Review: Investigating Sherlock by Nikki Stafford

InvestigatingSherlockPublished by: ECW Press
ISBN: 177041262X
ISBN 13: 9781770412620
Published: September 2015
Pages: 240
Format reviewed: eCopy from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five

This unofficial guide begins with an account of how the show came to be – if you’re a fan of the BBC Sherlock, you’re probably already aware of the way it came to be, scribbled out on a train journey between Cardiff and London. It travels on, coming across as being a fairly careful, neutral account – simply what happened. This account goes on to say how the actors were cast, and also includes a short history on Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Doyle himself. Throughout it contains interesting tidbits or quotes, such as a comment from Benedict Cumberbatch on Sherlock: ‘I always make it clear that people who become obsessed with him or the idea of him – he’d destroy you … He is an absolute bastard.’

It moves on to full accounts of each episodes, how it compares to the original stories, interesting facts, nitpicks, and information such as the use of the word deductions is wrong – it should be ‘inductions’, as ‘deductive reasoning begins with a collection of statements known to be true’, rather than guesses. The amount of information it has on each episode is staggering, interesting, and yet remains easy to read – making it a joy to relive each episode from wherever you may be cozily reading.

Also important to note, is the huge section of references at the end – enough to keep any fan busy as we wait for the next episode to come about.

This is written with an easy hand, taking quite a lot of fact and blending it in as though it’s an easy conversation between friends as you squee over a piece of fandom that’s important to you. There’s a bit of comic timing included in the writing that Stafford should be proud of. As a fan of the show who is online far too much, I honestly thought there wouldn’t be too much I didn’t already know – having read the original stories countless times for many years, and seeing many of the adaptions well before and after Sherlock. I’m surprised to say that this account told me quite a bit that I didn’t already know (or perhaps had shoved out of my head some time in the past to make room for new information, and has now refreshed itself!), so I completely endorse this guide as being for all fans – even those who think they already know too much. Because really, there’s no such thing, is there?

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