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Graphic Novel Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Crystal Blue Bottle

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of The Crystal Blue Bottle

By Luke Benjamin Kuhns et al.


Crystal Blue Bottle_CoverGraphic novels—throughout my life, they’ve been on the periphery of my consciousness, something I appreciate as an art form and sometimes leaf through in the bookstore, but rarely something I purchase. One of the only types that truly piques my interest is graphic novelizations of classic literature, particularly, of course, of the Holmesian variety. For this reason, I was very excited when I received a review copy of Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Crystal Blue Bottle, a collaboration with a story by Luke Benjamin Kuhns and artwork by several others, with royalties benefitting the Undershaw Preservation Trust, the group fighting to save Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s home from destruction.

The story itself is a straightforward murder mystery that wouldn’t be out of place in one of the Doyle short story collections. The artwork is varied, with sections 1 and 3 of the story in one style, while section 2 utilizes another. The final part of the book contains stunning additional artwork by several artists.

I enjoyed Blue Bottle’s story and its visual art. I’m unsure what prompted the stylistic variation sandwiched in the middle of the story; I’d have preferred a single style throughout or else one and then the other. However, both styles were well executed and visually interesting. The story reads authentically, especially when Kuhns is writing in Holmes’s voice. I’d have enjoyed a slightly longer tale, but as it is, it works well.

As a Sherlock Holmes fan in an Internet age, I see the prevalence of new and old Holmesians who enjoy graphic novels and can’t wait to get their hands on new offerings. I believe they will enjoy Blue Bottle very much, and the added benefit of supporting Undershaw is an enticing bonus.

Purchase it here

This book was provided for consideration by MX Publishing.

Amy Thomas is a book reviewer, freelance essayist, and author of The Detective and The Woman mystery novel series featuring Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, published by MX Publishing. She holds a degree in professional communication and is an avid knitter, geek, and grammar nerd. Amy blogs about Sherlock Holmes at and can be reached for professional enquiries at Connect with her on Twitter @Pickwick12. Email her at

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