Overview


Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason written by George Mann and Cavan Scott is a very entertaining listen, but it does not count as a Sherlock Holmes story. Do not misinterpret my meaning the book does certainly contain the necessary characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in order to be called a Sherlock Holmes novel. However, in my view it should take more effort than just naming the main characters Sherlock Holmes and co. To demonstrate let us say we change the name of Sherlock Holmes to Inspector Clouseau the bumbling fool from the Pink Panther. The result would be a Sherlock Holmes without many of his well-loved characteristics such as his sharp deductions and analysis. In sort, this is no Sherlock Holmes story, and the bar should be set higher.1

Trouble with the plot


So let me tackle the main question head on, what makes Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason not a real Sherlock Holmes novel? Well it is simple; Homes solves his cases with hard reasoning and logic, going over every fact in turn. With the reader given a systematic guide to the inner working of a complex mined. Whereas Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason and other detective stories rely heavily on human interaction to solve their cases. Therefore, The Voice of Treason just throws in a few lazily footprints to attempt to qualify as a Sherlock Holmes novel. Instead, the finding comes across as half-baked and oversimplified.1

old fashioned papers on desk
Ghostcage, shell. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/western-styleantique-detective-2312246/ [Accessed on 28th December 2020].

*Spoiler alert*

Instead, Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason has followed many modern day Hollywood tropes. There are just so many of them that I decided to list them there:1

  • Where an unlike group of hero’s band together: Professor Moriarty ended up working with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to find the Queen.1

  • To stop the end of the world: The disappearance of Queen Victoria was treated as if it threatens the British Empire and the world, as we knew it.1

  • Breaking long established continuity for shock factor: Dr Watson’s brother turns out not to be dead, but instead alive working for criminal gangs. Sherlock Holmes, the best detective in the world has somehow failed to find this out, even after living with Doctor Watson for years.1

  • Over use of Plot twist: One minuet Professor Moriarty is the villain behind the Queen’s
    disappearance, the next minuet he is not and then back again. This is a bit far reaching at times.1

  • A story to end them all: Professor Moriarty is killed off for good, with no way for him to come back in future stories.1

  • The Superhero finds out the answers too quickly and easily: Sherlock Holmes is not a superhero with superpowers. He is supposed to be a mere mortal relying on hard work and clever analysis to solve his cases. Instead, he is given the superhero treatment, which is not very believable. For example, it did not take him a huge amount of searching to find the secret tunnel. Furthermore, it only took Sherlock Holmes two attempts at informed guesswork to find the Queen, once he knew the identity of the kidnapper. Which sound far fetch considering that the kidnapper could have hidden her anywhere in the country. It would be nice if not every story was about stopping the end of the world, as we knew it. This plot line is mostly used simply to gain the reader’s attentions. Why can’t stories be more down to earth and believable?1
foot print in snow
Niederwimmer, Leonhard. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/snowice-frost-steps-step-trace-4727684/ [Accessed on 28th December 2020].

This leads us to the next reason for Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason to stray away from how the Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the original Sherlock Holmes novels. With regard to the way that it fills in the backstories of its characters. The original backstories are mainly given in a brief factorial account, excluding one or two exceptions to this rule. This is to avoid boring the reader and in keeping with Doyle’s creation. Whereas Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason uses a good third of its narrative to tell the backstories. With the characters, providing more details than most people would be able to recount. As a result, large sections are taken over by the telling of the backstories and the general going on in the household. To the point that the backstories take on a life of their own, introducing new characters that have no relevance to the plot and little connection to the main characters.1

Acting


The acting for the main part is brilliant but only if you can get past the first 30 minutes. Somehow, the Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason opens with the worst performance with Mrs Hudson. Then moves on to the only section of the book where it is difficult to follow. Unfortunately, the performance of Mrs Hudson is unbearable and just so over the top. Luckily, for the reader she only gets the chance to wreck a couple of scenes. The performance is so bad, it is almost something to behold. The following scene sufferers from too many characters poorly differentiated and hard to tell them apart. However, following these scenes except for the occasional reappearance of Mrs Hudson, the acting is spot on and brilliant.1

22 1b baker street
Becchy. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/input-door-sherlockholmes-london-407546/ [Accessed on 28th December 2020].

Conclusion


The acting and the story overall are good but this is by no means a serious attempt to create a Sherlock Holme novel. In sort, the Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason gives lips service to Sherlock Holmes. Conversely, the book is a very good detective story, which I would still highly recommend.1

By the way, I would also highly recommend the Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection narrated by Stephen Fry, if you want to listen to original Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.2

By Arran Wilkins © 2021 (text only)

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(1) Mann, George. And Scott, Cavan (Authors). Boulton, Nicholasetal (Narrator). Sherlock Holmes: The Voice of Treason (An Audible Original Drama, 2020) Amazon audible, Available at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sherlock-Holmes-The-Voice-of-TreasonAudiobook/B084C5WCKN?ref=a_library_t_c5_libItem_&pf_rd_p=da5752e8-6ae2-4c79-a3e2-1ab92e079358&pf_rd_r=0WCA6QAVKAKSG0WCNHT6 [Accessed on 21st to 28th December 2020].

(2) Doyle, Arthur Conan (Author). And Fry, Stephen. (Introduction and Narrator) Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection (Audible Studios, 2017) Amazon audible, Available at:
https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sherlock-Holmes-The-Definitive-CollectionAudiobook/B06X1BRZYC?qid=1609087628&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=XB2RNYC9DNT72MJ3ZT6A [Accessed on 25th October 2017 to 28th December 2020].

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