The indefatigable David Timson returns to Holmes with a wonderfully characteristic account of the first Conan Doyle novel, 'A Study in Scarlet'. Here, the dapper detective made his debut which was to take the world by storm ever since. Naxos Audiobooks are to be commended for issuing the whole story as an unabridged block and Timson certainly revels in the lengthy narratives from 'The Great Alkali Plain'.
We are already used to his singular change of voice for Gregson, Lestrade and the indefatigable Dr. Watson, so this backward glance at those beginnings in 221B. Baker Street are singularly intriguing and occasionally quite emotional.
Dvořák's String Quartets provide an admirable background to the sensational plot that unfolds before us and I was also very much peeved to note that Parry's 'Overture to an Unwritten Tragedy' should be used for the American narrative, such a quintessentially English piece it is.
Never mind the scruples, Timson surpasses himself every time he turns to Holmes and he also writes copiously intriguing notes that are a fine accompaniment to the four tape/CD set. The front cover sketch is chillingly excellent and I would say that there is no better series of Sherlock Holmes stories available at present. We are lucky to be able to collect the series piece by piece in this day and age!
Copyright © 2002 by Gerald Fenech.