Book Review: The world’s greatest detective heads down under in Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook

Find out what happens when the legendary Sherlock Holmes comes up against a distinctly Australian series of crimes, in Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook.

Commissioned by Holmes super fan Christopher Sequiera, The Australian Casebook sees the world’s greatest detective and his stalwart friend and chronicler head down under. Writers range from historical crime fiction mavens Kerry Greenwood and Meg Keneally, to Sherlockian experts such as Robert Veld and Sequiera himself, with each creative imbuing Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic style with a little Antipodean flavour. The end result is an excellent series of adventures that not only pay homage to the traditions of Holmes and Watson, but also retain a uniquely Australian identity. From sinister bushrangers, to kidnapped bunyips, Holmes and Watson are a long way from 221B Baker Street!

But if Watson experiences something akin to culture shock, Holmes – though often a little worse for wear after travelling long distances and going without his usual *ahem* vices – remains as observant as ever, solving mystery after mystery as the iconic duo tour Australia. In particular, the tales from Veld and Sequiera really do capture the essence of Holmes. It’s easy to imagine them appearing in serial form, as the original works did, leaving a captive audience eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Visually, The Australian Casebook also scores highly, with a lovely modern take on a vintage hardback. The front and back covers, complete with embossed lettering and iconic Aussie imagery, are simply stunning and the interior illustrations from Phillip Cornell, Marcelo Baez, and J. Scherpenhuizen compliment the stories beautifully. It’s another a fine example of creatives blending their own talents with Conan Doyle’s, bringing characters and scenes to life in their individual way.

A refreshing take on a beloved classic, Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook is both a must read for long-time fans and a delightful point of entry into the Holmesian world for any new readers.

Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook is available now through Echo Books.