1893. Dr Watson, still in mourning for the death of his great friend Sherlock Holmes, is now triply bereaved, with his wife Mary's death in childbirth. Then a telegram from Melbourne, Australia intrudes into his grief. "Come at once if convenient." Both suspicious and desperate to believe that Holmes may not, after all, be dead, Watson goes as immediately as the sea voyage will allow. Soon Holmes and Watson are together again, on an adventure through Bohemian Melbourne and rural Victoria, following a series of murders linked by a repulsive red leech and one of Moriarty's lieutenants. But things are not as they were. Too many words lie unsaid between the Great Detective and his biographer. Too much that they feel is a secret. Solve the crime, forgive a friend, rediscover trust and admit to love. Surely that is not beyond that legendary duo, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson? Improbable Press books add romance to the adventure, set in a world where Sherlock Holmes and John Watson's relationship steps beyond friendship.
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Comments about The Adventure of the Colonial Boy:
I know Narrelle M. Harris is a good researcher and widely read, so I've taken her Sherlock and period links as accurate and allowed the dramatic licence to portray a Watson-Holmes gay relationship. The erotic scenes are really well done.The chapter where they travel the Australian bush on horseback and their relationship changes from angst to acceptance and mutual enjoyment is well written.
There are Sherlock Holmes experts who know every plot and character, and can even quote passages of dialogue but I'm not one of those readers. I like mysteries but have only a working knowledge of the Sherlock-Dr Watson partnership and the various 'baddies'. However, this meant I could read 'The Adventure of the Colonial Boy' as a stand alone which was a different angle. The historical setting was really well done, with the twist of locating it in the Australian bush. And there are specific scenes such as the introduction of the Chinese 'wife' which are dramatically and sensitively presented. Period attitudes are effectively suggested.
I am also not an expert on fan fiction but understand the concept that writing a version with someone else's original characters is a kind of compliment.
What I really liked about 'The Adventures of the Colonial Boy' was the mind behind fitting the jigsaw puzzle pieces into a period framework, even if the reasons for being in Ararat or Bohemian Melbourne were tenuous. There's a lot of racing around various locations and often I lost the plot reason for chasing or hiding because I wasn't familiar enough with the original Conan Doyle story. However the observations were amusing enough to keep me interested.
The strengths are scenes where Dr Watson is working as an emergency doctor patching up patients vital to the plot. The medical sequence details were so well described and also characterised Harris' Watson.
Number Of Pages: 236
Published: 29th February 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97 x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.28