The Sherlock Holmes stories only books that come close to convincing me that crime writing can work as short fiction. Arthur Conan Doyle manages to whittle down the relevant details so nothing feels rushed. The other crime short stories that I’ve read just don’t manage to get all the details across adequately in a shorter form. When I heard about Lauren Wilkinson’s short story A Scandal in Brooklyn, I had to see if she could do what Conan Doyle had managed.
In her short story, Lauren Wilkinson creates an updated Holmesian story. It takes Irene Adler and places her in a world of tech and murder. When a test subject is seemingly killed in a virtual reality simulation, Irene must investigate the employees at a tech company. A tech company that just happens to be owned by her husband. She is faced with creepy employees, codes and AI. Can The Woman solve a murder with the help of her former roommate, Tommy Diaz? Or was he really killed by virtual bees?
This is a short but very sweet story. It goes into just enough depth to give you the context you need. The mystery itself is an interesting one. I’m always a little suspicious of books that focus on AI and technology but this works pretty well. It doesn’t try to shoehorn it in but brings these elements in organically. The tech company is certainly creepy and I can see a lot of potential in carrying on with these characters in this world. I’d love to see a full-length novel in this series.
Mostly because the only disappointing thing for me was the big reveal at the end. It all feels a bit rushed. The investigation is pretty swift and you don’t really get to see Irene really looking for clues. She mostly figures stuff out with revelations and intuition. I get that Irene is a genius but I would have liked more visual evidence of this. It ends up being a tell rather than show kind of genius. Don’t get me wrong, the character is interesting. She’s Irene Adler but more so. She has the keen detective skills of Sherlock Holmes but without his dislike of humanity.
If you’re looking for a fun and speedy read then this is a great one to pick up. It doesn’t take a long time but it is exciting and thrilling enough to keep you hooked. I look forward to seeing if there are more books to come in this series.