Friday, October 01, 2021

First Review of The Dutch Painter

 So...it's still available to subscribers only on Booklist, but I have the okay to share with you the first review of



The Strange Case of the Dutch Painter
:


The Holmes pastiche industry rolls on. This time we don't have a newly unearthed Watson
manuscript with a waspish Holmes and boneheaded Watson. Rather, the great man is
concealing his identity under a borrowed name, Vernet. Appropriate, since he's distantly related
to the artistic Vernet family and the case he's working is art theft. The ersatz Watson, there to aid
the investigation, is art maven Lermolieff, who understands his job is to observe Holmes-Vernet
as well as record the investigation. He has much to offer, from first finding the bloodhound "a
carnival attraction that took in clues and spat out solutions," to understanding that deduction
"was a mask for his real passion: justice." Their inquiry takes them through the Parisian art world
in the waning nineteenth century and features encounters outlandish and entertaining. Holmes
investigates van Gogh's suicide and crosses swords—literally—with Gauguin, while Lermolieff
gets the world's first electroshock treatment. It's a fine tale, stylishly written.
Don Crinklaw

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