My Dear Watson - L.A. Fields
~ Review by Ulysses

Wow. This is not what I expected. I guess, primed as I was with all the coy faux-gay banter in the marvelous Brit TV series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, I was sort of imagining that this would be a period gay romance spinning off on Conan Doyle’s famous detective novels. Indeed, author L.A. Fields describes the book on her Goodreads page as “a queer Sherlock Holmes pastiche.”

Fields underestimates the gravitas of her work. Pastiche implies something patched together, even frivolous. My Dear Watson is neither of those things. It is a serious, fascinating book. It is also a deeply unhappy book which, I confess, I had some trouble reading. I wanted the romantic pastiche described in the blurb.

I’ve read quite a lot of “historical” gay romances, many of them excellent both in writing quality and in the creation of an authentic setting and tone. As a specialist in nineteenth-century culture, I’ve read a lot of literature of the period, including most of the Sherlock Holmes books (although that was, admittedly, long ago). I was expecting a Sherlock-type story, but placed in Conan Doyle’s original period, all sly winks and bedroom hijinks in between the mysteries...

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