OUTSIDE THE SPOTLIGHT
by Sophie Weeks
(historical fantasy?, fictional retelling)
This is a highly amusing read. Mine is an ebook, and a novella. I don’t know if the author has any other plans for the series (or if this book is available in any other formats), but I like the world, and would be intrigued to see more stories with this premise.
The basic premise is that the characters that we read about (or sing about in songs, or…) all exist in this series of worlds. Isabella, our main character, lives in Christmas. Her realm is where all the Christmas stories exist, and we get an entertaining look at a few fun possibilities like how all the different versions of Santa would interact. However, Isabella has lived in Christmas for centuries, and is ready for a vacation. So what better place to visit than Mystery? And once there, what better character to train her how to be a character in a mystery than Sherlock Holmes?
I can’t go into any further detail without really getting into spoiler territory, especially since this is a novella. There is a bit of a romantic angle, so if you’re against that then beware. However, it is not a romance, and nothing much happens on that front other than a declaration or two. (You have to remember that all of the characters are from a decidedly NON-MODERN era, and their romances are more sedately paced.)
I do really enjoy how this turned out. It’s entertaining, and touches on classic characters yet still manages to stay fun. It also has a good way of explaining how Holmes and Watson can be present in this story and yet not sound quite as good (per the author, not me) as the original stories. This one is highly recommended.