blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper of Whitechapel – M.K. Wiseman*

I am afraid that I, Sherlock Holmes, must act as my own chronicler in this singular case, that of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. For the way in which the affair was dropped upon my doorstep left me with little choice as to the contrary. Not twelve months prior, the siren’s call of quiet domesticity and married life had robbed me of Watson’s assistance as both partner and recorder of my cases.

Thus, when detective inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard required a lead—any lead—I found myself forced to pursue Jack the Ripper alone and without the aid of my faithful friend. And all for the most damnedable of reasons:

Early on in my investigations, Dr. John H. Watson, formerly of 221B Baker Street, emerged as my prime suspect.

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M. K. Wiseman has degrees in Interarts & Technology and Library &
Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her office, therefore, is a curious mix of storyboards and reference materials. Both help immensely in the writing of
historical novels.

She currently resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

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My thoughts:

Interestingly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never gave Holmes a real crime to solve, and certainly not this long unsolved one. There’s also a sixth victim included, which is unusual but I understand that there is some uncertainty about exactly how many poor women were butchered.

This reads like a decent Doyle story, capturing his tone well and feels very accurate in terms of London and the 19th Century (I studied the Strand stories at uni), which is good. I’ve read some Holmesian stories that really get themselves muddled regarding the historic setting.

It’s the right length too – just enough plot and red herrings to go along with, it doesn’t get overblown or bogged down in invented details. Instead real information is woven into the narrative, and real people too. Stitching Holmes, Watson and Lestrade into the plot rather than thr other way round, which gives it a sense of reality and the truly horrific acts the Ripper committed.

I thought the denouement was just enough, since no one knows the Ripper’s real identity, it’s always good not to give a definitive solution, and this allows him to fade into the history books.

A really enjoyable Holmes sequel all in all, paced and executed strongly and with plenty for fans of the original stories to enjoy.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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