Sherlock Holmes – The Patchwork Devil
Holmes and Watson have gone their separate ways — Sherlock with his bees, Watson with his second wife — but the discovery of a severed hand reunites them. When the aging heroes are nearly killed by a monstrous assailant, they’re then warned off the case by Sherlock’s brother Mycroft. What hornet’s nest have they stumbled into, and will either of them survive the investigation?
The Patchwork Devil is a pretty entertaining mishmash of war, friendship, science, and faith. Scott clearly tries to show both why Watson and Holmes are so effective, but without ignoring the faults of either man. Unfortunately, in doing so, he manufactures a snippiness and aggression in the duo that overshadows some of their exchanges.
That being said, for the first time in a long time, you believe as a reader that Holmes and Watson are truly in danger, which is a coup in and of itself. Plus, Scott manages to leave a little mystery for the reader, which was a pleasant surprise, as all too many Holmes stories wrap up with a neat little bow.
The Patchwork Devil is far from perfect, but it is interesting and exciting in ways that few Holmes stories are these days.