Blood and Ink

Blood and Ink

Book - 2016
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The Chief Financial Officer of a secretive NYC hedge fund has been found murdered--stabbed through the eye with an expensive fountain pen. When Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson discover a link between the victim and a charismatic management guru with a doubtful past, it seems they may have their man. But is the guru being framed?

As secrets are revealed and another victim is found murdered in the same grisly fashion, Holmes and Watson begin to uncover a murky world of money and deceit...
Publisher: London, Titan Books,, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781785650277
Characteristics: 297 pages ; 18 cm.
Alternative Title: Elementary (Television program)


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Aug 03, 2017


I haven't read a good crime/mystery thriller in quite a while, unfortunately after finally finishing this book I'm still waiting.

I love Elementary and watch it religiously, especially the first two seasons. The channel it plays on in Australia has played seasons one and two about six times, only just now getting to season three (currently up to episode 18) and when it finishes they'll probably take us back to the beginning all over again. I keep watching those first two seasons because that way I can keep track of it and don't have to worry about missing it when they start showing a season I haven't seen. When I saw this book on the new and recently returned shelf at the library I was quite excited to read a new story from the Elementary world. This didn't live up to the expectations set by the tv show. Most of the story was told from Joan's point of view and if you took this book at face value I'd be questioning Holmes' faith in Watson, because being in Watson's head was quite boring and unenlightening. I think (I hope) Joan's deductive reasoning was dumbed down for the reader who couldn't quite make the deductive leaps that Joan does in the show. I've taken the below excerpt from pages 62-64 (remember that the murder weapon is a fountain pen, not a spoiler as we're told this on the back of the book)

'Watson frowned. "But like you said, there are no pens in this office. I guess he had a favourite he carried around with him."
"And yet," said Holmes, "the only pen found at the crime scene was embedded four inches into the man's cranium."
"A pen that apparently wasn't his."
Holmes cocked his head at Watson. "Apparently so, although hardly a concrete deduction."
With this, he strode to the office door and stepped through, quickly. Watson followed, but by the time she reached the doorway Holmes was far ahead, striding out across the open-plan area of the main office.
Watson stopped in the doorway to watch. As Holmes came to each desk in the main office, he paused, casting an eye over it with a look of grim determination, before moving to the next. If there was a person at the desk, he ignored them - and their protests - even when his search involved wheeling a chair - with the workers still on it - out of the way to pull open a drawer. After a few moments of this everyone in the office was watching him along with Watson.
As Holmes completed a circuit of the office, Watson headed around the other side to head him off.
"What are you looking for?" she asked.
Holmes stopped, his arms ramrod straight by his side.
"The murderer," he said, before ducking to Watson's left to continue his bizarre mission down the centre aisle of desks. At the first he stopped a little longer to examine the contents of two drawers before moving to the next.
Then Watson realized what he was doing.'

Why did it take Watson, Holmes' protégé in the art of deductive reasoning, so long to realise what he was doing when it was clear to me from the moment he started looking? It was at this point that I started to feel like the book was written for younger readers who had zero powers of deduction and were unable to work anything out on their own. From this point on I frequently felt like the book was taking great pains to explain very obvious deductions to me and that made me frustrated with all the extra laying out of the plot that happened. I reckon 20+ pages of unnecessary explanations could have been excised from the book with hardly any effort.

I did not guess who was behind the killings until a few pages before it was revealed, but it had to be who it was, unless Christopher was going to introduce a completely new character to take the part of the big boss, because all the other secondary characters had already been ruled out or killed.

I might consider giving the author/series another go, but I certainly won't be searching for Elementary: The Ghost Line at the library.

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