February 25, 2019 by TinyNavajo
A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman
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*Published June 27, 2018*
I love retellings. It’s one of my favorite genres (if you can call it a genre) and I love it when authors take a common story and then rewrite/retell it for their style. For Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite things about him is his fantasy style and with this retelling of Sherlock Holmes, especially as it is in graphic novel format.
This supernatural mystery set in the world of Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos features a brilliant detective and his partner as they try to solve a horrific murder.
The complex investigation takes the Baker Street investigators from the slums of Whitechapel all the way to the Queen’s Palace as they attempt to find the answers to this bizarre murder of cosmic horror!
What I truly love most about this version of A Study in Scarlet is that the main narrator, we don’t who exactly they are. At least, I didn’t until the end of the story. Yes, there are hints here and there, but their name is not specifically stated until the end. I also like that the brilliance of the emerald blood stands out against the dark and drab colors of Victorian England.
I love also love that it still harkens back to the essentials of the Sherlock Holmes mythos; we still have Sherlock Holmes as the snarky consulting detective, a man who has been discharged from the army after his stint in Afghanistan and takes up rooms with Sherlock Holmes, and a mystery of who was killed and leaving the word “Rache” to be found.
I have never read anything dealing with the Cthulhu verse, this was my first foray into that fantasy and it was so interesting to see it mixed in with Sherlock Holmes. I know a bit about the Cthulhu verse, but to see some of the mystery and effect these beasts? monsters? have on the characters in the universe. It made me not want to cross these creatures but I also curious about the Cthulhu verse and want to read more.
What do you think about retellings that are not fairy tales? Do you like them or wish for people to leave the source material alone? Comment below and let me know!