His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes #8) ★★★✬☆

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Title: His Last Bow
Series: Sherlock Holmes #8
Author: Arthur Doyle
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 233
Words: 67K

I went into this thinking this was the final entry in the Sherlock Holmes canon by Doyle. Another fine collection of short stories. But when I clicked the button on my kindle to turn what I thought was the final page, it appears that there is another whole book, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, after this one. I must admit, that stuck in my mind more than any of the stories in this collection did.

There was not a bad story here. I don’t remember thinking, even once, “Man, I wish this story had been cut”. But at the same time, nothing was very memorable either. I hesitate to call this collection mediocre but it is really leaning that way. If it weren’t for Sherlock Holmes being such a foundational character to the whole mystery genre, I think I would have labeled this mediocre.

I have not been tagging any of these Holmes reviews with the “classic” tag because I have not really enjoyed the stories. But the truth of the matter is that these stories have shown they have staying power and still interest people today. So I am adding that tag to this review and am mentally adding it to my previous reviews (mentally only, because I don’t care enough to go and do the actual work. Ain’t nobody got time for ‘dat!).

Thinking about my feelings about Doyle and his whoring out by writing more Sherlock stories even when he was done with the character brought to mind his modern counterpart and opposite, GRR Martin. Doyle tried to kill off his series and end it while Martin has simply refused to finish his series and admitted that the tv show ending is all that fans are going to get. On one hand I castigate Doyle for being a literary whore and on the other I castigate Martin for being a bastard. Authors just can’t win with me. Which is why I like my authors either dead or as names only and not as people.

The reason I write that is because reading a book, or a series of books, involves more than just the words on the page. Our emotions are part of the process, whether good or bad and we have to realize that. Which is why it is important to follow a blogger over a longer period of time (more than a week, for goodness sake!) to see how they judge things. Just because somebody likes Dune by Frank Herbert doesn’t mean my tastes are going to align with theirs most of the time. And just because I rate a favorite book of yours highly doesn’t mean I’m going to review books that you want to see reviewed. The whole intersection between book reviewing and blogging is still on my mind and so these peculiar thoughts pop up at the oddest times and I have to get them out where I can so I don’t forget about them. I realize it can overshadow the book itself (I think I’ve written more about this than the actual book) but I don’t read books in a vacuum and is part of the whole blogging experience. Trying to divorce myself from that aspect of writing is what led me to take off the whole month of October this year.

When I read a book, tangential thoughts pop up like moles. And when I go to write about that tangential thought in the review, it can lead me down paths that have almost nothing to do with the book in question. I do try to be careful and post the road signs so I’m not just jumping from one random thought to another, but sometimes that happens because it happens in my head.

All of that is a roundabout way of saying that just because a particular review might be short doesn’t mean I don’t have a boatload of thoughts on the book. Most of the time I just don’t want to go down the rabbit trails and all the various cliffs they inevitably lead to. Sherlock Holmes might be able to read my mind by knowing my word choice, but I don’t expect any of you who follow me to do such a thing.

And if you think this review was incoherent and chaotic, you’re correct. I had to do a 12hr fast for blood work labs and was wicked hungry when I wrote this. Tough to think straight when all you can have is water :-/


33 thoughts on “His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes #8) ★★★✬☆

  1. If i am not mistaken, Doyle was done with his character, but the public not. He got harassed much like today’s twitter and social media till he finally gave in just to shut them up?

    3,5 out of 5 I still see as a win regarding the strict review policies you have. Great review even if you were hangry.

    Hope the bloodwork has good results.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, he was done with Sherlock when he killed him off. Makes me wonder what harrassment looked like back then. Angry telegrams? Mean letters in the mail? Catcalls on the street?

      It is a win. There are just times that smaller issues take precedent in the review. Which is why I rate and review. Between the 2 you get a more balanced idea of what I thought than just based on one or the other 🙂

      Thanks. The cholesterol was right where it was supposed to be, so that’s a very good thing.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I did it this past Saturday. So I fast from 8pm Fri til 8am Saturday then go to the labs at 830. But waking up at 5am on Saturday makes for a long morning. Especially since I can’t even have an energy drink.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. As a type1 diabetic it can mess w me if I fast long term. But I think it’s more mental than anything in cases like this. Hahaha 🙂

      I like to write so I’ll use anything as fodder to help me along. There’s a reason I’m not on traditional social media.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. With Mrs B having crohns, we always keep easy to digest foods on hand, so I’m able to dip into her “stash” for situations like this. Because I can believe a big fat pizza, while tasting good, would do exactly what you describe 😀

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It would explain why we always picture Holmes as older then.
      Is there more to being Irish than a goatee? I’m not an expert on this matter and will defer to your expertise…


  2. Well, goatees were huge in Ireland up until the middle of the nineteenth century, but then most people drank their stout/whisky from a bottle and by the neck. The pint glass was a game-changer as one’s goatee often got soaked, hence the adoption of sideburns (thus Ieaving the chin clear of bristles/goatees etc).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Rabbit trails and the cliffs the inevitably lead to” LOL So true, my friend.

    I don’t want to recommend that you do another fast anytime soon, but I really enjoyed this particular rabbit trail.

    And, while I haven’t read the whole Holmes corpus, I do have a guess about why he is so enduringly popular. He’s the poster boy for the rationalist age. He’s the scientist type who seems really eccentric, but that’s because of his attention to Just the Physical Facts and his refusal to refer to cultural norms, tropes, or common sense. And in the Rationalist world, it is this type of person who always saves the day.

    I don’t think it’s realistic that that kind of character always gets the right answer, because I don’t believe it’s possible to pay attention to Just the Physical Facts, which means that if someone thinks they are doing that, they are unaware of their filter. Having said that, I do enjoy characters of this type, like Monk and Doc Martin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀

      Good point about Holmes and rationalism. I’m not a fan of rationalism mainly because it chooses to ignore the spiritual but without acknowledging that it IS ignoring that whole aspect of reality. I find it very dishonest.

      Ahhh, Doc Martin. Now there was a crabby guy I really liked 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A lion’s mane? I don’t remember anything like that.
      And I just googled it and it appears that story is in the final collection, the Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. So I’ll be reading that in another month or two.

      Liked by 1 person

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