Sherlock Holmes Society of London
This is the seventh offering in the amusingly quirky Mrs. Hudson of Baker Street series, in which the formidable landlady proves to be the unacknowledged sage of Baker Street. When Buffalo Bill Cody brings his Wild West Show to London his horse is stolen. Mrs. Hudson not only finds the thieves but also solves a murder, battles anti-Indian prejudice, and becomes a reluctant performer in the Wild West Show. And she still finds the time to make scones (plain and raisin-filled).
With “Mrs. Hudson and the Wild West”, Barry Brown presents his seventh Mrs. Hudson novel, once again taking us into that curious alternate world where Holmes and Watson aren’t the main heroes. Rather, their landlady is the true detective, with their assistance.
This well-researched adventure is set during the early Twentieth Century, when Buffalo Bill returned to London with his Wild West Show. When his horse is stolen, he travels to Baker Street to hire Sherlock Holmes – little realizing that the true detective is Mrs. Hudson. From there, events spiral to murder – and danger to Mrs. Hudson herself.
As anyone who knows me can tell you, I’m a fanatic for the traditional and authentic and Canonical Sherlock Holmes. As a rule I avoid anything with parody, or that presents Holmes as anything but a hero. I simply ignore most of these Alternate Universe tales, while other I actively despise. (Hint: I’m referring to the BBC show “Sherlock”.)
But there are a very few non-traditional versions that I acknowledge for being very well done, even if they aren’t about The True Sherlock Holmes. For instance, I truly enjoy watching and re-watching the film “Without a Clue” (1988) starring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley. It isn’t the True Holmes, but it’s excellent nevertheless. The same can be said for M.J. Trow and his skewed and wrong (but funny) look at a very defective Holmes through the eyes of his series hero, Inspector Sholto Lestrade. And another Alternate Universe version of The World of Holmes that I can recommend is the Mrs. Hudson series by Barry S. Brown.
If you're a fan of the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas, this series is well worth your time.
Mrs. Hudson and The Wild West by Barry S. Brown of MX Publishing is the newest novel of the Mrs. Hudson of Baker Street series. I've never had the opportunity before now to read any of the previous books in the series, but I jumped at the chance to dive right in with this novel since I've had good luck with this publisher's works in the past. Plus, I can't say no to a good Sherlock Holmes retelling. Luckily, I was able to jump into this instalment of the series without feeling completely lost. That said, one day I would like to officially read this series from the very beginning to help me fill in some of the blanks that naturally come from jumping in so late in the game.
I've always enjoyed reading Sherlock Holmes and while it's fun to find a new release that it feels like it could make itself right at home in that original world created by Arthur Conan Doyle, it's even cooler to find a retelling that can successfully do something new and different. This particular novel manages to do something a little different while still fitting in with the tone of the original stories which I greatly appreciated. This novel puts Mrs. Hudson in the lead and also puts her more on an equal footing with Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. She's just as an important member of the team as either of them, but also she's the real brains behind the entire operation. That said, I wasn't expecting such a strong cockney accent from Mrs. Hudson. I also got a kick out of the Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show. It was certainly an intriguing change of pace from the average Holmesian story with such a quintessentially American element.
Overall, if you're a fan of Holmes retellings, MX Publishing's Mrs. Hudson and The Wild West by Barry S. Brown is definitely worth trying. Although it isn't the first in the Mrs. Hudson of Baker Street series, it's easy enough to jump into and still enjoy. If you're a fan of the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas, you may want to give this series that gives Mrs. Hudson the spotlight a chance.
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Book 7 in the Mrs Hudson of Baker Street Series
When Buffalo Bill Cody's horse is stolen, the star of the world's foremost Wild West Show travels to Baker Street to consult the star of the world's foremost consulting detective agency. Like the many before him, Colonel Cody takes Sherlock Holmes to be that star. The true sage of 221B Baker Street, who also serves as its landlady, takes control of the situation, and finds both the purloined animal and the two children who had taken the horse for a joy ride 1903 style. When their father is murdered weeks later, the children fear they will be blamed because of their quarrel with him. They run away to join the Wild West Show leading Colonel Cody to make a return visit to Baker Street—this time with the two children in tow, and to enlist Holmes in the search for a murderer.
Mrs. Hudson, will, of course, once again take charge, once again without acknowledgment of her contribution, once again maintaining the fiction of Sherlock Holmes's leadership, an essential pretense in the male dominated world of Victorian England. As Mrs. Hudson and her colleagues work to discover the murderer, they will find themselves having to counter an anti-Indian bigotry that places at risk the marriage of friends of Mrs. Hudson's from the wild west show, and Mrs. Hudson's very life. With the help of her two young horse thieves, now happily rehabilitated, Mrs. Hudson may yet find the way to a just and rewarding outcome.