SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE MYSTERIOUS FRIEND OF OSCAR WILDE by Russell A. Brown

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE MYSTERIOUS FRIEND OF OSCAR WILDE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Based on and incorporating writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde,"" this precious pastiche--supposedly (as usual) a lost manuscript by Dr. Watson--takes the super-sleuth into London's homosexual subculture circa 1895, with campy Wilde as tour-guide and sometime sidekick. At first Holmes recoils in disgust from lily-carrying Wilde, who asks for help in saving a ""mysterious friend"" from a sex-blackmail scheme. Eventually, however, Holmes and Watson meet the masked, foreign-accented mystery man, a closet homosexual who's pretending to be dead to escape the blamail-team that trapped him into a compromising position. So, in a counter-trap, handsome Dr. Watson poses (very reluctantly) as a man on the prowl for a ""catamite""--which leads him into a laughably coincidental reunion with an adoring, sexually obsessed Army buddy. Equally strained is a subplot involving a revenge-scheme against Holmes by Lord Queensberry (father of Wilde's Bosie). The revelation of the famous, mysterious friend's identity--after pages of coy hints--comes as a ho-hum anticlimax. And there's little charm in either the fulsome dialogue (which often just strings well-known Wilde epigrams together) or the prurient, unconvincing portrait of gay London. In sum: cutesy, muddled, and unintentionally creepy.

Pub Date: Dec. 20th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's