Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Sussex Vampire (On the Case with Holmes and Watson)
By: Murray Shaw and M. J. Cosson
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Publication Date: November 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2010
It was late fall when Sherlock Holmes received one of the most interesting, and somewhat laughable, notes in his career as a detective. It was from the lawyers Morrison, Morrison, and Dodd and was a very unusual referral of a client who had a problem with vampires. Holmes had his friend Dr. Watson checked the index to find out a bit about them. He said to Watson, “Listen to this, Watson . . . vampirism in Hungary, and again in Transylvania.” Of course he figured it was nothing but rubbish and wanted to know what they would have to do about “the walking dead.” It was going to be some weird mystery.
A letter from a Mr. Robert Ferguson soon arrived, discussing a vampire problem a friend was having. Holmes, who could figure out many things that would elude most anyone else, soon knew that this “friend” was none other than Ferguson himself. It seemed that his wife Camilla was caught hitting his disabled son, Jack, a son from a previous marriage. Soon after that she bit her infant son, Anthony, on his shoulder, making him bleed. She bribed the nurse to keep her silent, but it didn’t work and she quickly spilled the beans to Robert.
Mr. Ferguson soon arrived at 221B Baker Street to discuss the case in person. He was quite distraught because he himself had seen her leaning over the baby and when he “turned his wife’s face to the light . . . there was blood on her lips.” No doubt Camilla was sucking baby Anthony’s blood. It was simply horrifying. He told Holmes and Dr. Watson that “Camilla hates as strongly as she loves.” Something had to be done and a visit to the Ferguson’s old farmhouse, the Cheeseman’s, was in order. Things quickly started to fall into place when Holmes spotted their paralyzed dog, Carlo, but “Suddenly all Holmes' attention seemed to be on the window with one shuttered pane.” He gave the maid a note to give to Mrs. Ferguson. He’d obviously solved the mystery, but what had he seen that clinched the case?
This vexing vampire mystery is one that could only be solved by the likes of Sherlock Holmes... with the assistance of Dr. Watson of course. Although there were plenty of clues scattered through these pages I wasn’t sharp enough to catch them, nor did I want to. I wanted to watch the inimitable Sherlock Holmes as he set about to solve this really unusual mystery. Holmes was convinced that the case would be pure rubbish, but soon found out that it was a real conundrum. Young mystery lovers, especially ones who love anything “vampire,” are going to love the twists and turns in this one. The dark mysterious artwork is very expressive and eerily appealing in this dark, bloody tale. In the front of the book we learn a bit about the history of this mystery loving duo, Holmes and Watson, and learn about the books written about their cases. In the back of the book we are treated to a section that tells us exactly what Holmes saw and how he solved the mystery. Additionally there is a list of recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: If you or any youngster you know likes their mysteries served up with lots of twists, turns, and tantalizingly tricky endings, this is one series you might want to look into!