- The Cthulu Casebooks: Sherlock Holmes and the Miskatonic Monstrosities.
- James Lovegrove.
- 464 pages.
- Fiction / Fantasy / Urban / Mystery.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
His health nearly broken after a decade combating eldritch entities and evil cultists, Holmes must marshal his inner resources in order to tackle his most dangerous and terrifying case yet. Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts, has a new resident academic, a certain Professor James Moriarty. In tandem with a young biology undergraduate called Herbert West, Moriarty is attempting a diabolical experiment that will enable him to conquer the world on behalf of his evil, elder-god masters. Holmes and Watson must travel to America to stop their nemesis before he can tap the secrets of the fabled Necronomicon and unleash hell on earth.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Miskatonic Monstrosities is the second book in Lovegrove’s The Cthulu Casebooks trilogy and takes place over a decade after the events that transpired in the first book, The Shadwell Shadows.
The blurb does a fine job of recapping the story told within the pages of the Miskatonic Monstrosities without going into any overt detail or giving away any plot twists, it’s a mystery that you as the reader will have fun investigating and deducing along with Holmes and Watson.
I will say, however, that anyone who has read The Shadwell Shadows or has even a passing familiarity with the Holmes canon will guess the true identity of a certain character. It’s not detrimental to the story and waiting for the penny to drop and the reveal to finally happen is fascinating.
I found the Miskatonic Monstrosities to be a far better book overall than its predecessor. That’s not to say that The Shadwell Shadows wasn’t a decent read, it was and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just feel that with the Miskatonic Monstrosities, Lovegrove has honed his writing and storytelling and created a far more stellar read.
Lovegrove uses the same style that Conan Doyle incorporated into a couple of his own original Holmes novels, namely that of a secondary narrative. During the course of the Miskatonic Monstrosities Holmes and Watson come to a point in their own investigation and tale that enables a recounting of past events (namely that of the expedition down the Miskatonic river) pivotal to the present storyline. This works really well as firstly, it gives us a break from the current storyline and focus on Holmes and Watson before we revert back to focus on them and the conclusion of the story. And, secondly, it allows another voice and character to take over and gives us a first-hand telling of the journey down the Miskatonic and what really transpired on the voyage.
There’s lots to like about the Miskatonic Monstrosities, it’s an absorbing page-turner of a book, well-written and paced and just like with its predecessor the merging of the Conan Doyle and Lovecraft creations work really well staying true to the original while creating something unique and new.
I’m not a fast reader, in fact, I’m far closer to being a sedate paced reader but I devoured the Miskatonic Monstrosities in three days (it’s a 450-page plus book) which is a testament to how much I was engaged and engrossed by the story.
What Lovegrove has done with the Miskatonic Monstrosities is blend together two classic canons to create a gripping and thoroughly entertaining read.
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