Because Joan was out of town, our meeting this month was run by Darla and George.  Only four people showed up, but they still had a good discussion.  And Joan’s notes are included here.

This book was such an interesting concept.  The author has created a wife for Sherlock Holmes, as well as an in-depth background for his housekeeper, both rather minor characters in the Sir Conan Doyle-created canon.

Ruth did not find it interesting, as she doesn’t particularly like Sherlock Holmes or the time period. Tom thought it was OK. George was disappointed in that there was so little action or “thrills”, i.e. did not live up to the title!  Darla really enjoyed the story telling part of Mrs. Hudson’s history, letters, etc. and she does love an interesting “tale told well”, but Darla was somewhat disturbed by the ending and the possibility that Mrs. Hudson would be returning to her old life after so many years with Holmes.  Joan thought Mary Russell was a really fascinating character, she completely adored Clarissa Hudson and found her whole way of life fascinating.  A long and convoluted journey, rich in detail and story covering many many years.

Holmes is so intense.  And this book was so dense and rich.  Sort of like eating a fabulous multi-course meal that you want to savor all the flavors of, but along the way, you kind of forget just what it was you ate.

Questions remaining at the end – Just what was it that Holmes saw in the picture of the knife stabbed into the wall?

Favorite characters: Mrs. Hudson.  George liked The Bishop (he said he was very up front and honest in his rule as crime boss).  Billy, Mary and to a lesser degree, Holmes.

Least favorite characters: Samuel, Mrs. Hudson, Alicia, Father and son Hudson, and Hugh Edmond.  The Bishop, Jr.