Title: The Count of Monte Cristo as Retold by Sherlock Holmes
Author: Holy Ghost Writer
Publisher: Illuminated Publications
ISBN: 1490927301
Pages: 564
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by: Russell D. James

Author’s Website

Hollywood Book Reviews

The Count of Monte Cristo Retold by Sherlock Holmes is a long book that offers a good story in a new
voice with some clever dialogue interjected. As the title suggests, Sherlock Holmes re-tells a story
made famous by Alexander Dumas. The book hints at more than just this story being told, and given
its over 500 page book makes it a double-length book, a reader might think there would be three
different stories of high caliber entwined. However, this is not the case; the three parts of the book
could not be published separately as novellas (or part one as a novel itself) because apart from the re-
telling of the story, there really falls within one book.

Upon first reading, especially the introduction to part one, a reader might crave the re-telling of the
story from the viewpoint of an Englishman. However, this, too, is not the case, as the story is re-told
using language (idioms, colloquialisms, accented words) of an American. Knowing that Sherlock
Holmes, an Englishman with, as his creator Doyle commented twice in his stories of this seminal
character, had a strong London accent bordering on Cockney, it is disappointing to see that the
character of Holmes in this book has been Americanized in his speech/writing. The story lacks artistic
credibility for that reason.

Dumas himself was known for creating sequels, perhaps one of the first novelists in any language to
do so with such gusto and success, and this book purports from the Introduction to be just that.
There are new characters and ideas, and the author’s love of the story is in itself apparent, but this
book reads more like glorified fan fiction than like a new twist on an old story line. Dumas’ characters
had flaws, though not always easily ascertained, and this book does keep those flaws hidden until just
the right moments. There are many instances where intrigue of the story line makes the reader not
go to bed on time, and instead stay up late to finish a chapter (or chapters). This is a work of love,
for sure, but it differs so much from both Sherlock Holmes and the Count of Monte Cristo, as created
and related by their creators, that this reviewer wondered time and again while poring over its pages
whether there were now TWO Sherlock Holmes and TWO Counts of Monte Cristo. I had to be
reminded many times this was a re-telling of a classic story by a re-vamped American Sherlock
Holmes, written by an author who won’t identify himself or herself to the readers.

Marketing seems to be a big part of book selling nowadays, and indeed this is especially true of self-
published books. As a practicing Catholic, this reviewer took immediate steps back when reading the
author’s “pseudonym” and felt awkward reading a book by someone who made such a “pseudonym.”
I commented to some of my evangelical Christian friends about the name of the author and they said
they would never read a book by someone who “blasphemes God.” I think the name in itself is a
public relations and marketing nightmare of the author might want to sell books to such groups; but
that is, of course the author’s choice. But then I remembered my library science training and realized
this review must include a warning, to wit: the Library of Congress and, for that matter, any library,
won’t accept this book even as a donation because the “pseudonym” of the author does not meet with
current cataloging standards for naming of authors. The author “ee cummings” would not get away
with publishing under that pseudonym in 2013 because of these new rules. This reviewer suggests
that the author ditch this “pseudonym” and create one that sticks to these convictions and doesn’t
insult the religious underpinnings of some readers.

This book is well edited, but it is edited in American English and I wonder whether a British editor
might have made the dialog a little more believable. I am sure that this new take on a novel (or triple
novel, as it is) will sell to many who like an avante guarde type of fiction without the sex, drugs,
murder, rape, and larceny that usually accompany works in that genre. However, I do not think the
main character is believable enough to ever approach a major publishing house for publication, and I
think another re-edit of the book is necessary in order to make the re-telling of the story more
believable to readers who, by the title alone, expect a British Sherlock Holmes telling a story in a
British accent.

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