Book Reviews - Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Grinning Cat

Posted by Steve Emecz on

Claire Daines, Author

"When writing a pastiche, especially a crossover, writers have to walk a fine line between the original author’s vision and taking the characters into new territory. Joseph Svec III’s ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Grinning Cat’ walks that tightrope with as many dramatic flourishes as one could wish for, as Holmes and Watson must journey to Wonderland to save Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll, helped and hindered by a familiar cast of colourful characters. Joseph Svec has a clear talent for describing people, settings and action simply but evocatively. I especially liked the introduction and fleshing out of some unexpected characters, such as the Jabberwock from the Looking-Glass poem. Readers looking for a fun, light-hearted romp down the rabbit hole, with a surprising yet satisfying conclusion, will not be disappointed!" 

(Claire Daines, author The Hunting of the Nark - Sherlock Holmes Through The Looking Glass)

Linda Hein

“Joseph Svec, III is brilliant in entwining two endearing and enduring classics of literature, blending the factual with the fantastical; the playful with the pensive; and the mischievous with the mysterious.  We shall, all of us young and old, benefit with a cup of tea, a tranquil afternoon, and a copy of Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Grinning Cat.”

(Linda Hein, Hein & Co Used Books, founding officer of the Amador County Holmes Hounds Sherlockian Society)


The Raven

"I may as well say right at the start that Holmes purists will not like this one at all. I am not certain that they could see it for what it is, a delightful spoof with all the madness of Wonderland itself. Indeed, Mr. Svec might be channeling the spirit of Lewis Carroll as the prose would have no trouble fitting into any of the Wonderland stories. Everything is logically illogical and there are several nice puzzles to solve, riddles, and imagination that would please a child or an adult who can still remember being a child! Holmes and Watson are startled to wake up and find the Cheshire Cat waiting on their sofa. This is the true Cheshire Cat, as it appears, disappears, and defies gravity. All Cheshire Cats can, it explains proudly. Then the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter show up at the door. They are there to consult with Holmes. They have a problem only Holmes can solve. Lewis Carroll has passed on to that land from whose burn no traveler can return. And now people from Wonderland and indeed parts of the country itself are vanishing! Alice has failed to show up for Wednesday Tea, which she never misses. The March Hare was supposed to be there, but has vanished in route. As more characters appear, they tell of others who have vanished. The group goes to the house of Lewis Carroll, where the butler hands Holmes a letter from the late Mr. Carroll which explains a lot and charges Holmes with the mission of having to keep Wonderland from disappearing. So begins a madcap journey which winds from the skies above London to the house of HG Wells; back and forth in time using Wells Time Machine; time spent in the vanishing realm of Wonderland; and the final showdown before the Guardians of Time; Cryptic, Logic, and Rubic. There is much to laugh about as Holmes seems to be the author of a paper on just about everything they experience or anything they might be asked to do. The titles of these papers are given with a nod to how Holmes always titled his monographs in the canon. I note at the conclusion of this spritely little madcap romp, there is the arrival of a Captain Nemo who is in search of Jules Verne. I do hope this means another delightfully nonsensical book is in the works! Mr. Svec, an encore would do nicely! Taking this book in the spirit that it is written in, I grant it five stars."

Raven Book Reviews


Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of The Grinning Cat is available from this site (see Joseph Svec III's author profile

and also from:

Amazon USA     Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Kindle      Audio    Amazon UK  

The Strand Magazine (special offer)

Time is running out! When the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, and The Mad Hatter turn up at 221-B Baker Street to enlist the help of Sherlock Holmes in locating Alice who is missing from Wonderland, and Lewis Carroll himself who is also nowhere to be found, there begins an adventure more stranger and curious than anything Sherlock has ever encountered. A Unicorn, the Jabberwocky, the time traveling author, H.G. Wells, trips to Wonderland and beyond, and even a journey outside of time itself where awaits the ultimate enigma of logic, all are a part of this incredible tale.


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