ARC AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Holmes Coming by Kenneth Johnson

Publication Date: November 1, 2022
Format: Audio
Genre:  Mystery
Narrators: Kenneth JohnsonFrancesca LingRory BarnettJenny GagoThom RiveraCary Hite

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
9 hours 52 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Dr. Amy Winslow tells the story: in foggy, nighttime San Francisco a jogging SFPD captain is savagely attacked by a Bengal tiger which then vanishes. In her ER, Amy labors unsuccessfully to save the captain’s life, then consoles his aggrieved closest friend, Lt. Luis Ortega. Neither suspects their lives will intertwine in a life-or-death mystery.

The next day, checking on former patient Mrs. Hudson at her Victorian house isolated in Marin County’s forest, Amy discovers in the cellar a secret, cobweb-covered 1899 electrochemical laboratory containing a Jules Verne-esque steam-punk sarcophagus out of which springs a wild-eyed, half-mummified, crypt-keeper-like man who injects himself with something before falling dead at her feet. Amy barely revives him.

He claims to be a real-life Victorian master chemist and detective named Holmes, who allowed Conan Doyle to write stories based on his cases, though was slightly annoyed when Doyle changed his real first name to the catchier Sherlock. Becoming uninspired by 1890s crime, Holmes devised this method to hibernate for a century to investigate future mysteries.

Amy assumes he’s a lunatic. His Scotland Yard identity papers were stolen while he slept, so it takes her a while to realize his amazing story is true.

Respectably handsome when cleaned up, Holmes is still the same brash, egoistic, uber-English, cocaine-addicted, non-feminist genius—but now a century out of sync—so his still-brilliant deductions are sometimes laughingly or dangerously wrong. Holmes and Amy, his reluctant new Watson, find themselves unexpectedly attracted to each other while perilously involved in reclaiming his proof of identity, aided by cybersavvy street teen Zapper. It’s all connected to the horrific death-by-tiger, only the first of several bizarre, mystifying murders being committed by an exquisitely fiendish descendant of Holmes’ Victorian archenemy, Professor Moriarty.


I received this book from the publisher through I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this at first but stuck with it and got sucked into the story.  I loved how out of touch Holmes is which makes this all the more believable.  With so much to learn about this century his powers of deduction are found lacking.  However, he is still the observant and witty character we know. 

Dr. Amy Winslow becomes his new Watson as she feels responsible for him since she accidentally helped wake him up.  As Holmes adjusts to women doctors, people of color in prominent positions and new technology he makes humorous mistakes and faux pas but also meets an interesting band of characters that help him navigate this new world. 

I don't know if this is the start to a new series but I really hope so, I would love to read more of these more modern Holmes stories. The fact that there were several narrators also really helped tell this story.  I loved the interaction between them all and I learned at the end that they actually all recorded the narration together almost like a play instead of an audio book.  

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