“This novel is a retelling of “The Problem of Thor Bridge.” The tale is expanded and has a slightly different slant than the original. J. Neil Gibson, The Gold King is accompanied to 221B by Samuel Clemens, AKA “Mark Twain.” In fact, Twain has recommended Holmes to his friend, and when the man bolts from Baker Street it is Clemens that brings him back…
This makes for a really strong story! That the ending changes don’t affect Holmes’ triumph at all and makes perfect sense with the evidence given! I doubt that even a Holmes purist could find much fault with the story. I am not saying that because Mark Twain is my favorite author—he is, by the way—but because this is truly an amazing story!
I give this book five stars!“
The Historical Novel Society
Doctor Watson is anxious to set the matter straight regarding the true facts of the solving of the recent murder of Maria Gibson on Thor Bridge. Neil Gibson, aka the “Gold King,” Maria’s husband, had had his eye on his children’s governess, Grace Dunbar, for quite a while. What seems quite simple is far from it. Gibson hires Sherlock Holmes to solve the murder and free Grace from the Assizes, where she is awaiting trial after being charged with killing Mrs. Gibson.
The reality of the situation actually involves several intertwining stories dealing with Holmes’s crime-solving skills as well as several writers: Samuel Clemens, Bret Harte, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For this story, Samuel Clemens takes an active role as a detective, so much so that his skills, and his later account of the investigation, cast a shadow on Sherlock Holmes. In Clemens’ own “A Double-Barreled Detective Story,” a young pregnant woman is tied to a stake and brutally beaten in a gold camp near Jackass Hill. She dies, but the child she gave birth to is raised by a bunch of men who are panning for gold. A somewhat overcomplicated, dragged-out plot ensues, and the murderer’s obsession with “Rache” or “revenge” is eventually clarified.
The resolution of the rivalry between these mystery writers is an unusual addition to the set of mysteries about Sherlock Holmes. This reads like a standalone “whodunit,” but it would make even more sense if one had read the background mysteries as told by Doctor Watson. An intriguing historical mystery!
Seventeen Minutes to Baker Street is the third book in the American Literati Series from Daniel D Victor.
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Sherlock Holmes had never met a writer who had ridiculed him as bitterly as Samuel L. Clemens had. For that matter, Holmes had never met a writer who fancied himself a detective. Yet Sam Clemens not only unraveled Holmes’ investigation into the murder of the hot-blooded woman on Thor Bridge, but also, while writing as Mark Twain, belittled Holmes’ highly-touted detecting skills. In this recently discovered narrative, Doctor Watson sets the record straight. He reveals other crimes related to the original murder while relating what prompted Clemens in a 1902 short story to deride the famous detective. Spurred on by such criticism, as well as by clues discovered in a classic tale by Bret Harte, Sherlock Holmes begins a new investigation, one that leads Holmes and Watson from the gardens of Windsor Castle to the spires of Oxford University in their efforts to track down a deranged assassin bent on wreaking even more havoc.