Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Review ~ Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye by Len Bailey

Publisher's Description:

Embark on a journey through the Old and New Testament with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they explore exotic and spice-laden places in search of clues. The detective and the doctor travel back in time with the help of a Moriarty-designed time machine to investigate ten Bible destinations, unlocking clues to ten Bible mysteries. The most fascinating crime cases are those that are already solved, those that have been investigated by the police and brought to a swift, satisfying, and almost inevitable conclusion. So it is with Bible stories which the reader may consider familiar and unremarkable. But under close scrutiny these stories give up their hidden clues, their long kept secrets. Like a jewel newly polished, they sparkle and shine with a fresh, introspective light.

My Thoughts:  I have never read a Sherlock Holmes mystery but the premise of this book caught my attention.  I mean, the world's greatest detective, travelling back in time to solve biblical mysteries?   I love searching out little details in the bible and gleaning new insights or thoughts from familiar stories that I may not have noticed before.  A few of the questions and mysteries this book attempts to take on are:

  • Why did Ahithophel hang himself?
  • Why did David pick 5 stones?
  • Why did Jesus delay in going to Lazarus?
  • What did Jesus write in the dirt?

 I have to say this book was a really unique concept.  It can be read as a novel straight through, each chapter being a story of the bible mystery the pair are trying to solve.  Or it can be done as a bible study by going to the back of the book first and finding the corresponding study to the chapter you are starting.  There are specific scriptures that take you through the bible story and mystery and yet stop short of revealing the mystery.  You read the story part of the book for the final reveal.  Then there are also questions about the story to answer and corresponding scripture that make the story clearer, and then questions that connect the theme of the mystery to your own life today and make the scripture applicable to the reader.  

The stories were engaging and fun though not having read the original Sherlock Holmes I cannot make comparison's to how closely the author was able to stick to character's personalities and the flow and intent of the original books.   Some of the mysteries were questions that I have thought of in the back of my mind and the solving of them and the process Sherlock goes through was interesting.     All of the stories were intriguing and some grabbed me more than other ones, but it was interesting being plonked down into the biblical story and seeing it through the eyes of Sherlock, who was an unbeliever and just there to do a job a client had hired him to do and also seeing it through the eyes of Watson, who was a believer and had his faith affected by some of the various mysteries.  I, personally, chose to do the book as a bible study so that I could get the full flavor of the book.  Though I have to say the narrative threw me a little in a couple of chapters as it seemed to change from the original flow,  on the whole, I found the book interesting and engaging and I really enjoyed the study part.

Sherlock Holmes and the Needles Eye is available here.

Thanks to Booksneeze for providing a free copy of this book for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.


Barbara H. said...

That is an interesting concept. I don't think I've read any Holmes' books either, though I used to listen to some radio dramatizations of his stories. I like the idea of the contrast between his views as an unbeliever and Watson's as a believer.

Faith said...

I thought my oldest gal (Courtney) would like this book but when I just showed her your review here, she said she couldn't begin to imagine a book that wasn't one of the originals and said she would need a reviewer to read an original Sherlock to make a good comparison! LOL...sigh.....college gals think they are so much smarter, don't they? to ME it looks like a great book!!! I'm still gonna look for it and maybe buy it for xmas and save it for her.....she loves sherlock