Friday, October 11, 2019

Book Review: The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D. by Nicholas Meyer

As a young teen, I read all the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. My mom got me into the Mystery! Theater adaptations starring Jeremy Brett (who will forever and always be Holmes to me) so it was a delight to read a "newly found" Holmes story.

Ostensibly, this was found among the manuscripts and papers of Dr. Watson in the form of a diary, and he never published it for good reason. Because it was "never published," it includes some details Watson would normally leave out of his accounts, such as Holmes's romance with the Russian woman who is helping them. The story goes, Holmes's brother Mycroft asks Holmes (and be default, Watson, as he knows they are a package deal) to look into a mysterious manuscript that one of the secret service agents was killed over. Watson, newly married, and settled into a routine, asks his sister-in-law who translates Russian literature, for help. They discover it is a bizarre, obvious fraudulent supposed transcript from a meeting of Jews who want to take over the world. Then they are off! On an adventure to prove the fraudulence so this screed, which they come to call The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, won't gain traction and become widespread. On a trip across Europe including on the Orient Express, they, with the help of a stunning beautiful Russian woman, are followed by Russian spies while they try to uncover and expose the truth.

It's a fun, short read. Although the subject matter isn't fun at all, and is irritatingly familiar as antisemitism seems to be on the rise (along with all kind of white supremacy). It's both refreshing and sad to see that after more than a century, we are no more advanced in society. But it's still good to feel that frustration in the company of Sherlock Holmes. No better company.

This book is published by Minotaur, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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