The Devil’s Grin by Annelie Wendeberg
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I don’t understand this book’s aim. Is it a Holmes pastiche? Is it its own story? I put it under Project Sherlock because it uses Holmes’ name and tries to pay homage to his methods…. for the first chapter of the book. After that, the narrative completely abandons the mystery involving Holmes in favor of Anna’s medical studies. Another problem sprouts up from that, but Holmes’ involvement is minimal at best. What is it with authors taking classic characters and saying they are respectfully using them, only to either abandon the character or add some new element that is out-of-character for them? Seriously!
When I say this, I’m referring to the last scene in the book where Anna and Holmes kiss. Why is that there? Holmes is unattached. It damages his character. He’s not himself at all.
One last quip and I’ll call it quits. Anna calls Holmes by his surname at first, calling him “Mr. Holmes” then calls him “Holmes” as their relationship progresses. She calls him by his first name once, to make him angry, but at the end of the story, she switches to his first name out of nowhere. Not because she’s angry with him, not because she wants to provoke or annoy him, so I guess we can only conclude that dear Anna has fallen in love. Love!
On its own it’s actually a good story, but I’m rating it as a Holmes pastiche and unfortunately it is not a very faithful pastiche at all. If more research had been done, if the author had set rules for herself and limitations so as not to get too carried away (like Anthony Horowitz did).
It’s a shame. What started out as an interesting story was only destined to fall flat in the end.
Sorry for using this on so many reviews. I just think the photo can fit so many situations.