As usual, full disclosure: Alister Duncan is one of my peers at MX Publishing, and I got a copy of this (via iBooks) for free for review.
Usually when I do cardio for my workout, I watch videos on my iPad Mini. Last week, I forgot to side-load my episodes of Elementary, and the wi-fi in the gym was terrible, so I decided to try and read. Looking through my queue, I noticed I never got to reading Close to Holmes. Curious, I opened it up. I ended up reading through my workout, on the ride home, and well into the night.
Unlike some previous books I’ve reviewed, this isn’t a pastiche. Rather, it’s a nonfiction book. A tour guide, really — it goes around London circa 2008 and relates various streets, buildings and areas of the city to their relevance to the canon. Its comprehensive, entertaining, and full of great drawings, images, and modern photos of the areas in question. It goes deep into some corners of the canon, and even ties in some outside Sherlockian scholarship to key points (such as the probable location of certain buildings that Conan Doyle obfuscated in his writing).
If you’d like to learn more about London, it’s a great book. If you’d like to put images to the names in the canon, it’s a great book. If you’d like to dig into location-specific Sherlockian theories, it’s a great book. Luckily, I happened to be someone who was interested in all three.
Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Book Depository (free worldwide delivery), Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.