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‘Remember, Remember’

Lucy James and Sherlock Holmes Unlock Another Mystery


Before World War I, as Victorian dress, manners, and speech were on the wane, a young actress (and part-time sleuth) called Lucy James makes perhaps her most surprising discovery ​— ​she is the daughter of inimitable detective Sherlock Holmes. At least that is the premise of Remember, Remember, the third in a series of mystery books by daughter-father authors Anna Elliott and Charles Veley.

It might be difficult to imagine the original Holmes even having an offspring ​— ​particularly if you grew up with TV’s Jeremy Brett as Holmes ​— ​much less one he accepts as an investigating partner. Still, the authors make it seem plausible, and for readers who are not purists but rather pleased to see a hint of warmth coming from Holmes, Remember is a new way to enjoy Sherlockian mysteries.

The books ​— ​four in all now ​— ​are more about Lucy James, a beautiful actress with a lonely past that’s made her a strong female, than about Holmes. There’s plenty of pre-emancipation, forced-dependence context provided, the better to show off James’s dauntless self-reliance. In Remember she has woken up on a London street, injured enough to have developed amnesia. Each encounter then brings back a brief memory, until finally all becomes clear, and then the real mystery begins.

Elliott and Veley are good at keeping a brisk pace going. At no point does one wonder when the 500-word description of a whip-poor-will’s plumage will end and some action begin. Given that Elliott has also written eight other books of historical fantasy based on figures in literature, stories that move along at a good clip would seem imperative.

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