The Final Solution

I found this very slim 2004 novella in a secondhand book shop (not Brown & Bunting, a different one at the top of High St whose name escapes me). It's barely 130 pages, including illustrations, but it's charming.

I've found Michael Chabon a little patchy in the past. Loved Kavalier and Clay; Gentlemen of the Road, meh. I was impressed to see that he was one of the creators of Netflix's terrific show Unbelievable. So I'll always give him the benefit of the doubt. The Final Solution is, of course, the last case of Sherlock Holmes, though the old gentleman is never named. We are in wartime Sussex, where Holmes has retired with his hives, when a murder and a mysterious disappearance require his involvement.

The plot itself is not amazingly satisfying, but the writing is gorgeous and the atmosphere of regret and nostalgia is tenderly conveyed. A quick read, but a sweet one.

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