Monday, April 29, 2013

My Dear Watson by L.A. Fields 4 Stars

My Dear WatsonMy Dear Watson by L.A. Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Available at: Lethe Press and Amazon
Paperback and Ebook, 284 pages

Published April 4th 2013 by Lethe Press (first published March 26th 2013)

ISBN 1590213688 (ISBN13: 9781590213681)

Edition language English

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He is rather infectious, Sherlock Holmes. A dark and glamourous thing.


[I should disclose my familiarity with Sherlock Holmes. I am not an aficionado, not even an avid reader, but I would consider myself something of a novice with interest. I have read a few of the more well known books.]

A commendable undertaking, penetrating the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries to prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the "true" nature of the relationship between Holmes and Dr. Watson. I will never again think of their relationship in any way other than how it was put forth here. Ms. Fields convinced me completely of the truth of the matter and I feel fulfilled for understanding that truth.

THE BLURB
One of the most famous partnerships in literature yields, over time, to a peculiar romantic triangle. Sherlock Holmes. Dr. John Watson. And the good doctor’s second wife, whom Doyle never named. In L A Fields's novel, Mrs. Watson is a clever woman who realizes, through examining all the prior cases her husband shared with the world's greatest consulting detective, that the two men shared more than adventures: they were lovers, as well. In 1919, after the pair has retired, Mrs. Watson invites Holmes to her home to meet him face to face. Thus begins a recounting of a peculiar affair between extraordinary men.

“You are such a unique person,” Holmes says poisonously. “What a shame that history will most likely never remember your name.”

The question Mrs. Watson faces: Did Holmes simply take advantage of her husband’s loyalty and love, or did the detective return those feelings? And what to do now that the pair are no longer living together at Baker Street and Watson has other claims on his affections? My Dear Watson offers readers a romance that requires as much reasoning to puzzle out as it does passion. Mrs. Watson proves a worthy opponent—in intellect, in guile, in conviction—for the great detective.

Recommended for libraries by the GLBT Roundtable of the American Library Association

THE CHARACTERS


What was it about Holmes—razor-tongued, ego-chocked, hard-hearted Holmes—that made living with him so much more worth it? What was it about the tension and drama of Baker Street that was so irresistible?


Sherlock Holmes - Hard-hearted is an apt description. We meet Holmes as a young college man, already confident, cocky and steps ahead of everyone. Can this machine ever crack?

Dr. John Watson - Charming, calm, thoughtful, brave and romantic. He sees something in Holmes that everyone else must miss.

Mrs. Watson II - Clever, insightful and patient. She is a modern woman who loves her husband despite his interests. She's admirable and pitiful, but I couldn't help stepping into her shoes.

While I find Holmes an insufferable bastard, I ache for Watson. While I sympathize with Mrs. Watson, I long for Holmes and Watson to settle. While I glimpse the famous cases, I learn about true mysteries of the heart and mind. To read this book is to journey through the familiar and, for me, other unknown cases where once dark corners are illuminated with new light.


They are embracing each other tightly, blissfully, as if they’ve been a lifetime away from one another. I don’t believe I am jealous—I’m a modern woman, and I knew of my husband’s flexible nature before I married him—but I am rather dstabilized by this scene. They just look so desperately happy to be holding one another. It’s touching, but it touches one awfully hard.


THE WRITING

Ms. Fields has clearly expended great amounts of energy and research to put together this detailed narrative. You’ll find a convincing presentation of the facts as well as interesting commentary on real historical events which affected their relationship. Her usage of poetic prose and innuendo seems very in keeping with the tone of the period. At times, the retelling became repetitive and I found myself wanting more dialog between Holmes and Watson. Alas, that may not be possible given their unique relationship. Nonetheless, something could have been gained by coming to the point more quickly. This is to say that I was convinced by the proof Ms. Fields presented early on, but felt I was slogging through the middle needlessly. The final third, however, found me hard pressed to lay the book down.

I was angry at Holmes. Crying for Watson and laughing at the lame criminal element that Holmes toyed with ruthlessly. The sexual relationship between Holmes and Watson is only alluded to, but there are delightful moments of tension and tenderness that portray a very clear picture of their intimacy. For me, someone who enjoys romance, this feels like an element missing from the classic stories has been restored.

I would highly recommend this to readers with at least a basic understanding of some of the more well known cases. Especially if you would like a deeper, more meaningful connection to Holmes and Watson.

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I would like to thank Lethe Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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