Doctor John Watson is visiting the village of St Andrews, Scotland, on a much-needed holiday. Still saddened by the loss of his good friend and companion, Sherlock Holmes, he seeks to put his life back in order. Believing that golf on the famous “Old Course” might be just the tonic that's required, he travels to the Kingdom of Fife and the Royal Hotel to test his remedy. While there, he meets a former adversary who can use his sage counsel. Willingly, he agrees to help in all ways possible, for as Holmes might have remarked with great gusto, “the game is afoot!”
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Mystery at St. Andrews based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Holmes and Golfing! My thanks go out to Steve and Timi at MX Publishing for my review copy of this book. You guys rock! The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland is a golf lover’s paradise. The game of Golf was invented in Scotland, and players come from all over, drawn like devote pilgrims are drawn to a religious shrine. This adventure takes place during the time when Holmes was believed to have died at Reichenbach Falls. A strange man shows up in St. Andrews. The man is apparently unable to speak, using gestures and writing to communicate. His only sound is an “ungh.” His name is Charles Hutchings, fondly known as “The Quiet One.” Only one man, his golf partner Andy Kirk, knows that “The Quiet One” is perfectly capable of speech but prefers to pretend otherwise. Charles is a man with wild untamed hair, a tangled moustache and beard, and dresses in disheveled clothing. He also could use a few more baths than he takes! Another man has appeared in the town, a Colonel CM Sebastian, who seems to be looking for something or someone. He inserts himself into the local golf games and proves to be a superb player. He is given to placing impulsive bets, and has flashes of bad temper. Sometime later, Dr. John H Watson comes to St Andrews on Holiday. He runs into an old friend who introduces him to “The Quiet One.” Watson becomes Charles Hutchings’ new golf partner. He also is helping Hutchings and this person keep an eye on the Colonel… This book is very suited to its destined audience, Holmes fans who are also avid golfers. Unfortunately, I never got into golf. But the mystery here is commendable, and I can enjoy that! And was I a golf enthusiast, I am sure I would enjoy it more. I will give the book four stars. Quoth the Raven…
This is the first Sherlockian fiction by Mr. Lawler. It is a mystery novel that takes place during “The Great Hiatus” and it stars Colonel Sebastian Moran and Irene Adler Norton along with an unexpected visit by Dr. Watson. This book is dedicated to Golf, and it devotes a great deal of time to the “Royal and Ancient” course at St. Andrews. The database lists more than twenty tales involving golf, most of them from two books by golfer Robert D. (Bob) Jones with an anthology of eighteen short stories (Sherlock Holmes, the Golfer) and a novel (Sherlock Holmes Saved Golf). These two books have been the literary stars of Sherlockian golfers up until now, but I expect their luster has faded with publication of the present volume. This book is a carefully constructed and entertaining mystery, although Sherlockians will know the outcome once they have placed the characters and timing, it remains fascinating to find out how the known results will occur. Even with a known outcome, the mystery that unfolds is compelling and intriguing. The author also manages to interlard the mystery with a good deal of narrative about golfing on the course at St. Andrews. I did not look forward to reading it as my interest in golf was killed by too many fruitless games of miniature golf in my teens. The book was a pleasant surprise for a defiant non-golfer. The author’s explanations and descriptions of the play on the course were amusing and interesting. He certainly loves the sport and manages to convey his fascination with the game in a most effective fashion. The familiar characters in the book are all depicted very much as they appear in the Canonical tales. Irene is grace and beauty personified and Colonel Moran is charming with barely suppressed violence hidden behind a genial manner. Watson remains the epitome of an English gentleman, both in manner and in actions. He is, of course, somewhat smarter than he portrays himself in his tales, but Sherlockians all know that anyway. The story is well-told and well thought-out and the characters are familiar and very well presented. We can feel comfortable with all of them and we can enjoy a delightful trip to the “Royal and Ancient” in the early 1890s with congenial old friends. The editing was well-done and the usual Americanisms expected from Colonial writers were absent, or at least unobtrusive. Since I am quite picky, I managed to find a few neologisms, but it is very difficult to weed out new terminology from a Century and a quarter in the future. Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, October, 2013