THE STAR OF INDIA by Carole Buggé


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 Sherlock Holmes is immortal, of course, and lately Carole Nelson Douglas has given Irene Adler a new lease on life as well. But who would've thought Professor Moriarty also survived his death-struggle with Holmes? (Kind of a cheat for the tourists visiting Reichenbach Falls, when you think about it.) And yet Holmes and his brother Mycroft are sure that none other than Moriarty is behind the diabolical plot that begins, for Holmes and Dr. Watson, when the two attend a recital at the Royal Albert Hall (the violinist Sarasate playing the ``Goldberg Variations'': one of first-novelist BuggÇ's few slips) and find themselves seated behind a young woman whose behavior Holmes finds as quietly remarkable as her perfume. Once Holmes recovers a pair of gloves that Violet Merriweather has left behind, he soon connects her to a life-or-death struggle between a pair of Indian potentates and to a plan by Moriarty to steal the fabled Star Sapphire of India. So far so good: If Sherlockians don't find the plot riveting, it certainly has the lineaments of a Holmes adventure. But although Holmes in this manifestation is admirably quick with a deduction, and BuggÇ makes a tolerable approach to catching Watson's voice, she hasn't the knack of invention needed to sustain such a long tale; most of the action here consists of Holmes rescuing his allies from the clutches of Moriarty, who seems more interested in playing out an elaborate chess game (surely the relic of later writers than Conan Doyle) with his nemesis than in concentrating on lucrative malefaction. A lovely read page by page, then, though it reminds you of Doyle's own problems sustaining a novel-length adventure.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18034-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1997