Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A world full of Holmeses.

Reading the latest Charlotte Holmes novel, I'm finding one of the most attractive things about his new series is that Sherlock Holmes isn't just the world's greatest consulting detective . . . he's the founder of a dynasty. And I do mean "dynasty" like the old night-time soap opera Dynasty.

In The Last of August, Brittany Cavallaro's novel of Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, the author includes a lovely little genealogical chart of both the Holmes and Moriarty family lines. Five generations follow from Sherlock, and six generations follow from Professor Moriarty. Lots of Holmeses, lots of Moriartys, and lots of personalities in both lines, as the novel is quick to reveal.

Something about Brittany Cavallaro's world of variant Holmes descendants is marvelously attractive. It's almost like she managed to capture our entire experience with multiple pastiche Holmeses of the last century in one world. So many Sherlocks, none of them quite capturing the original in their little variation. Of course, I'm not too deep into the book yet, so this view might be a bit enhanced by my imagination and expectation at Charlotte Holmes being among her family for this outing. But the first book was good, so expectations are definitely high.

Something about a modern world full of the descendants of Sherlock Holmes opens up a door in my own headcanon, though, and through that door, even the weaker adaptation of CBS's Elementary makes sense. Morland Holmes being a scion of some ignored black sheep branch who tried to tie his line back to the original pedigree by naming his sons "Sherlock" and "Mycroft." That would certain explain the elder brother being a ne'er do well chef, as well as giving Jamie Moriarty a lineage of her own to explain her love of painting over mathematics.

It's not even really necessary to try to stuff the New York Holmeses into that particular world, though, as these days, writers are giving a us a universe of Holmes worlds, both professionally done and created with an amateur's passion. But it's always a fine thing to find a particularly good one, and that's what I'm enjoying in The Last of August at the moment.

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