Reader's Exchange

Dynamic Duos

I'm not a mystery aficionado and in fact seldom read more than one or two books in any kind of series.  J. K. Rowling and Anthony Trollope are notable exceptions.  So, the best explanation for my extensive reading of Arthur Conan Doyle must be the Sherlock Holmes-Dr. Watson relationship dynamic. Anticipating Watson's take on Holmes' latest enigmatic pronouncement is nearly as suspenseful as tracking the hound on the moor. 

Most of us observed early in our reading careers (thank you, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew) that fictional life is just better with one or more sidekicks.  Either your associate will pick up on a clue that you missed, or he/she will behave in a manner denoting the appropriateness of your being the leader.  Consider Jeeves and Wooster, for example.  In Spencer Quinn's Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, Chet plays the Jeeves role--more perceptive, generally more patient, and decidedly more instructive for the reader.  And Chet is a dog.  This is a new take on the duo franchise, but not the newest or most unusual.

The library doesn't own this book yet (it's on order) but I am very curious to read Judy Clemens' Embrace the Grim Reaper. Here's the scenario: Casey Maldonado, all but undone by recent tragic events, hits the road in search of comfort, direction, or whatever, accompanied by Death, who apparently guides her to a small town in Ohio and then assists her in solving a murder. 

I'm a sucker for a catchy title, but an inventive premise is almost as good.


kimberly said:

The Holmes/Watson relationship is a great one. I always think mysteries are better when there is a "dynamic duo" that works well together instead of a single detective/amateur working on her/his own. I don't know if you have read any of the Amelia Peabody series, but Amelia just wouldn't be the detective that she is without her husband Emerson (and it wouldn't be nearly as funny).

Another great duo that sounds sort of similar to Judy Clemens is found in Dean Koontz' Odd Thomas books. Odd is accompanied for most of the books by the ghost of Elvis (and Sinatra later on). Elvis isn't as involved as Watson is in Holmes' mysteries, but he's significant enough to make an impact.

I saw the trailer for the new Sherlock Holmes movie awhile ago - have you seen it? I wouldn't have been able to recognize it as a Holmes film unless they had pointed it out to me. It looks like a shoot em up action flick, which can be fun, but it's not really Sherlock Holmes. My friend who is a huge fan of the books is more than a little outraged.

# July 17, 2009 1:42 PM

Shannon McIntire said:

I love the Sherlock Holmes stories for the Holmes/Watson dynamic as well! My favorite parts are usually those conversations at the beginning when Holmes and Watson are at the Baker Street flat before the new case begins.

Relationships – whether friendship, romantic or even adversarial – are almost inevitably what draw me into a work of fiction.

So, who do you think was the best on-screen Sherlock Holmes – Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett?

This is a great blog, Linda! Keep it up.

# July 20, 2009 4:15 PM
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