Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is about the older brother of Sherlock
Mycroft Holmes #1 by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published 2015, 323 pages
When I came across this book last year on a list somewhere, it intrigued because of the author. Basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! Could he write? Come to find out he's an avid Holmesian and this series is his contribution to the myth, the genius of Sherlock Holmes. Kind of surprisingly, it was actually quite good.
Mycroft is the older brother of Sherlock. Mycroft is three and twenty in this first installment of the series and Sherlock is still in college. He makes a couple of short appearances, but the story is all about Mycroft, a brilliant observer and genius with a prodigious memory. The other main character is his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a 40-something black man who owns a tobacco shop in London.
The unlikely friends become embroiled in a mystery when Douglas receives word from home (Trinidad) that children are being killed on the island. When Mycroft's fiance, Georgiana, learns of this, she insists on accompanying Mycroft and Douglas to Trinidad. And that's the beginning of the mystery.
"Yet Georgiana fervently believed that society could be better than it was, that the past did not have to define the future. Holmes was as delighted with the earnestness of her beliefs as with the exquisiteness of her face and silhouette - though he himself was uncertain that the world was likely to change much. If at all."
From there, all sorts of unfortunate things begin to happen to the travelers and when they arrive in Trinidad, they fight off attempts on their lives, illness, and more as they try to solve the mystery of who/what is killing the children. Georgiana plays a small, but important, role in helping us learn about Mycroft. We see Mycroft's powers of deduction and observation on display as well as Douglas' occasional irritation at having to guess at answers Mycroft has already figured out.
"The most important thing was the mission, their own small attempt to 'proclaim liberty to the captives,' as the Book of Isaiah had commanded nearly three thousand years before. To engage in a war where there would be no material benefit for the victor other than the liberation of oppressed and victimized human beings."
The mystery is a solid one, the characters are interesting and entertaining, there's plenty of action to keep the story moving right along, the friendship is the glue to the story and is well portrayed. Accurately to the time, Douglas is often made to pretend to be the servant to avoid trouble. All in all, if you enjoy Sherlock or that style of mystery, you're certain to enjoy this book as well.
Follow my progress on the five (FIVE!) challenges I'm attempting this year. It's the most I've ever tried and.....I've got to stop getting distracted by other random books that don't satisfy a challenge category or I'll never finish! Ri-i-i-ight.