A few weeks ago I was sent an email about this book; I quite enjoy reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ stories and the blurb for this book intrigued me.
Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter by Tim Symonds
In late 1903 Einstein’s daughter ‘Lieserl’ disappears without trace in Serbia aged around 21 months. As Holmes exclaims in the Mystery of Einstein’s Daughter, “the most ruthless effort has been made by public officials, priests, monks, Einstein’s friends, followers, relatives and relatives-by-marriage to seek out and destroy every document with Lieserl’s name on it. The question is – why?”
I wondered, was it possible for another author to capture the voices of Watson and Holmes the way their creator did? In endeavoring to discover the answer I read Tim Symonds’ book, the third ‘Sherlock Holmes’ book he has written.
The writing style certainly feels very like ADC. The narrative on the other hand is both over-complicated and over-simplistic; Sherlock Homes and John Watson have been jammed into reality – real events, real people – and the join is obvious. That’s not to say it isn’t a good yarn, I enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down towards the end, but the first few chapters hardly screamed ‘Read Me Now!’ so it took a while for me to really get into the book. It’s just an awkward narrative. There were extraneous characters whose purpose wasn’t made clear, and the motives of Einstein’s sister-in-law was inadequately explained. Sherlock might have been able to deduce it but the reader (and Watson) have no information to go on.
This book left me feeling conflicted; I liked the idea but struggled with the execution of that idea.
Some information about the author:
Tim Symonds was born in London. He grew up in Somerset, Dorset and Guernsey. After several years working in the Kenya Highlands and along the Zambezi River he emigrated to the United States. He studied in Germany at Göttingen and at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Political Science. Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery Of Einstein’s Daughter was written in a converted oast house in ‘Conan Doyle country’, near Rudyard Kipling’s old home Bateman’s in East Sussex and in the forests and hidden valleys of the Sussex High Weald.
The author’s other detective novels include Sherlock Holmes and The Dead Boer at Scotney Castle and Sherlock Holmes and The Case of the Bulgarian Codex.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.