I normally start reviews with a brief plot summary, but it seems almost besides the point to do so for a book entitled Sherlock Holmes and the Affair in Transylvania. From those seven words, the reader will have no doubt guessed that this is a Holmes meets Dracula story, and so we may as well move straight on to the burning question – is it any good?
Yes, in many ways, it is. The substitution of Holmes and Watson for Van Helsing is the main change in a story which follows the original fairly closely – other minor characters are removed or changed a bit, but we get Renfield, Lucy, Mina, and of course the Count himself drawn fairly faithfully. Most notably, Holmes and Watson themselves are extremely close to Conan Doyle’s originals; no real surprise as this is almost always a real strength of authors signed by MX Publishing.
Having said that, if I have a minor fault to find with it, it’s that it perhaps sticks a little bit too closely to the original Stoker novel; if anything; maybe a few more surprises would have made it even better. Nevertheless it held my attention from start to finish and will stick in the memory thanks to a few especially effective scenes and the great characterization of the central pair.
I should also point out that I’ve read so many Holmes books recently that I’m perhaps harder to impress than the average reader, and while this doesn’t quite rank up there with the very best (which I’ll mention below), it’s a solid first novel and I would definitely be interested in reading more by Gerry O’Hara.
Overall this is an exciting and entertaining read which will definitely appeal to both Sherlockians and fans of Bram Stoker.
Sherlock Holmes and The Affair In Transylvania is available from: