Indie Review: “Something Wicker This Way Comes” by Colin Garrow

Check all your previous Sherlock Holmes assumptions at the door –  or book cover, in this case. The story within these pages does not simply consist of “fanfic” new cases added to the canon of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Rather, Indie Author Colin Garrow has re-invented the characters and taken them in a new direction. Imagine if you will, Sherlock and Dr. Watson solving cases in an alternate steampunk universe.

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Something Wicker This Way Comes” is the first in a series dubbed “The Watson Letters,” since it is written as a bulk of correspondence between Watson and Holmes. In it we find Dr. Watson as the intrepid gumshoe and Sherlock adding in his bit with rare appearances, and sometimes creating havoc by picking fights over minutiae. I cannot discuss the specific subjects of the letters without dropping spoilers, but I will mention what I can.

There are numerous shout-outs to famous true crime cases, movies, and other things in pop culture. And in the course of these comes a good deal of tongue-in-cheek humor. Let me say that this series, in its steampunk setting, is first and foremost a satirical parody of the crime-solving duo. Colin Garrow dispenses his barbed humor with skill. Yes, I almost spit out my tea on several occasions.

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The quality of the writing is first class. At no point did I have to stumble over an oddly constructed sentence or back track. Colin Garrow’s masterful style gives us a sense of a whirlwind life and friendship. However, the best part is, Colin achieved this while maintaining a sense of a 19th Century steampunk world. Watson’s “voice” comes across as a living member of this alternate universe.

Whether you’re a fan of Sherlock or simply an armchair historian with some pop cultural knowledge, you will enjoy Colin Garrow’s creative innovation as much as I did.

Twitter: @ColinGarrow

Did Sherlock Holmes Meet Mr. Spock?

Well maybe they shouldn’t meet, or perhaps can’t. Unless our intrepid science officer from Star Trek, Mr. Spock, decides to travel back in time to 19th Century London, finds his way to Baker Street, and has a robust conversation with the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. However, if that conversation should deteriorate and turn into an argument, and Spock murders Sherlock, there could be more serious consequences other than the long arm of the law.Sherlock

We know from certain Star Trek episodes and movies (I believe there are time-travel episodes from all of the individual series, and the movie Star Trek IV) that time travel into the past is possible within the Star Trek universe. Science of course says otherwise, because of the huge problem of paradox. For example, if Spock or anyone else travels back in time and kills their great-grandfather, then they were never born in the future to travel back in time to commit the murder in the first place. And that’s why anything I write does not mess around with time.

O.K., but I’m digressing. I chose Mr. Spock and Sherlock Holmes for a reason. I’m putting out this idea to all Sherlock and Star Trek fans. Is it possible that Sherlock Holmes was a Vulcan? If so, then what are the possibilities that he is also one of Mr. Spock’s ancestors?

One fact about Sherlock keeps nagging at my mind. He was a master of deductive reasoning and drawing facts together in order to land at their logical conclusion. His accentuated intellect and appetite for mundane facts almost screams out his Vulcan identity.

Imagine a Vulcan trapped on 19th century earth. Would not a Vulcan be learning all that can be learned with an incredible level of absorption and retention? If you’ve ever read any story or novel within the Sherlock Holmes canon by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you would be aware of Holmes’ ability to dredge up obscure facts without consulting a text.

Next comes the curious case of naming conventions within the “Spock” family. We know the names of Spock’s father and brother, Sarek and Sybok. See a pattern? It would seem that there’s a family tradition of giving descendants a moniker that begins with an “S” and ends with a “K.” Hmmm, is it too far-fetched to add the name Sherlock to the family tree?

How about this interpretation? Sir Arthur did not know about Star Trek, but Roddenberry certainly knew about Sherlock. I don’t recall Sherlock ever taking on the case of Jack the Ripper, but Roddenberry made him the subject of the episode “Wolf in the Fold.” And just by darn luck, it was Spock who solved the identity of the Ripper. A shout-out perhaps?  Who knows? But Mr. Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation was a huge fan of Sherlock, and even Professor Moriarty wormed his way into an episode.

Do you think this is food for thought? Has anyone noticed this subject in a fanfic? I await some flaming comments.