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on March 13, 2009
I am a near lifelong fan of Sherlock Holmes. When I was lawyering and hit a mental block, 20 minutes in a Holmes story cleared everything up. When Chris Wood e mailed me and offered a free book for a review, I was a bit put off by the title, since I ceased enjoying scatological humor around the 8th grade.

But it is a clever work, though Woods' Holmes is a far and distant cry from that of Conan Doyle. The former is a bumbling, egomaniacal, ethically challenged individual not a coldly logical and precise detective. The cases written of in the book would have, at a minimum, raised Victorian eyebrows to the hairline. I suspect that the folks at Amazon.com might well censor this review if I quoted the precise names of a couple of "cases".

But it is funny, if scatology is your thing. It is also heavily into things British, which may elude the American mind. And it is cleverly done, as noted.

I was prepared for worse, and have neighbors who would give the book a four star, because bathroom humor is their thing
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VINE VOICEon March 29, 2010
When approached by an author to read a new novel, one usually looks to the pile of unread books as a guide as to whether or not to accept another book. When I was asked to read Chris Wood's latest book and first work of fiction, Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death, I gave the invitation a lot of thought. In the end, however, I decided that a novel with "Sherlock Holmes" and "Underpants" in the title deserved a read. I was not disappointed.

Contents:
Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death
The Mystery of the Hidden Turd
The Problem of the Poultry Affair
The Adventure of the Lingering Stench
The Experience of the Quickest Client
The Conundrum of the Missing . . .

Chris Woods has penned a series of Sherlock Holmes' lesser known (for good reason) mysteries that you will leave you in stitches. The Sherlock Holmes that travels through this novel is not really looking to solve a crime so much as he is looking to make off with your good silver or rifle through your pockets for a few extra pounds. Woods fills in Holmes' time between his more famous cases, such as "A Study in Scarlet" or "The Hound of the Baskervilles," which include some deadly underpants and a "deeply unhygienic menace," among others. If you were looking for good taste, look elsewhere. If, however, you are looking for a rollicking good time and a serious dose of bathroom humor, this book is for you. Ribald, biting wit, and a definite anti-thesis to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, yields a very entertaining look at Sherlock Holmes and Watson (whilst Holmes takes center stage, it is Watson that provides some of the best lines, and action, in this book). The illustrations, and their captions, add to the over-the-top humor. Again, Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death isn't for everyone, but the ones that appreciate such farce will find a very enjoyable novel.

Disclosure:
Obtained from: Author
Payment: Free
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There are six short stories in this book. These are their titles:

Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death
The Mystery of the Hidden Turd
The Problem of the Poultry Affair
The Adventure of the Lingering Stench
The Experience of the Quietest Client
The Conundrum of the Missing Mother****er

This book is collection of Holmes spoofs which presents the legendary detective in a totally different way. These are not his celebrated cases, the successes for which we admire him. No, this is a Sherlock Holmes bereft of dignity and wallowing (it seems) in excrement. Which places me in an awkward position: I don't like this portrayal of Sherlock Holmes one little bit. It excretes incompetence, and has other unsettling characteristics. In short, it smells! On the other hand, (and depending on your sense of humour) it is laugh out loud funny in places.

I bet that Chris Wood had a lot of fun writing this. It will take me some time to get the images out of my mind which is not entirely pleasant. In fact, it's quite draining. If you don't enjoy scatological humour, you probably won't enjoy this. If you can't bear to see Holmes spoofed, this won't be fun. If neither of those things deter you, and you enjoy parody and appreciate British humour then you may well want to, umm, uncover the truth behind the sinister underpants of death.

It's excremental.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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"I wondered how much more I could take of Holmes' moody eccentricity," Watson writes. "It was bad enough him keeping his tobacco in a Persian slipper, but of late, the habit of keeping his feet in my cigar case had been getting me down." So begins the title story, suspiciously reminiscent of Hound of the Baskervilles, with many ridiculous quirks. The collection continues through state secrets and lingering stenches, all while poking fun at the famed duo. Watson may be an inept biographer with the brain of a peanut and Holmes may be stuck sniffing all his chemicals to determine which is the chloroform, but they always solve their cases in the end--even while posing for the cartoonist to illustrate.

Of the six stories in the collection, the second is truly disgusting in a Southpark-gross-out sort of way. The others aren't as bad, though the silliness is variable. Throughout, the author maintains an excellent (and humorous) knowledge of British culture and Doyle-style writing, along with perfect spoofing of Holmes trivia. Holmes matches wits with such famed presences as Freud and Queen Victoria, all the while recalling the duties of a fictional character in this post-modern satire.
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on March 24, 2009
Chris Wood has done a marvellous job of tickling my funny bone. I expected a parody of the Sherlock Holmes series. I mean, the title gives it away, but I was plesantly surprised by the madcap, zany Marx Brother romp, combining satire, parody and Monty Python - something akin to the washer women discussing Proust. There's also an ample touch of WS Gilbert as the language is melodic and piquant, interrupted only by Pop culture references and images of the silly (Holmes trying to purchase a children's train ticket, wearing a school hat and sucking his thumb). How does one portray slapstick in prose? Not easy - but Mr. Wood has done it, keeping us unbalanced and as whiplashed as a wacky stack of dishes. And Margaret Dumont does show up? I loved the illustrations with their Mad Comic captions, and overall this is a wonderful Sunday afternoon read, when the world is coming apart and the 401K is sinking - just line up with Mr. Wood and his take on Sir Arthur's all too serious slueth and enjoy. What's next? A parody of Edgar Rice Burroughs? A "Tarzan meets David Letterman and Jay Leno on the Planet of the Apes," mayhap?
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on April 14, 2009
Chris Wood has written a collection of stories based on the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his cohort Mr. Watson. The six short stories are in rare form- they made me laugh out loud at the interactions between the characters in the book and also wonder at the odd series of cases that they found themselves involved in. I enjoyed that each page is packed full of humor- some of which I admittedly didn't get- but that may be because I am too young... or just not British : )

Some of the stories did focus a lot on potty humor- and although I don't usually like that type of subject (being a mom who has spent a significant amount of time trying to get her kids not to giggle hysterically if one of them breaks wind) I found myself guilty of laughing.

If you like to be intellegently entertained while somehow also reveling in 8-year-old boy humor then this book is for you! If you are okay with Holmes and Watson getting poked fun of that's a bonus. On a last note I loved the captions on the illustrations- hilarious and marvelously done! Good read!
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on May 1, 2009
If you are expecting a typical Holmes and Watson outing, you will be greatly surprised at the satirical and often hilarious Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants of Death. With true British humor on every page, the six short stories in this collection are in a class all their own. Although some might be put off by the nature of some the bathroom humor, most will enjoy the situations Holmes and Watson find themselves in. And in typical fashion, all cases are solved.

Those who are most familiar with the famous detective will enjoy and appreciate the comments and quirks throughout. This is truly a laugh out loud experience and one true Holmes fans should not miss.

Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants Of Death
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on April 17, 2009
First of all, this book is very entertaining. It's one of those bizarre combinations that work, like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" - mix up elements you don't expect together and enjoy the results. It's incredibly good fun, and you don't need to be a massive Sherlock Holmes fan to enjoy the jokes. The pictures work as well - original nineteenth century illustrations with heavy sexual innuendoes and Groucho Marx wit.

This is an unusually funny book that combines sophisticated literary jokes with custard pie humor. Great stuff!
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on March 30, 2009
Sherlock and Watson Revel in Poo for the Greater Good

Meet the real Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they investigate the most bizarre crimes ever conceived by the abnormal mind--a truly comical rendition of the two most highly respected detectives in London. The book consists of six short stories all done to shock and amuse the reader.
The key word here is scat, and our illustrious detectives do a brilliant job of wallowing through it to bring the bad guys to justice in a most humorous way.
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VINE VOICEon December 20, 2009
Who is Chris Wood, and how does he have the time to develop his intense wit?

Sherlock Holmes, the fictional famous detective, is widely known for his intellect, observational skills, and reasoning ability. With these tools (and his magnifying glass), he solves his cases.

But what if that fiction was itself fiction? Chris Wood explores this possibility.

In Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants Of Death, Wood explores another side of Holmes with six short stories:

- Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants Of Death
- The Mystery of the Hidden Turd
- The Problem of the Poultry Affair
- The Adventure of the Lingering Stench
- The Experience of the Quickest Client
- The Conundrum of the Missing...

I think you get the picture!

I'm not exactly sure about the most appropriate and accurate way to characterize this book.
These words come to mind: mockery, sarcasm, ridicule, sarcasm, parody, caricature, spoof, and lampoon.

If you DON'T have a sense of humor, please don't read this book. If you DO have a sense of humor, and you detest scatological references, please don't read this book. If you think you would enjoy a raw poke at Sherlock Holmes, then this is probably the book for you.

And I'll bet it would be even better read out loud in a crowd of friends!
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