Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dipping my toes into the sea of manga: Young Miss Holmes, casebook 1-2 by Kaofu Shintani

There are four stories in this collection, each one a classic Sherlock Holmes story. However, they are told from the perspective of his niece, Lady Christie. Some of the stories have additions or changes. "The Mazarin Stone" is pretty much the straight story with Christie helping out here and  there. "The Problem of Thor Bridge" has a twist at the end and Grace Dunbar becomes Christie's governess. "Red-Headed League" has Christie pop up at the end of the story to help out and deductions along the way. "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire" is the most changed, with Christie encountering a real vampire who saves her life with the "rose kiss". "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" is mostly the same as the original story, except Holmes is in Brighton and Christie and her maids and governess do all the code-breaking.

Christie isn't really a partner with Holmes, more a competitor, trying to win his attention by being as or more clever. She's precocious and can follow social mores when she wants, but she rarely bothers. She's drawn looking very like a doll and actually poses as one in Mazarin Stone to trap a thief.

Asides from a few manga conventions that weirded me out (like the whole doll thing) I actually liked this one pretty well. The art was pretty and easy to follow and I like Sherlock mysteries. I disliked the Sussex Vampire, which went careening away from the story to focus on vampires, and I've always found Dancing Men boring, but otherwise I rather enjoyed this collection. I wouldn't read more though and I don't see this as something that would interest most teens in my library who read manga.

Borrowed from another library in my consortium.

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