Sherlock Holmes And The Affair In Transylvaniaby Gerry O'Hara
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson are returning to London from Bucharest after the great detective has interceded in a delicate matter relating to the Rumanian Royal House. As they depart from Bucharest they receive their mail forwarded from London. Doctor Watson opens a distressing letter from his niece, Mina, now living in Budapest with her young husband, Janos, a newly qualified lawyer. It seems that the young man has not returned from a business assignment in Transylvania.
Holmes advises that he and Watson should postpone their return to Baker Street.
Watson wires ahead and they are met at the station by Mina and her friend, Lucy Westenra.
Holmes is duly intrigued by their stay overnight at the home of Dr Westenra in the grounds of the asylum of which Dr Westenra is the Administrator.
Holmes suspects that letters from the young lawyer may have been forged, or written under duress. Next day they set off for Castle Dracula.
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Gerry O'Hara's novel does not deviate much from the Bram Stoker plot with which most readers are probably familiar, and so consequently, there will not be a lot in the way of surprises. But the influence of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson changes the tenor of the story dramatically, and O'Hara skillfully uses the Detective and Doctor to both fill in for missing characters, and also contribute to the story in ways that the original characters could not do. O'Hara's novel is a beautiful revival, charmingly illustrated, and an elegant contribution to the ranks of Sherlock Holmes versus Count Dracula pastiches.
A good retelling of the Dracula story, incorporating Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. It is especially well done if it is the author's first fictional book. Not all Sherlockians enjoy pastiches, but I found it to be an entertaining read.
This novel is best described as the answer to the question “What would have happened if Count Dracula had run into Sherlock Holmes before the events described in Bram Stoker’s 'Dracula?'” Doctor Watson received a note from his niece, Mina, while he and Holmes were returning from an investigation in Romania made at the request of Her Majesty’s Government. As Mina and her husband lived in Budapest, Holmes and Watson were able to stop over on their way back to London. Mina told them that her husband, Janos, a lawyer, had disappeared while making a visit to a client in Transylvania and was long overdue. Holmes and Watson begin their investigation in Budapest and events proceed from there. Of course, this story requires that Holmes dispense with his “No ghosts wanted here” rule and bizarre events come in from all directions. Wolves, bats and shadow creatures abound, with most of the action taking place in Budapest. Janos’ cousin Lucy and her fiancé become involved and many of the events take place at or near the Asylum run by her father, Dr. Westenra. Unfortunately, the action is a bit slow moving and the characters are relatively flat, so I did not enjoy the story. For people who wish to take the vampires of Bram Stoker’s imagination seriously, this book may hold more appeal than it did for me. I also missed the Holmes of the Canon with Dr. Watson marveling at his deductions and the police being confounded by his insights. The police in this tale are co-operative, Watson spends most of his time in deep dread and Holmes is busy reading old texts of doubtful use at every available moment. This book does have the advantage of good editing. I found only a few, minor errors in spelling and usage. Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, January 2012