A Slight Disappointment

The Canary Trainer: From the Memoirs of John H. Watson - Nicholas Meyer

    Ah, Sherlock Holmes non-canonical fiction. There is a lot of it out there. I have wanted to try reading some eventually, and have finally gotten to doing so with this book. What I really wanted to read was The Seven-Percent Solution, but sadly, my library does not carry it. So, I checked out this book instead.
    The book starts out with Holmes in retirement on his bee farm, with Watson showing up and pressing for more details about Holmes' doings during his lost years, e.g. the years after the Reichenbach Falls incident. To make it confusing, in Meyer's stories, the Reichenbach Fall never happened, and was instead a cover story for Sherlock Holmes as he visited Sigmund Freud to help recover from his cocaine addiction. However, this is not a review of The Seven-Percent Solution (which, as I have said, I have yet to read), so let me get back to the story. During his time off from being the world's greatest detective, Holmes has decided to do a little sightseeing and makes his way to Paris. While there, he ends up taking a job with an orchestra (violin, remember?) at a place with a lot of dark legends surrounding it, particularly involving the "Ghost". While working at this theater, he runs into *shock* Irene Adler, who blackmails him into protecting another one of the female leads at the theater, as Adler fears that her life is in danger. As I do not plan to spoil the story for the people reading my review, suffice it to say that stuff happens, people die, the case is solved, and everyone lives happily ever after. Interestingly enough, from what I have heard this story is Phantom of the Opera with Sherlock Holmes mixed in, but I cannot tell you whether this is true or not as I have not read Phantom of the Opera.
    The story itself is not bad. The writing is decent, the plot is decent, and so, overall, the book is mostly decent. However, in the respect that it is supposed to be a Sherlock Holmes story, it is kind of disappointing. Holmes is not the genius that he is in Doyle's novels, and his character just seems a little off. I also feel as if he never really even solved the mystery in the book, and it is more like the case resolved itself with a little input by Holmes. Overall, I cannot say I recommend it. I heard that Meyer's other Holmes stories were much better than this one, and so I am willing to give them a try before I make a judgement on Meyer's Holmes stories in general. In closing, I have one last positive thing to say about this book: the way Meyer references His Last Bow in this book's ending is pretty awesome.