Monday, June 14, 2010

Sherlock Holmes: The Church Mysteries

 I was exceedingly preoccupied by that little affair of the Vatican cameos, and in my anxiety to oblige the Pope I lost touch with several interesting English cases.
Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sherlock Holmes: The Church Mysteries by Ann Margaret Lewis (Wessex Press, 2010) will be released this coming August. I had the pleasure and honor of reading the manuscript. Based upon snippets in the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ann Lewis has ingeniously woven tales of mystery amid the liturgical cadences of Pope Leo XIII's Vatican and against the backdrop of international intrigue. Holmes and Watson are there, just as Doyle created them; it is fascinating to see the famous duo in the corridors of the papal apartments, matching wits with Leo XIII himself.

Pope Leo comes convincingly to life in the stories so that I often felt that I was sitting in the same room with him, listening to his pithy insights, sparkling with humor, a very saintly old Italian gentleman. Holmes' own religious skepticism is confronted and for once in his life he realizes that there are places where his brilliant intellect and spectacular process of discernment cannot go. Another English detective, none other than Fr. Brown, appears in one of the stories, as Ann subtly mingles literature with history, pulling together many loose threads to make a living tapestry of the past.

Sherlock Holmes: The Church Mysteries is a welcome addition to Catholic-themed literature and to literature in general. As is the way with well-written books, it would be perfect for reading aloud at night by a roaring fire. I recommend it for all ages, especially for those who can never get enough of the one and only Sherlock Holmes.

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1 comment:

Ann Margaret Lewis said...

Thanks for the lovely review, Elena Maria! God bless you!!