Friday, August 09, 2013

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye

By Len Bailey

Published by Thomas Nelson, May 2013

Sherlock Holmes undertaking a case involving a time machine (from designs by Professor Moriarty) to investigate ten Biblical mysteries  set in both Old and New Testaments is a brave and clever premise indeed, given the great detective's disdain for anything other than rational, scientific and deductive thought.

But does it work? 

 I can certainly imagine Holmes and Watson careering around the time stream with a Time Machine. I can imagine Holmes scrutinising the biblical scenes with a keen eye, ready to debunk the slightest inconsistency - and that is where it falls down for me.  

Holmes, being Holmes, has undoubtedly read his Bible, but does he actually believe any of it? Could even his visits to Bible times bring Holmes to real and sustained belief? Would he be well versed enough to be able to recite and reference from memory whole chunks of a book which he would undoubtedly view with a great deal of scepticism? 

Dr Watson always subtly comes across as a Christian believer in the Holmesian canon and this is continued in The Needle's Eye; Watson  - to me -  is more convincing than Holmes in this tale. 

The book captures a great deal of the atmosphere and language of the original Sherlock Holmes canon, perhaps a little more ponderously and definitely more verbose than the original stories and I found it an enjoyable read which very nearly had me convinced - but not quite.

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