The Final Solution

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Final Solution: A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon.

Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution belongs on the shelf right next to “A Study in Emerald” by Neil Gaiman. Both are sidelong additions to the Sherlock Holmes mythos, and neither ever mentions the famous detective by name. Chabon gives us a geriatric Holmes in 1944, referred to only as “the old man.” The legendary sleuth is now dedicated to the pursuit of beekeeping, and baited from his retirement by an enigmatic parrot and the mute Jewish refugee boy to whom the parrot belongs. There is a murder, leading the police to seek the old man’s aid, but it’s not the corpse that intrigues him, nor the hints of espionage surrounding the wartime criminal investigation. The story is a quick read, full of sharply-drawn characters and incisive prose, and it eventuates into distinctly 20th-century concerns with which Arthur Conan Doyle never burdened his Victorian detective. [via]