A Study in Emerald

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  A Study in Emerald is a new take on the story of Sherlock Holmes mixed up with a dash of Cthulhu just for fun.  This short story was originally published way back in 2003 in a Shadows Over Baker Street and won a Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 2004. The story loosely follows A Study in Scarlet, with the noticeable difference that the detective and the major are never named. You will just assume that they are Sherlock and Watson, but maybe you shouldn’t.

A Study in Emerald introduces you to a new Queen Victoria, one with tentacles and the ability to heal.  A relation to the old ones, she has had one of her nephews murdered and the Detective is on the case. Though it is never solved, the Detective and his friend the Major never gives up. There is so much to love about this graphic novel. Firstly, Neil Gaiman writes a story that pulls you in and sucker punches you.  You think you know what is going on, until the very end and then you realize you have no clue.  And the way he weaves the Cthulhu mythos into the well known Sherlock sensibility is genius.  Secondly, the art by Rafael Albuquerque is insanely well done. The panels are like paintings, but my favorite bits are the old fashioned posters that lead into each chapter. The advertisements feature characters such as Jekyll, Frankenstein and V. Tepes. They are reminiscent of Victorian periodicals and they are brilliant.

After finishing the story and knowing what I know now, I can go back and notice all the little things that throw you off, and it is fun to see how easily misled you are as a reader, something I think Gaiman exceeds in. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and would actually love to read more adventures. There are so many Sherlock stories to pick from, that there could be a whole series of these and I would gobble them all up.

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