G. S. Denning's Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone was published by Titan Books in May 2016.
Information about G. S. Denning:
G. S. Denning was born in Seattle, Washington. He has published articles for games company Wizards of the Coast, worked as an editor, written a video-game script for Nintendo, and written and performed shows at the Epcot Center, Walt Disney World. With a background in improv, Gabe has performed with Ryan Stiles and Wayne Brady, and he currently has a play running in Seattle. He now lives in Las Vegas with his wife and two children.
Click here to visit his Twitter page.
Information about Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone:
Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.
Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he's brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn't deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety... and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.
An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world's favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it's been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.
Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.
A REVIEW OF G. S. DENNING'S WARLOCK HOLMES: A STUDY IN BRIMSTONE
The past couple of years have been excellent years for Sherlockian fiction, because many authors have done their best to write memorable mystery stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Now G. S. Denning joins the canon of these authors and gives readers a charming vision of a totally different kind of Sherlock Holmes.
G. S. Denning's Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone is without a doubt one of the best and most entertaining novels of the year. It's a wonderfully clever and amusing reimagining of Sherlock Holmes as a peculiar man who's not very bright and whose deduction skills leave a lot to desire, but is blessed with a deep understanding of the supernatural. In this novel, Sherlock Holmes is a warlock and is called Warlock Holmes.
To be honest, it's been a while since I've chuckled and laughed out loud as much as I did when I read Warlock Holmes. This novel is a brilliantly inventive and parodical vision of Sherlock Holmes, because the author doesn't hold anything back, but lets his readers marvel at his sense of humour. If you're familiar with the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and enjoy reading humorous stories, I can guarantee that you'll enjoy this marvellous novel. It will put a big smile on your face.
Warlock Holmes is divided into six parts that reveal what kind of cases and adventures Warlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson have:
- A Study in Brimstone
- The Adventure of the Resident Sacrifice
- The Case of the Cardboard... Case
- The Adventure of the Yellow Bastard
- The Adventure of the _eckled _and
- Charles Augustus Milverton: Soulbinder
The first of the stories, 'A Study in Brimstone', is a retelling of 'A Study in Scarlet', which marked the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. It introduces the supernatural versions of the well-known figures in Sherlock Holmes stories and leads readers into the mysterious and supernatural world of Warlock Holmes. The other stories expand the supernatural context further, because the author uses familiar crimes, names and places as a basis for his reimagined stories.
The story is narrated by Dr. John Watson who has retired from the army after being shot in Afghanistan. He tells describes his experiences and thoughts about the different cases in a charming way.
Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone begins with Dr. John Watson apologising for dooming the world to the age of demons. At the beginning of the story, he is not a well man, because he is about to starve to death and needs an inexpensive place to rest himself. His life changes when he hears about an odd man called Warlock Holmes who has peculiar manners and loves the macabre. Dr. Watson finds out that Warlock has trouble finding anyone to lodge with him and decides to become his lodger. Soon he moves into Warlock's lodgings at 221B Baker Street and learns more about him and his strange friends...
Part of the charm of this novel comes from G. S. Denning's ability to use Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories to his advantage by borrowing elements from them. There are differences between Denning and Doyle's stories, but there are also many similarities. I'm sure that readers will easily notice what stories the author has reimagined and how he has changed the cases to give them supernatural twist. It's nice that the author writes about such famous and well-known characters as Moriarty and Lestrade in an inventive way, because they're important characters in Sherlockian fiction.
G. S. Denning excels at writing humorous and witty prose. His writing is remarkably smooth and entertaining. Many of the sentences and happenings have a fascinatingly witty and humorous edge to them. I think it's great that the author doesn't try to emulate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing style, but has his own voice, because it brings freshness to Sherlockian fiction. His swiftly flowing prose is a pleasure to read.
Here are a few words about the characters:
- Warlock Holmes is something new to readers, because he's anything but a Sherlockian genius. In fact, he's something altogether different. He's a charmingly peculiar and eccentric man whose interests lie in the macabre and the uncanny. He has odd manners.
- Dr. John Watson offers good counterbalance for Warlock Holmes as his loyal sidekick. He often marvels at Warlock's doings and manners. He's a doctor who finds himself intrigued by detective work and uses scientific approach to solve crimes.
- Vladislav Lestrade, the peculiar Romanian man, is a fantastic take on Inspector Lestrade. He's a vampire who works at Scotland Yard.
- The ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson is an interesting character, because his writing skills are not very good. He's not your normal kind of a character due to his appearance and behaviour.
- The landlady, Mrs Hudson, is a fascinatingly tough spinster who has the heart of a shrew. She has her own peculiar manners.
The author breathes life into all of these characters during the story. I found myself enjoying them, because it was fun to read about their peculiarities.
It's great that G. S. Denning pays attention to the atmosphere. I admire his ability to maintain an atmosphere that has the right amount of mystery and strangeness. I also like his way of writing about the cases, because they're approriately weird.
I also have to mention that the author's descriptions of the different areas and places are excellent and evoke a distinct sense of an age gone by. His vision of the Victorian era is surprisingly entertaining and vibrant.
I found the prose and dialogues to be highly enjoyable. The author does an excellent job at fleshing out his characters by means of amusing dialogue and keen observation skills. Dr. Watson's behaviour and scientific reasoning offers excellent contrast to Warlock Holmes' incompetent deduction skills and odd manners.
I was positively surprised when I notice that the story contains fascinatingly strange scenes. For example, the scene in which Warlock Holmes has invited rats that live on the Baker Street to his house is memorable in its strangeness. Warlock calls them the Baker Street Irregulars and uses them to his benefit.
The illustrations by Sean Patella-Buckley are beautiful and well-created. They fit the story perfectly, because they highlight certain happenings and provide readers a visual treat.
I have to mention that I look forward to reading the forthcoming sequel, Warlock Holmes: The Battle of Baskerville Hall, because I enjoyed this novel. This novel was so good that it left me wanting more.
If you've ever read any of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, you're in for a rare and extremely clever treat when you read this novel. It's a genuinely funny take on Sherlock Holmes stories, because the author takes them to new heights by spicing them with plenty of humour and speculative fiction elements.
If you're currently thinking of what you should be reading next, you should consider reading this splendid novel. If you're looking for light and amusing entertainment, you can't go wrong by delving into the fascinating and fantastical world of Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone, because it's good entertainment. This humorous and quirky masterpiece belongs to the bookshelf of everyone who loves absorbing and addictive mystery fiction with supernatural elements.
My final words are:
G. S. Denning's Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone is charming and excellent entertainment! It's a deliciously entertaining reading experience.