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Anyone for chess with Moriarty?
on January 21, 2001
This is Carole Buggé's first novel-length Sherlock Holmes adventure, having previously written short stories in 'The Game's Afoot' and 'The Resurrected Holmes'.
While this first novel is a good attempt, I was a little disappointed that I found it fairly easy to work out how the story was going to come out, and who was doing what. The story not only features Sherlock Holmes, but his brother Mycroft and his opposite number, Professor Moriarty. With three substantial intellects at work, I really should have been guessing up until the very end.
Another problem is the chess motif adopted in the story. At some points it appears that there is a literal chess game going on, at others that it is a metaphorical chess game. Since it sometimes one and sometimes the other, some of the things that happen make absolutely no sense in terms of the other paradigm.
Having said all that, the portrayal of the characters is good, and the plot line more than passable. I actually suspect that Ms. Buggé wrote the book so that attentive readers could penetrate the plot, which is certainly preferable to those writers who use Holmes' deductive abilities as deus ex machina. Ms. Buggé's second Holmes novel, 'The Haunting of Torre Abbey', is on my shelf of unread books and I will read it in due course. Hopefully some more experience will take the promise of this novel into a mote fully developed book.