, October 2008
With The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes II David Timson completes his reading of the complete Holmes Canon, ten years after the release of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes I [Naxos AudioBooks NA315212]. It’s a task he’s fulfilled with dedication, erudition, panache and wit, proving himself to be one of the great “voice men”. He makes every character a distinct individual, without resorting to exaggerated mannerisms—except, of course, for those flamboyant types for whom exaggeration is a part of their personality. Mr Timson’s collaboration with Nicolas Soames, who has overseen the project from the start, ensures that the pacing is just right. Listening to these familiar tales you can appreciate how sure-footed Arthur Conan Doyle’s storytelling is, for the most part—and how an excellent reading can improve a poor story, such as “The Lion’s Mane” or “The Three Gables”. Mr Timson’s recording of the Canon is a triumphant achievement. This final instalment includes as a light-hearted bonus “The Adventure of the Wonderful Toy”, a new story by David Timson himself, with, as he says, just a hint of parody: it concerns the introduction of the phonograph to Baker Street, an aspiring American actor, and an alleged peculiarity of Queen Victoria. Like other Naxos recordings, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes II can be downloaded at www.naxosaudiobooks.com.
(Roger Johnson is an acclaimed author, editor, and Sherlockian. In addition to his many other interests, he edits The Sherlock Holmes Journal and The District Messenger for The Sherlock Holmes Society of London.)