Stephen Seitz wrote Sherlock Holmes & the Plague of Dracula after reportedly discovering a cache of unpublished journals and letters of the personable but bumbling Dr. John Watson, Holmes’ old assistant and friend. Although there are other renderings of Holmes and Watson confronting the legendary Count Dracula, this one presents the personal views and experiences of Dr. Watson, Jonathan Harker, and Dr. Seward side by side in an entertaining way. It is more than mere pastiche; it is the first of (hopefully) a long series of new novels that provide more of Holmes and Watson for longtime Sherlock fans and today’s new readers. This is all the more a happy occasion, since the world sorely misses British TV’s Jeremy Brit in his wondrous portrayal of the detective. The last portion of this novel, “The Great Hiatus,” is truly Sherlock Holmes coming back from the dead, as he did in Doyle’s own later stories. Thus, Sherlock Holmes & the Plague of Dracula creates a new chapter of adventures for Holmes and Watson.
Television’s House is based on Sherlock Holmes and fulfills the devotee’s desire for more Holmes more often, but Seitz’s series of books will open the way for more enjoyment for Holmes and Watson fan clubs with new stories and possibly another TV and film series. Perhaps the star of House may be persuaded to play Holmes. He already lives in apartment 221B, after all.
This tale recounts the circumstances of Dracula’s activities in joining forces with Dr. Moriarty to disrupt the London banking system for selfish gain. In addition, there are scientific research findings into several aspects of vampirism, a missing racehorse, and an interesting subplot concerning Watson’s marriage turmoil. It is all clever, well researched, and refreshing.
Seitz’s format follows Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, a series of letters and journal pages complete with dates and locales. The first selection begins with Mrs. Mary Watson’s disappearance and her husband’s fears surrounding the possible horrid circumstances. Mary is discovered to have gone to a mentor, Mrs. Cecil Forrester’s, house, where she is suffering the aftermath of what proves to be vampire attack. Other characters are largely in evidence in the story, including Mina Harker, Mycroft Holmes, Inspector Lestrade, and Doctor Van Helsing. Additionally, Transylvania is a character unto itself. All through the novel, Sherlock Holmes simply does not believe in vampires, even though several attack him and he suffers some consequences. In this story, Dr. Watson is less of a bumbler than previously, and his thoughts and insights are quite good to read throughout his letters and journal entries.
Fans of Holmes, Watson, Dracula, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen should read this book and enjoy.