A UNIQUE MIX
Weaving together horror and a detective story, Neil Gaiman crafts a unique and inventive short-story using his customary charming voice. Specifically, A Study in Emerald combines the worlds of Sherlock Holmes with the Cthulhu mythos.
I expect almost everyone is familiar with Sherlock Holmes, but for those not familiar with the Cthulhu mythos, it comes from writer H. P. Lovecraft, who started the cosmic horror genre that encompasses monsters beyond the understanding and reasoning of mankind.
In this composite, alternate world, taking place in a version of Victorian England, we meet two very familiar characters who are called in to help investigate the murder of a member of the royal family. An ancient and monstrous royal family.
As the hunt for the killer begins and the mystery begins to unravel, the reader gains more and more insight into the history and culture of this odd world.
And enhancing the detective feel of the story, Gaiman writes the mystery so the reader can piece together and decipher the clues for him- or herself. Certain mysteries are never explicitly revealed, so you will have to read with your thinking cap on if you want to catch everything.
But it’s not all about the mystery. With twists and turns, the story never becomes stale or boring. The mix of the two worlds definitely keeps things constantly fresh, and the characters are witty and a joy to hear converse.
If you haven’t read Gaiman before, you are missing out. The way he tells a story is just a delight to read. Enchanting and charming. Dark and inventive. Fun and adventurous. A master fairytale storyteller with wild and modern inventiveness.
The whimsical voice of the narrator maintains a quality of fun even in the darkest moments, and his unique takes on classic fantasy tropes keep things fresh.
Check it out and see if you can piece together all the mysteries. Either way, you’ll have fun along the way. And best of all, you can read it for free on his site at: http://www.neilgaiman.com/p/Cool_Stuff/Short_Stories