps, the distant sound of the clock tower at Westminster, the menacing sound of footsteps upon the cobblestone streets and a forlorn cry for help in the night?

When two prison guards are found beheaded in the barren countryside surrounding Her Majesty’s Prison at Wormwood Scrubs, Inspector Lestrade seeks Holmes’ singular powers to determine how the murders could have been committed in separate locations with the only footprints being those of the murdered guards themselves.

With Doctor Watson at his side, Holmes sets out on this new adventure and uncovers deeper mysteries still; mysteries that will not only test the detectives’ powers of observation and deduction, but his skepticism of the paranormal as well.

I have to confess that I always wanted to be as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes. The way he could put observations together always made me so envious of him. I wanted to have the same mental capacity. The mystery in this book was quite interesting and almost seemed unsolvable (as most Holmes mysteries are).

Like all Sherlock Holmes stories, there are subtle clues that are placed throughout the novel so the reader can try to figure out how the murder occurred and who the killer is. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure this one out at all. A positive aspect of this book is that the language and atmosphere seemed relatively accurate, but unfortunately, the novel was missing the original spark that Arthur Conan Doyle’s works had. The clues almost seemed too subtle and the end result was almost completely out of left field.

This book was good for what it was, but unfortunately at parts I thought it was trying too hard to match the originals. However, I still found it enjoyable.

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