I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
The twelfth novel in Mercedes Lackey's magical Elemental Masters series reimagines Sherlock Holmes in a richly-detailed alternate 20th-century England
Christmas is a very special time of year. It is special for Psychic Nan Killian and Medium Sarah Lyon-White and their ward Suki, who are determined to celebrate it properly. It is special for their friends, Doctor John Watson, and his wife Mary, both Elemental Masters, who have found great delight in the season seeing it through young Suki’s eyes.
It is also special to others...for very different reasons.
For Christmas Eve is also hallowed to dark forces, powers older than mankind, powers that come awake on this, the Longest Night. Powers best left alone. Powers that could shake the foundations of London and beyond.
It begins slowly. Women disappearing in the dark of night, women only missed by those of their own kind. The whispers only begin when they start to reappear—because when they do, they are no longer sane. And when Nan and Sarah and the Watsons are called on to examine these victims, they discover that it was no ordinary horror of the streets that drove them mad.
But then, the shadows reach for other victims—girls of good, even exalted families, who vanish from concerts, lectures, and evening balls. And it will take the combined forces of Magic, Psychic Powers, and the worlds greatest detective to stop the darkness before it can conquer all
***2019 The Summer of Sherlock***
Well, I called A Study in Sable a weird tribute to Sherlock Holmes. This book is even weirder. Not only does it continue to represent John & Mary Watson as magical practitioners, it joins them, Nan & Sarah, and Sherlock Holmes himself to battle eldritch horrors out of H.P. Lovecraft!
The mash-up doesn’t work for me, but it may work for folks who are more into Lovecraft than Mr. Holmes. Both books, to my way of thinking, are far outside of the detective’s wheelhouse and his presence really isn’t appropriate.
The evil magician who starts the whole situation going isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and the tentacle monster has pretty banal requests of him. Said evil magician is so pitiful at covering his tracks that it’s amazing that he wasn’t apprehended almost immediately!
If you are a dyed-in-the-wool Mercedes Lackey fan, you will probably enjoy this. To my way of thinking, Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraft fans are better off avoiding it. What it may accomplish is sending inexperienced readers to Doyle and Lovecraft if they fancy this novel and haven’t read those two authors.