Charlie Milverton and Other Sherlock Holmes Stories
by Charlotte Anne Walters
Reviewed by Amy Thomas, The Baker Street Babes
Charlie Milverton, a collection of five Sherlock Holmes stories, is certainly a book of its time. Prior to 2010, modernized Holmes stories existed, but the inception and meteoric rise of Sherlock and Elementary have brought the idea into vogue in an unprecedented way. Author Charlotte Anne Walters has chosen to turn her pen toward bringing this phenomenon back to the printed page.
Charlotte isn’t at all cagey about her source material. Titles like “The Premier Bachelor” give broad hints of the stories she’s chosen to update, and her plots come directly from Doyle. What she’s chosen to change are contexts, and, to some extent, characters. Individuals like Charlie Milverton are recognizable as updates of their canon counterparts, but their qualities and vocations are at home in the modern world.
The style of the writing is fast-paced and very plot driven. Readers won’t find themselves getting bored. The prominence of Lestrade’s character is unexpected but certainly welcome and enjoyably executed.
As a devoted watcher of Sherlock, there have been moments throughout the series when I thought the modernization of a particular aspect rang less true than it should, particularly in “The Blind Banker.” I found myself experiencing a similar feeling occasionally when reading Charlie Milverton, as a Victorian-sounding line here and there jarred slightly with my immersion into the stories’ modern world.
Overall, Charlie Milverton is an interesting project that asks whether or not a Sherlock Holmes story can be translated as directly as Walters has chosen to do and succeed as a modern story. Barring the occasional odd moment, I would say the answer is yes; it works.
Charlie Milverton and other Sherlock Holmes Stories is available from all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, and for free shipping worldwide Book Depository . In ebook format it is in Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Apple iBooks (iPad/iPhone).
A copy of the above-reviewed work was provided for consideration by the publisher. All opinions expressed are the reviewer’s own.