Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire
Review: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson take on the case of a man unjustly accused of murder on board a ship in Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire.
Best friends Carlino Gaetano and Vittorio Martinez have booked passage aboard a cargo ship from Italy to England, where they hope to gain employment as apprentice printers. As they are boarding, Carlino spots a most beautiful young woman, Gianetta Rossini, who is traveling with her parents. Gianetta is betrothed to a wealthy man in England, someone she barely knows and certainly doesn't love, and it isn't long before Carlino and Gianetta are stealing time together during the long trip. But when she disappears from the ship one night, Carlino is accused of her murder. Once in London, Vittorio places an ad in the newspaper pleading for someone, anyone to help them, a notice that attracts the eye of Sherlock Holmes, who senses that someone is trying to get away with murder.
Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire alternates between the storylines of Holmes's and Watson's investigation and that of Baron Antonio Barlucci, a 600-year-old vampire … and the killer of Gianetta. (This is not a spoiler; he admits to the crime early in the book.) Since the reader knows everything there is to know about both sides of the case, there isn't much of a mystery here to solve. Indeed, when Holmes interviews Carlino and he mentions the mysterious Baron Barlucci, pretty much the only person on board the ship who could have killed Gianetta — assuming, of course, that Carlino is innocent — it isn't at all clear why Holmes doesn't act immediately.
This novel — though it checks in at almost 250 pages, it's too long by at least half; the supernatural subplot really doesn't have much substance, and despite being included in the title, the vampire is not an altogether interesting character and certainly no match for Holmes — creates a credible Victorian environment and is well structured … and if that is all the author intended for the book, mission accomplished. But for fans of the canon, it is rather disappointing as it doesn't present Holmes with much of a challenge, and more importantly from a Conan Doyle-style adventure/puzzle perspective, lacks any element of suspense — whodunit or howdunit or whydunit — for the reader.
Acknowledgment: MX Publishing provided a copy of Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire: London, England
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Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire by Dean P. Turnbloom — A Sherlock Holmes Story
Publisher: MX Publishing
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2012
List Price: $18.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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