Saturday 6 January 2024

The Woman Returns - Richard Paolinelli and Christina Major - The Art of Sherlock Holmes #25

The Woman Returns
The Art of Sherlock Holmes #25

Prior to picking this up, I had already read a different edition of this story, published as part of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches by Paolinelli. This story was originally published in The Art of Sherlock Holmes USA Edition, where each story was paired with an artist. And the works and prints sold off of the artwork.

The description of this story is:

“This is the 25th story from The Art of Sherlock Holmes project and first appeared in The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part VI. The artist is Christina Major creating the art from the story. The original painting measures 30x39 and is an oil on canvas You can view the original in The Art of Sherlock Holmes Virtual Gallery.”

The description of the other edition of this story states:

“For a brief period of time the world thought Sherlock Holmes had perished in his battle with Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls.

While Holmes was away from London, he travelled the world. Shortly before his return he took up residence in the south of France. To his surprise Irene Adler showed up on his doorstep.

She is looking for revenge. The man who murdered her husband has escaped justice and she wants Holmes to help her in her quest.”

When I read the other edition of this story it had been a long time since I have read a Sherlock Holmes story. I started that it really hit. This is a masterfully written story. It fits in perfectly with the other stories I have read years ago. Paolinelli has breathed new life into the characters and yet remained true to their original creation. Adler shoes up asking for Holmes help, and even promises to his condition. And they are immediately off on the chase.

This is a great short story. It draws you in quickly, it keeps your attention, and leaves you wanting more. Fortunately Paolinelli has written 5 other Holmes stories. The characters are masterfully written. I look forward to the other stories in this series and many of Richard’s other series.

I absolutely love the cover of this edition. The feel of the story from the art by Major is intense and visceral. I found myself on several occasions returning to the cover and just staring at it, into her eyes, deciphering the words. Just feeling the work. And the painting works perfectly with Paolinelli’s story. 

It is an excellent first read for a new year! This story would be great for fans of the original Holmes stories, or the recent BBC Series. It would be great for fans of mysteries. And adventure stories. And To be honest for anyone who just loves a great short story!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan!

For reviews of all books from Tuscany Bay click here.

Books by Richard Paolinelli:
When the Gods Fell
The Calling
The Last Lonely Trail
A Zombie Christmas Carol

Infinity Series:
Escaping Infinity
Exploring Infinity

Starguest 4th Age Series:

Timeless Series:
The Timeless
Secret of the Sphinx

Jack Del Rio Series:
Del Rio Omnibus Edition

Divine Trolls Comedies:
The Fall Of The House Of 770 Vile Aromas 
The Corvo

SeaDragon 1 May 1986
SeaDragon 2 June 1996

Non Fiction:
Perfection’s Arbiter
From The Fields
The Space Shuttle: 1981–2011 

Contributed to:
To Be Men 
Places Beyond The Wild
Space Force Building The Legacy
Secret Stairs 
A Tribute To H.G. Wells (2019 Edition)
Beyond Watson 
Holmes Away From Home, Vol. 2 
Sherlock Holmes Adventures In The Realms Of H.G. Wells 
Sherlock Holmes Aventures In The Realms Of Edgar Allan Poe
The Art Of Sherlock Holmes 
The Mx Book Of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part Xxii

Planetary Anthology Series:
Best Of Planetary Anthology Series

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