Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kregel Blog Tour: The Reichenbach Problem

The Reichenbach Problem 

by Martin Allison Booth

The Reichenbach Problem involves Sir Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, with a mystery of his own to solve--in real life.

Doyle has set off on a vacation (or so he thought) to a picturesque area in Switzerland. Things start off on the wrong foot when he is recognized by a rather annoying  passenger on the train.  With no definite plans of his own, this traveler proceeds to attach himself to Doyle--tagging along nearly everywhere he goes.  Hardly the way to begin a relaxing holiday.

Very soon after settling into his lodgings, Doyle learns that one of the guests is missing. While out walking with his annoying companion, they encounter a rescue party who found the man in question (quite dead), apparently from a fall off Reichenbach Falls.  Doyle's curiosity is piqued and so begins his chance at being Sherlock in real life.

The characters that Doyle encounters are quite interesting and varied. With an author's eye (and Sherlockian logic), he lucidly describes each person with whom he comes in contact.  With his medical background, he also seems to psychoanalyze and feel compelled to serve as counselor in more than one relational tangle.  

It was interesting to see the internal struggles that Doyle has with an adoring public. On the train to his destination, he is rehearsing how to dispose of Sherlock so he can get some peace back into his life--so set upon by fans wherever he goes.

As I was reading, I could see the elements of Watson in the portrayal of Doyle--he seemed to sort of bumble his way through one situation after another.  And as he plods through his investigations, he manages to incur a few enemies along the way.  Perhaps even someone wanting to kill him.  

The book is an interesting take on a familiar character.  For those who are die hard Sherlock Holmes fans, the book may lack the depth and analytical detail so characteristic of the real Doyle's writing.  However, for those with a passing interest (or familiarity mainly from popularized TV shows instead of the books themselves), the book will serve as an interesting picture of what Doyle's every day life and interests may have been like. I found it fascinating to be part of so much internal dialogue as Doyle searches for answers.

If readers don't mind being totally in the dark until the very end, then this is an interesting take on a much-loved author.

The Reichenbach Problem can be purchased directly from Kregel Publications if you don't mind a bit of waiting (they show a release date of November 30 for the next printing) or from the following retailers:

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Reichenbach Problem from Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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