THE ADVENTURES OF INSPECTOR LESTRADE by MJ. Trow

THE ADVENTURES OF INSPECTOR LESTRADE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yes, Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes have inspired yet another feeble spin-off--this one featuring the jokey, far-fetched 1891 exploits of Scotland Yard's Inspector Sholto Lestrade. A cloddish buffoon in much of the Holmes canon, here Lestrade is merely a stolid plodder who's the straight man in stale snatches of shtick-y dialogue. (Lestrade: ""Call me a cab in the Minories."" Constable Dew: ""You're a cab in The Minories."") The plot? Well, after failing to expose Jack the Ripper, Lestrade is presented with an even ghastlier series of psycho-killings: someone is committing bizarre, grisly murders all around England--patterning the crimes after the verses in a popular children's book. Furthermore, the super-killer--who torments Lestrade with taunting letters and close-encounters in disguises--seems to have inside knowledge about goings-on at Scotland Yard. So the suspects include Holmes, Watson, and Conan Doyle (all appearing in clunky cameos), not to mention Lestrade's boss at the Yard. But finally, after cutesy run-ins with everyone from Lord Tennyson to Oscar Wilde, Lestrade confronts the real culprit--in a strained windup that also explains the Ripper murders. A weak entry even by those flexible Holmesiana standards: too flip and anachronistic to please Baker Street Irregulars, too mechanical and silly to interest anyone else.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Stein & Day