Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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While on the subject of mysteries —

So, yesterday, I posted a link to a Book Riot post about fantasy mysteries and added a couple more to the list, including a Sherlock Holmes homage by Katherine Addison.

Today, continuing the them, I’d like to point to this post at Crime Reads: THE 100 BEST, WORST, AND STRANGEST SHERLOCK HOLMES PORTRAYALS OF ALL-TIME, RANKED

Wow! is my immediate response. Who knew there had been so many Sherlock Holmes portrayals that somebody could rank a hundred of them?

Even though I’m admittedly not a particular fan of Sherlock Holmes, this post is immediately intriguing. Who’s the best? Even more interesting, who’s the worst? Since I don’t have a horse in this race, I can look at this list with perfect equanimity.

Okay, the worst:

100. Henry Cavill, Enola Holmes (2020)

Henry Cavill’s Holmes, a distant older brother to the plucky teenage protagonist Enola (Millie Bobby Brown), is brawny, stony, stiff, and altogether dull. In a performance that consists mostly of staring out from windows and filling out a navy double-breasted frock coat, nothing about Cavill’s performance suggests intelligence or even rumination of any kind. Interestingly, Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate sued the film for making Holmes appear too sensitive, which is funny, because I’ve seen calabash pipes with greater depth.

And the best:

1. Jeremy Brett, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984-1985), etc.

 I think first place has to go to Jeremy Brett, whose long-running Holmes (from 1984 to 1994) is both serious and brilliantly diagnostic while also being a tiny bit absurd (Brett’s Holmes, though rather unsmiling, does lean into Holmes’s nutty penchant for disguise and performance). He might be a flash more arrogant than Doyle’s Holmes, but he’s never overweening; he’ll even occasionally burst out laughing or grin with excitement. He also says great things like: “You are the stormy petrel of crime, Watson.” A faultless performance. CASE. CLOSED.

I have to admit, I love the line: You are the stormy petrel of crime, Watson.

Click through if you’d like to see the 98 other Sherlocks ranked in between.

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