Recently re-released, this novel ‘The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula’ by Loren D. Estleman, anticipates the more recent obsession with mixing various classic or otherwise novels with a new sensibility, many of which include the living dead or the walking dead as a prerequisite.
If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains will make a good novel. However, if you keep the impossible in, then it is much more fun. ‘Sherlock vs. Dracula’ instantly calls to mind the classic Universal monsters series that managed to pair up every monster in its stable with each other, finally reaching a nadir in desperation when Abbot and Costello comically meet up with Frankenstein, et al just before Universal decided to call it a day.
Dracula and Sherlock have so much in common that their pairing seems almost natural to us now. They were close fictional contemporaries, both receiving an extended life in print and other medias, these characters are well known it is not surprising the novel has been re-release. Sherlock is highly visible on TV with the modern versions ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Elementary’ commanding a high audience. The classic model has also been recently remangled on the big screen.
Written in the style of the original, this jolts along at a pace and ably puts the case that it was Sherlock Holmes who solved the majority of the mystery of Dracula seeing in him a talented adversary. The clash between the sensibilities of Dr. John Watson and the story told him by Van Helsing is excellent. Holmes, of course, quickly gets up to speed with the vampire and all its mythology
‘Sherlock vs. Dracula’ also has a couple of sub-plots that mean the reader doesn’t just get a rehash of the ‘Dracula’ novel. If you like the story of both, then you will enjoy this as it manages to combine the two characters with enough new drama to make this a great Sherlock Holmes story. There is also a classic audio of this made in 1981 for the BBC which, although a shortened version, shows up these dramatic elements even more. I thought this book uses the elements cleverly and it’s really enjoyable to read.
(pub: Titan Books. 288 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78116-142-5)
check out website: www.titanbooks.com