John H. Watson, M.D., has occasionally seemed a dullard, even a fool, but never before the moist simp that Robert Lee Hall makes him in this--yet another ""unpublished account"" raking the embers on the hearth at 221B. It is the post-Reichenbach era (Moriarty did not die!), and Sherlock ""retires"" and disappears, leaving Watson to fret, whimper, whine, and have bad dreams as he discovers that his old friend kept secrets from him: a Baker Street basement laboratory with a strange cage, the non-existence of brother Mycroft Holmes (an old vaudevillian impersonated him), and the fact that Moriarty is Holmes' physiological double. A former Baker Street Irregular who's now a budding matinee idol joins Watson in an attempt to penetrate these enigmas and locate Holmes, and the great detective does finally reveal himself in time to joust with Moriarty and divulge the science-fictional truth about his antecedents and his lifelong struggle with the arch-villain. Hall does a nice enough job with the London-fog-musichall atmosphere, but there's too much of it, along with far too much stodgy, recapping talk. And the trick ideas here, unlike those in Seven Percent Solution, are soggy, little more than the plastering of Conan Doyle with H. G. Wells and Isaac Asimov. There's nothing wrong with jiving with the Canon, but, please, not for the sake of tepid nonsense and a tetchy, dreary Watson.