The Revenant of Thraxton Hall is another Sherlock Holmes derivative, but instead of focusing on Sherlock himself, Entwistle features Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde as his protagonists and paranormal investigators. Hard to resist!
Of course, I enjoyed The Revenant of Thraxton Hall and can add it to a long list of take-offs on Sherlock Holmes --with the added amusement of Oscar Wilde and his one-liners.
Both of these men were, in real life, fascinating characters with a wide circle of friends that were also something of literary oddballs.
When Doyle killed Holmes in The Final Problem, his reading public was outraged and circulation of The Strand where his stories were serialized fell drastically. Whether or not Doyle was tired of Sherlock Holmes, whether or not the stories are great literature, really does not matter. Holmes seized the public's interest then and now.
The story takes place shortly after The Final Problem was published, and his reading public is justifiably (or not) very angry. Hope Thraxton, an attractive young medium, foresees her own murder and asks Conan Doyle for help. At first, he turns her down, but his curiosity won't allow him to forget her request. Eventually, he and Wilde agree to attend a meeting of The Society for Psychical Research in the remote manor house of the medium.
I could nitpick, there are plenty of areas for a little nitpicking, but the truth is that I was and am perfectly willing to let them go because I enjoyed the book. Oscar Wilde is my favorite character, and it would be difficult to exaggerate the man, his eccentricities, or his wit.
Speaking of intriguing oddballs, I love this biographical information on Vaughn Entwistle. I'm certainly looking forward to more from the Paranormal Casebooks!
Read in Dec., 2013
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press
Historical Mystery/Paranormal. March 25, 2014. Print version: 336 pages.