Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Missing American Culture

Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Missing American Culture

4.3 8
by Kenneth Frawley
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Dumb the populace down and you can sell anything. Who needs Chopin and Mozart when you've got Britney Spears, Michael Bolton and Kenny G? Why dine on penne con fungi when Hamburger Helper and Hungry Man frozen dinners are available? Got white merlot to sell, no problem! Got a war to sell, no problem! Fill the local news broadcasts with the latest celebrity gossip,…  See more details below

Overview

Dumb the populace down and you can sell anything. Who needs Chopin and Mozart when you've got Britney Spears, Michael Bolton and Kenny G? Why dine on penne con fungi when Hamburger Helper and Hungry Man frozen dinners are available? Got white merlot to sell, no problem! Got a war to sell, no problem! Fill the local news broadcasts with the latest celebrity gossip, NASCAR results and fear of foreigners, all the while repeating "Shut up and shop!", the preferred subliminal command. Provide Mammoth-sized shopping carts to transport the oversized haul to the gargantuan SUV, the only thing large enough to deliver the inflated modern day shopper and its truckload of heavily processed food. ..."Obey and consume!" As with the relationship between the Morlocks and the Eloi, keep the populace placated, well fed, and most importantly, dumbed-down and supreme power is yours, at least that's the view of Sherlock Holmes' latest villain. But is it too late? Can the horror be stopped? Is the Red State plague (RSP) the great pestilence that will finally erode the American fabric? So, you mean Puccini isn't a green vegetable? Is recruiting Sherlock Holmes, with his stunning powers of deduction, the answer? Can Holmes find the culprit, a ruthless culture-thief, and rescue the US? In Kenneth Frawley¿s new book, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing American Culture revel in the fascinating, side-splitting story of America¿s cultural distress and how the legendary Victorian detective Sherlock Holmes is recruited to rescue a distraught nation.

Inventive and satirical, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing American Culture is an influential work of modern fiction that compels readers to put in the open their own values and ponder American culture, and the roles its corporate and political entities have had upon it. With a welcome comeback of the celebrated detective and his trusted friend, Dr. Watson, the book is a literary tour de force seen through the eyes of Frawley with his perceptive and relevant assessment of American culture.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781413416466
Publisher:
Xlibris Corporation
Publication date:
06/29/2004
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

The Visitor

The day had started out like every other of the last eighty years, or thereabouts. I had risen at my usual hour of 8am, dressed

and had gone down to the dining room to devour the breakfast

that was always waiting for me by half past. And, as usual, it, and

the morning paper, were meticulously laid out on the Victorian

mahogany dining table I have had since the days of my first marriage.

Mrs. Gale, my housekeeper for the last thirty years was not only

the most efficient domestic I had ever employed, she was the most

cordial and considerate. It seemed an impossible task to replace

her. Yet that was exactly what had been occupying my mind for

the preceding fortnight. She had elected to retire from professional

life and settle in the Welsh seaside resort village of Tenby. Both she

and her husband Bryn had long thought of returning to Wales,

the land of their births, before they were too old to savor it and

their retirement. One could not argue against that. After all, I had

been enjoying my retirement immensely for the last eighty-five

years. Nevertheless, it was with great sorrow and reluctance that I

had accepted Mrs. Gale’s resignation.

As I consumed the usual breakfast of grapefruit, nine-grain

toast, tofu scramble, a pot of Russian Caravan tea and my pile of

vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, I searched through the

classified ads in the Times. I knew the effort was an exercise in

futility, but the act seemed to help me cope with the impending

loss of my very good friend and housekeeper. Simultaneously, I

found myself recalling an adventure from my very early days at

 

KENNETH FRAWLEY

Holmes’ side that I had yet to chronicle. Since Holmes and I had

been out of the game for some ninety years now, he no longer

minded if I penned detailed accounts of the cases he had believed

were too delicate to speak of in any form, at the time. After all, the

principal parties involved in them were long gone now.

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! Suddenly, my thoughts,

and my morning read, were uncharacteristically interrupted by a

strong, anxious pounding at the front door.

“Who could that be at this early hour? exclaimed Mrs. Gale as

she sprang into the room. “How unbelievably inconsiderate. You

haven’t finished your breakfast, or done your yoga and stretching

exercises yet,” she added.

“I’m afraid it’s my fault, Mrs. Gale,” I answered. “Though I

did not expect anyone at this early hour, I did agree to let the

employment agency send someone round today.”

“I’ll send them off and tell them to return at a more civilized

hour,” she offered.

“No, no. You’d better show them in. Let’s offer them a cup of

tea while I finish this most outstanding breakfast of yours.”

“Very well, Dr. Watson. Very well.”

And with that she nodded her fine featured, gray head, took a

deep sigh to help hold back the tongue-lashing she felt certain our

early arriving visitor deserved and darted for the door.

While Mrs. Gale fetched our visitor, I put down my paper and

concentrated on the food before me. However, I could only manage

a single bite before Mrs. Gale returned with our unexpected guest.

“Excuse me, Dr. Watson. A Mr. Moore to see you, sir,” she

announced.

I looked up to see a tall, very well tailored, man of about forty-

five-years of age standing before me. He was slender and appeared

very fit. His dark, finely manicured hair revealed scarcely a gray hair

and his clean-shaven face exposed a strong square jaw. Yet immediately

I could see an anxiousness about him that clearly contrasted the image

of the strong, confident man his physicality presented.

“Good morning, Mr. Moore. What can I do for you, sir? I

 

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING AMERICAN CULTURE

cooperatively asked. “I assume you have some people for me to

consider?”

“Excuse me?” he responded with confusion and a refined, yet

unmistakable, southern American accent. “I don’t quite know what

you mean, sir.”

“Ah”, I shot back. “Clearly you are not from the employment

agency. Are you?”

“No, sir. I’m not. I’m from the U.S., sir.”

“Yes. Well then, what brings you all this way, Mr. Moore?”

“I’m awfully sorry to interrupt your breakfast, Dr. Watson. Please,

forgive me,” he stated with a slight tremble and a genuine regret.

“Come, come, young man. It’s quite all right. My ritualistic

mornings can do with some variation now and then. What is it

that inspires you to visit me this morning?”

“Well sir, to put it simply, I desperately need your help.” he

answered.

“What sort of assistance can I be to you, Mr. Moore?” I asked

with a slight pitch in my voice that gave away my intense curiosity.

“I have not practiced medicine in almost a century.”

“No, sir. I have not come to seek your medical counsel. Although

I am sure you are still quite—”

“You are very kind,” I eagerly jumped in. “But I still would

very much like to know the nature of your business.”

“Yes, sir. Well—,” he continued, trying to quickly swallow the

nervous lump in his throat.

“Please, Mr. Moore, do have a seat. Mrs. Gale, would you

mind pouring our guest of cup of this marvelous tea of yours?”

“Certainly, Doctor.” she dutifully replied.

“Thank you, Dr. Watson,” said Moore humbly.

“Now sir, again, how can I be of service to you?” I asked.

“Well, Dr. Watson, I am an American.”

“Yes, I have observed that.”

“And, well, sir, I have been sent here on a matter of the utmost

importance and urgency.”

“Really?” I said with a slightly feigned impression.

 

KENNETH FRAWLEY

“Yes, sir. It’s very, very serious, I’m afraid.”

“That may be, but what use can I, an elderly retired physician,

be to you in your time of need?”

“Sir, I am an employee of the United States government.”

“Really?”

His face quickly lit up and he sat erect in his chair.

“Yes, really.”

“What, may I ask, could the United States government want

of me?” I asked.

“Sir, I am an attorney, specially appointed by the president

himself to act in his behalf on the matter.”

“I see. Well then, what is this urgent matter?”

“I cannot tell you, sir,” he said coldly.

“Well then,” I quickly countered, “how can I possibly assist

you if I do not know what you require assistance with? I’m afraid

you must enlighten me a bit more, young man.”

Moore quickly retrieved a wallet and passport from the inside

breast pocket of his jacket and tossed them onto the table before

me.

“Excuse me, sir,” he said with much humility in his tone. “I

regret that I cannot.”

He followed this with another item from his jacket pocket. It

was a small identification card, complete with photograph, issued

by the United States government.

“These, sir, should confirm I am who I say I am, sir.”

“Very well, Mr. Moore. Let’s assume you are who you say you

are. I have no reason to doubt you. I only ask that you simply tell

me what it is you wish of me.”

“Yes, sir.” he happily replied.

“Excuse me, but did you not, just a minute ago, say you were

unable to explain to me the nature of the prob—”

“That is true, sir,” he said quickly. “I cannot discuss the nature

of the problem with you, Dr. Watson. However, I can share with

you what it is we desire of you, sir.”

“You perplex me, Mr. Moore. But, indeed, I am all ears.”

“Thank you, sir.”

 

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING AMERICAN CULTURE

His manner became slightly schoolboy-ishly giddy.

“Please, sir, let me start out by saying what a genuine pleasure

it is to meet you. In fact, while on the plane over, I reread several of

your accounts of the adventures you had experienced with Mr.

Sherlock Holmes. Outstanding! Simply outstanding!”

I was growing fairly tired of this drawn out plea for help that I

am certain I was less than polite when I lowered my brow and

firmly stated, “I appreciate that, Mr. Moore. But I do have other

business to tend to and—”

“Oh, yes, certainly. Do forgive me,” he groveled.

“Now please, may we get on with the nature of your business

with me?”

“Yes, Dr. Watson, of course.”

He took another swallow.

“We, my government that is, has tried numerous times to

consult with your good friend, the great master himself, Mr.

Sherlock Holmes. But I am afraid we could not manage to get the

time of day from him, sir.”

“I should say not. Mr. Holmes has retired and is no longer

interested in pursuing criminals or coming to the aid of

governments, as he had done many a time during his great career.

Surely you are aware of this by now?”

“Of course, sir, we are very much aware of that fact. But this is

a matter of life and death.”

His voice broke with such emotion I expected the man to begin

sobbing.

“We, sir,” he continued, “we, the United States of America, are

a country very nearly on the brink of ruin. We sir, the world’s sole

remaining superpower, have reached the end of our rope. We, sir,

have exhausted every measure available to us, and then some, and

yet we can proclaim no success. Thus, the only recourse left to us,

we very much hope, is to throw our fate into the hands of your

good and wondrous friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.”

I sat breathless, struck by the audacity of this man, and the

government behind him. He looked squarely into my face as he sat

waiting for my response to such an appeal. But I thought long and

 

KENNETH FRAWLEY

hard. He began to speak again, but I waved him off before he

could utter a single syllable. I took a sip of my Russian Caravan,

which, thanks to this very long-winded visitor, was now cold. That

was the topper! My mind was made up. Holmes was my dearest

friend. It is to him that I owe so much of what I am. It is he I place

before all others, superpowers included.

“So if I hear you correctly,” I began, “what you ask is for me to

arrange an audience with Mr. Holmes?”

“Yes, sir,” the nervy intruder answered with great enthusiasm.

“Yes, that is exactly what we wish, Doctor.”

Thinking for another second, I reached for my teacup. Feeling

the coolness of it in my hand, I thought to myself, “He shall swing

for this!”

And just as I was about to speak, Mrs. Gale, who had astutely

observed the tea fiasco, quickly came to my aid with a fresh pot

and another cup, the perfect antidote. Nothing like a hot cup of

Russian Caravan coming to the rescue, his of course.

With myself now somewhat collected, I turned to the

government servant beside me and calmly began to state my position

on the matter.

“I am afraid that even I will not be able to persuade Mr. Holmes

to meet with you. For as I have stated, Mr. Holmes has retired.

Today he is a simple beekeeper, keeping quietly to his own. And

he is vehemently opposed to any unwanted intrusion.”

“But, sir, the matter is most grave!”

“I am truly sorry. However, my friendship with Mr. Holmes is

far too valuable to risk on a matter I am certain he will have not the

slightest interest in. Furthermore, I simply cannot allow you to

invade his privacy in this manner.”

Mr. Moore’s face began to sag like a child’s face that fails to

persuade its parent to purchase for it that impulse candy at the

supermarket checkout. It was rather pathetic for a man of his

position and physicality.

“Dr. Watson,” he said with an extreme seriousness, such as a

man walking the plank might, “I implore you—No, I beg you sir,

to reconsider. This is our only option.”

 

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING AMERICAN CULTURE

He took another swallow.

“Mr. Holmes is our only hope.”

“Surely you greatly dramatize the need for his assistance,” I

replied.

“Not by any measure, sir. Not by any measure. Why, if we

cannot enlist Mr. Holmes’ assistance, then, I’m afraid, we are done

for and we must place the very existence of our great country entirely

in the hands of God and pray for a miracle.”

He spoke those words with such passion, such despair, I thought

to myself, only the great Olivier himself could have given a more

convincing, more moving delivery. And this man was no thespian.

Clearly he must speak the truth. But was the United States really

on the brink of disaster? Could such a thing really be? I read the

newspapers. I found nothing alluding to any threat to the U.S.

But, still his plea began to affect me. So much so, I was almost

convinced.

“Mr. Moore,” I started, “tell me something.”

“Anything,” he replied.

“How is it that you have concluded that Mr. Holmes, and

only Mr. Holmes, can rescue your very powerful nation? It has

every possible weapon, every conceivable arsenal at its disposal,

manpower, technology, even forensics. What can a man of his age,

a man long out of the game, do what such a powerful entity

cannot?”

“That Dr. Watson, is a mystery to me,” he replied. “I only

know that he is the only human on the planet that is capable of

seeing into, and right through, the very heart of evil. All one need

do is read your accounts of his accomplishments to be certain of

that. Surely, there is no other, only he.”

“How can I assist you?” the words rocketing out of my mouth

before I knew it. “Shall I ring him?”

“Heavens no, Doctor. He is certain to refuse us.”

“Then what do you prefer I do?”

“I have a car outside. We could drop in on him together

perhaps?”

I stepped away from the table, ignored the disapproving look

 

KENNETH FRAWLEY

on Mrs. Gale’s face and started for the Georgian hat rack in the

foyer to grab my hat and coat.

“He will be extremely angry with me when he discovers my

treason.”

“He will understand, I’m sure,” offered Mr. Moore.

“I suggest we take my Range Rover. He’ll recognize it

immediately. Thus, effecting your audience with Holmes more

easily,” I said with great trepidation as I steered my very excited

and relieved American visitor to the door.

“After you, Doctor.”

 

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Missing American Culture 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a real eye opener. This novel was a funny account of the American Culture or lack of it. I am going to suggest my family and friends read this. I laughed out loud to many parts of the novel. I loved it and hope the author comes out with more novels. I will definitely read anything by this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a real eye opener. The book is a funny but accurate account of our American culture or should I say lack of it. I loved this book and laughed out loud several times. I will suggest all my family and friends read this book. The author is a very excellent and humorous writer. The author's work is brilliant!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The only time I put this book down, was to laugh or seriously ponder the authors insight of American culture. The book has everything - humor, mystery, intrigue. I read the book a month ago and it still stays in my head.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Agonizing recycled diatribes stitched together in a novel that should have been no more than a short story. Each page was more tiring than the last. I returned my copy. Dreadful, plodding and pompous. Based on the timing of the previous reviews, I suspect his friends and family are responsible for the unwarranted raves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was simply knocked out by this book. It made me think, it made me angry, it made me laugh and it kept me intrigued. I also could not believe it was making me rethink certain behaviors and ideas. I went right out and removed my alumni-license-plate-frame.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kenneth Frawley's debut novel in my humble opinion is the quintessential read this year. It's good advise delivered with page-turning rumor. I found the idea for the book to be smart, original and very much needed. I found myself laughing out loud and unable to put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is an exciting page-turning mystery. The author shared a thought provoking view of American culture, with a sense of humor and wit. This is truly a creative work of literature and forced me to think about American culture, politics, business, education and my role in society. Interwoven within the cultural review is an interesting fun fast-paced mystery. I truly enjoyed reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Skillfully blends the classic Holmes characters with modern day life. Listening to Holmes and Watson interpret 21st century American life made me laugh out loud several times. The book also fits into our current day political culture where the traditional lines are blurred, with government and corporate monopolies running the country. It¿s a biting satire!!!