Tonight, I realized that I have some real trust issues with Sherlock Holmes.
I decided that I would buy a Sherlock Holmes book of fairly recent vintage, based upon many good reviews and general good word of mouth from Sherlockian friends. Kind of a no-brainer, right?
But when I went to make the purchase, eschewing one-click speed of the online sale for the pace of picking up a book, walking to the counter, and paying for it, I felt something new.
Was I wasting my money? Was this just another book that would sit on a shelf with its Sherlockian kindred, only to be cast out when the next purge came?
Those feelings did not abate when I got the book home and contemplated opening it up and reading the opening pages.
What if I didn't immediately didn't like it? What if I forced myself to keep reading until I could read no more, and then put it in the pile that knows it's going out with that next purge?
By the time I decided to sit down and blog out this situation, my anxiety was starting build to symptomatic levels. I know the pandemic and other worries of the past couple of years have put us all in a worn-thin state, but to work myself into this much internal drama over a simple Sherlock Holmes book? How much had I been abused by bad pastichery in years past? How many books had I dutifully slogged through once the knock-off honeymoon was over?
And there was a honeymoon in my early adult years, trust me on that. Sherlock Holmes War of the Worlds just might have been the start of my personal pastiche boom and not The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, even though I got to it soon enough after. Movie novelizations, Adrian's Exploits, Solar Pons . . . I plowed through it all. I even toughed it out through the horror of Sherlock Holmes in Dallas without just putting it out of my misery. But now?
The idea of a straight Sherlock Holmes mystery frightens me to death. Warlock Holmes, no problem. Omegaverse fic, no problem. Weird comic book about Irena Adler and Dejah Thoris? Well, that might have had some problems, but no anxiety.
Coming back to an actual Sherlock Holmes mystery that gets rave reviews is almost like heading to the bedroom for sex after a decade long-drought -- you have to wonder if everything still works like it once did, and if you haven't lost the ability to experience things like you once could. It's all enough to make one more than a little nervous.
So maybe I'll retreat to some nice, safe Sherlockian chronology for a while, then mix up a nice Watsonian caipirinha before sitting down to try my luck.