the-mandala-of-sherlock-holmes12095_f.jpgThe Mandala of Sherlock Holmes by Jamyang Norbu is an attempt to fill in the gap in Holmes’ life between his apparent death at the Reichenbach Falls and his miraculous reappearance in London some two years later. Like many, it claims to be based on a  hidden or forgotten manuscript recently come to light, this time in India. It is narrated by Hurree Chunder Mookerjee, who accompanies Holmes throughout the tale.

I was particularly interested in this book because of a strong recommendation from the Book God, and also because of its Tibetan setting. It gives a flavour of what the country must have been like before the Chinese finally seized total control. It also links rather neatly with Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, sharing as it does some of the same characters (rather like Laurie King’s The Game).

I enjoyed the setting in India and Tibet, and the mystery itself is fascinating but I found the climax of the novel when the supernatural meets Holmesian logic disappointing; I must admit to not being entirely convinced. However, there was a great deal to enjoy along the way, and ultimately it doesn’t spoil a well-written yarn.

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