I had this strange dream a few months ago. I was in a Sherlock Holmes setting but instead of having to solve murders in the streets of London, I was solving paranormal cases with goblins and elves. Then, I wondered how great would it be if there was a fantasy retelling with Sherlock Holmes?
Guys, I found it.
And it comes with beautiful illustrations. What more can I ask for?
“Trang is reviewing a graphic novel?!” HELL YES and she’s going to tell you all about it.
I always loved reading graphic novels and I noticed that one of the challenges in this medium is to convey an original story while having a clear storyline in just a few pages. Neil Gaiman, Rafael Alburerque and company did just that.
They manage to set up the world building in a Lovecraftian way but keep all the Sherlock Holmes references all the same.
The perfect pastiche. A Study in Emerald is foreshadowing The Study In Scarlet by Conan Doyle. The dialogue is funny, entertaining and as thought provoking as the original works from Doyle. The story follows the simple murder mystery plot until the last page ends WITH A FRKN TWIST! A magnificent twist, dare I say, for I am a fan of big reveals. The kind of reveal that makes you want to re-read the story and find the clues that you missed the first time.
As for the length, It is short I must warn you, I wish they will continue this a series because I’m sure they have plenty of ideas to explore 😀
The artwork is simply phenomenal! Watercolour painting is one of my hobby and seeing this perfect bushed water-coloured illustrations just want to make me frame every single page. I find the posters at the beginning of each chapter a clever way to introduce us to the gripping world building.
Thanks to the lovely comments, I can confirm that A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman :
Kim @ Traveling book: “originally published in an anthology called Shadows Over Baker Street, which was a ‘Sherlock Holmes meets Lovecraft’ set of stories”.
Kiersten @ Once Upon A Spine : “I read this story originally in one of Neil’s short story collections, Fragile Things“.
A Study in Emerald also won the 2004 Hugo Award for Best Short Story
Thank you to Penguin Random House for giving me a free copy to review!