Reviewed by Laura Fairbairn
Reading is something that I find very relaxing and I like a variety of genres, so when I was asked to review Sherlock Holmes: The Sphinx Collection (a collection of 3 short stories) I was very happy to do so.
The Mystery of the Faceless Bride
I was immediately drawn into this book by the clear descriptions of events written from the viewpoint of Watson. Some books take several chapters to get into, some never really catch my interest, but this had me by the end of the second paragraph – a good thing in any case, but especially with a short story because the author does not have the same amount of time to create their setting as the author of a novel does.
Mysteries and crime dramas are a genre I am familiar with, both in books and on TV, I am often quite good at working out the plot/twist before the end, but with The Mystery of the Faceless Bride I did not find the answer until it was revealed in the book. Pennie Mae Cartawick does a very good job of drawing the reader in and keeping the mystery hidden until the last minute.
The Case of the Cracked Mirror
This short story is based on The Phantom of the Opera, from the characters to the theatre in Paris along with the similarities in plot. Holmes and Watson are tasked with locating Christine (the missing girlfriend of Viscount Raoul de Chagny) and they promptly travel to Paris where the Opera House is located. The majority of the story takes places within the Opera House where characters such as La Carlotta, Meg Giry and the Persian all contribute to the twists and turns of the tale.
If I’m honest, this was not my favourite of the three books; I love Phantom of the Opera and know the story well but I personally felt that there was not as much ‘mystery’ in this Sherlock story due to the familiar nature of the plot and characters.
However, The Case of the Cracked Mirror is very well written and Holmes and Watson are such a good team that the case will certainly hold the attention of many readers.
The Mystery of the Poisoned Tomb
I love the history and the stories of Ancient Egypt, so the fact that The Mystery of the Poisoned Tomb is centred around a dig on which the characters are searching for Ancient Egyptian treasures was a good start for me.
Again, the story showed similarities to some that have been heard several times over many years, but with The Mystery of The Poisoned Tomb I was kept guessing until the very end about what was really going on – it was great fun to read!
I would recommend these books to anyone who is a fan of mysteries and short stories. Pennie Mae Cartawick is a very good writer and has experience with diet and cookery books as well as mysteries – I would be interested to look through some of her other books.
I would rate Sherlock Holmes: The Sphinx Collection at 3.5 out of 5.
Available to buy as an eBook from Amazon here.
For more information about the author and other titles by Pennie Mae Cartawick including Sherlock Holmes stories and books on health and diet visit www.penniemaecartawick.wordpress.com.