Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse's Mycroft Holmes was published by Titan Books in September 2015.
Information about the authors:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a huge Holmesian - 7'2" tall, basketball's all-time leading scorer, and a U.S. cultural ambassador. He's written extensively, including What Color is My World (children's), Brothers in Arms (military history), and On the Shoulders of Giants (black history).
Click here to visit his official website.
Anna Waterhouse is a professional screenwriter and script consultant.
Information about Mycroft Holmes:
Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties to the faraway island of Trinidad, the birthplace of his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a man of African descent, and where his fiancée Georgiana Sutton was raised.
Mycroft's comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports from home. There are rumors of mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies found drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad. Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas that they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more treacherous with each step they take...
Written by NBA superstar Kareem Abdul- Jabbar and screenwriter Anna Waterhouse, Mycroft Holmes reveals the untold story of Sherlock's older brother. This harrowing adventure changed his life, and set the stage for the man Mycroft would become: founder of the famous Diogenes Club and the hidden power behind the British government.
A REVIEW OF KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR AND ANNA WATERHOUSE'S MYCROFT HOLMES
Note: Mycroft Holmes isn't speculative fiction, but it contains elements that will be of interest to speculative fiction readers. This novel is so good and entertaining that it can be recommended to speculative fiction readers who enjoy reading mystery fiction.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse's Mycroft Holmes was a pleasant surprise for me. When I began to read it, I found myself totally absorbed in the mysterious happenings, because it has been written in a classic mystery style that is not often seen in modern mystery novels. It was so entertaining a novel that I didn't want it to end.
Mycroft Holmes is an interesting and well-researched novel that sheds light on the life of Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock Holmes' older brother. It reveals many things about Mycroft Holmes and gives insight into his life and work.
This novel is an interesting and entertaining combination of mystery fiction and historical fiction with a tiny dash of elements found in horror fiction. This combination works well, because all of the elements are in perfect balance and the story flows effortlessly.
Here's information about the story:
- The prologue: It's 1870 and the happenings take place outside of San Fernando, Trinidad. Emanuel thinks of the children's bodies that have been found on the island. He believes that the douen has killed the children by calling them out to play and the lougarou has done the rest, draining the bodies of blood...
- In the beginning, Mycroft Holmes watches a boat race and has made a wager on a boat race, because he has a plan how to win the wager. He gets into bit of a trouble and flees with his friend, Cyrus Douglas.
- Douglas tells Holmes that he hasn't heard anything of his relatives, who live in Trinidad, for a while. He is concerned for his family's well-being, because some of the locals have disappeared. When Holmes tells these news to his fiancée, Georgiana, she wants to travel back home.
- Soon Holmes and Douglas board the Sultana and begin a dangerous voyage towards Trinidad...
This is the beginning of a suspenseful mystery story with many surprises, because Holmes and Douglas are drawn into a hazardous web of secrets.
I was positively surprised by the characterisation, because it's good and works well. The main characters are fully fleshed out and realistic characters who will fascinate readers with their doings.
Here's a bit of information about the main characters:
- Mycroft Holmes is a practical and intelligent man. He's just as clever, intelligent and resourceful as his brother, Sherlock. He's a secretery to the Secretary of State for War. He is engaged to Georgina Sutton.
- Georgiana Sutton, Mycroft's fiancée, is a liberal and educated woman. She was raised in Trinidad, but now lives in London. She has a few secrets of her own that she has not shared with Mycroft.
- Cyrus Douglas, Mycroft Holmes' friend, is a forty-year-old man from Trinidad. He's a tobacco merchant. He is concerned about his relatives, because he hears rumours of mysterious disappearances on the island.
The scenes between Mycroft and Sherlock are excellent. The authors write captivatingly about how the brothers differ from each other. Mycroft's thoughts about his younger brother are interesting, because he thinks that Sherlock needs to concentrate more on many things.
I also enjoyed reading about the friendship between Mycroft and Douglas. Although they're different kind of men, they're friends and enjoy each other's company. The authors write well about the differences between them.
It's nice that the authors pay attention to how Holmes feels about his fiancée, Georgiana, because his feelings towards her are an important part of the story. It was enjoyable to read about how he reacted to news about his fiancée's secrets, because he finds out intriguing things about her past.
Mycroft Holmes' deduction skills are at full display in this novel. It was fascinating to read about how he made accurate observations about people, places and happenings, because based on his observations, he was able to reach conclusions that others couldn't reach. He has excellent memory and he remembers many things.
One of the best things about the story is that the authors show how easily Holmes manipulates people and gets them to do his bidding. He uses his intelligence to get what he wants and he does it well. He is a resourceful man who doesn't give up easily.
There's a wonderful sense of time and place in this novel. The authors beautifully evoke a realistic vision of the late 19th century by writing rich descriptions about the different locales, characters and happenings. Their descriptions are so absorbing and fluent that you'll find yourself fully immersed in the story.
The atmosphere and the happenings are dark and enchanting. The authors write about all kinds of dark things related to life and crime in the 19th century, including plantations, racial issues, opium dens, pickpockets, assaults and poisons. The use of the words "douen" and "lougarou" adds a nice touch of supernatural threat to the story.
There are many scenes in which the authors demonstrate their storytelling abilities. For example, the voyage to Trinidad features excellent storytelling. Reading about how Holmes and Douglas boarded the ship and what happened to them during the voyage was intriguing, because it seemed that somebody was trying to cause them trouble and prevent them from continuing their investigations.
It's great that the authors have managed to add witty British-like humour to the story (there's quite a lot of clever and dry humour in this novel that has a British edge to it). In my opinion, there's a tiny touch of P. G. Wodehouse and Joe Keenan to be found in this novel, because some of the scenes reminded me of their novels.
One of the strengths of this novel is that the authors write well about racial issues, prejudices and slavery. This is something that is not often seen on the pages of mystery novels.
Because I enjoy reading descriptive and well written prose, the quality of the prose was a nice surprise for me. I was also surprised by how fluently the authors moved the story forward and gradually revealed secrets, because they seemed to have understood how important it is to create a good atmosphere by not rushing anything.
This novel has clearly been written out of love for Holmesian mystery fiction, and especially out of love for writing. It's easy to see how much the authors enjoy telling a mysterious and charmingly macabre story that has clever plot twists and surprises. The authors have done their best to write a mystery novel that both entertains and thrills readers.
I think that readers - especially those readers who are familiar with Sherlock Holmes stories and enjoy watching period TV series set in the 19th century - will love this novel very much. There's much to cherish and enjoy in this novel, because it's good and wholehearted entertainment to readers who enjoy reading well written stories.
Most of us have probably read novels and stories that have hooked us from the first page and almost forced us to read the whole story in one session. If you're familiar with this feeling, I can guarantee that you're about to experience it again when you begin to read this novel.
I give this novel full five stars on the scale from one to five stars, because it's a fun read (it's one of the most entertaining novels of the year). I sincerely hope the authors will soon write more about Mycroft Holmes and Cyrus Douglas, because it would be nice to read more about them.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse's Mycroft Holmes is a welcome addition to Holmesian fiction. It's a suspenseful and exquisitely written novel for readers who love Holmesian stories and mystery stories with hints of something supernatural and macabre. If you've ever been interested in mystery fiction and like to read good mystery stories, you can't go wrong by reading this wonderful novel.
Excellent and well written entertainment!