The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival (Displaced Detective, #1) By Stephanie Osborn

Stephanie Osborn ¾ 6 Summary

The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival is a SF mystery in which brilliant hyperspatial physicist, Dr. Skye Chadwick, discovers there are alternate realities, often populated by those we consider only literary characters. Her pet research, Project: Tesseract, hidden deep under Schriever AFB, finds Continuum 114, where Sherlock Holmes was to have died along with Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. In a Knee-jerk reaction, Skye rescues Holmes, who inadvertently flies through the wormhole to our universe, while his enemy plunges to his death. Unable to go back without causing devastating continuum collapse, Holmes must stay in our world and adapt. Meanwhile, the Schriever AFB Dept of Security discovers a spy ring working to dig out the details of - and possibly sabotage - Project: Tesseract. Can Chadwick help Holmes come up to speed in modern investigative techniques in time to stop the spies? Will Holmes be able to thrive in our modern world? Is Chadwick now Holmes' new Watson - or more? And what happens next? The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival (Displaced Detective, #1)

The first 3/4 or so of this book feels a bit too much like self-insertion fan fiction to be enjoyable. Far too much time is spent establishing just how perfect Dr. Skye Chadwick is (both as a female specimen and as a love interest for Sherlock Holmes). Not very much happens for the first 2/3 of the book, either. And the book ends at the climax--with a cliffhanger.

The book does start to get fairly compelling once the action finally begins. Holmes' personality is also quite well rendered and presented; it feels authentic. After awhile, Skye stops seeming like a self-insertion character and starts having a personality. I was interested to see her dealing with issues related to being a woman trying to operate in intellectual realms traditionally dominated by men, and by Holmes' rather progressive response. But these redeeming qualities don't quite make up for the book's weaknesses.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the book, once it got going, was the lack of sufficiently complex mysteries. A story involving Sherlock Holmes should have layer upon layer of complexity and intrigue. This story has co-conspirators who always meet at one of the same three restaurants, easy-to-crack codes, and a group of protagonists who take forever to realize that a machine that can dial in to any place or time just might be attractive as a tool for espionage.

The trap set at the end for the co-conspirators makes no sense, as it stops the sabotage plan while providing zero leads to the rest of the conspirators and cutting off their only existing leads (the co-conspirators they knew about).

(I was also offended by the book's implication that birth control has destroyed the fabric of society, and that it's only acceptable to take it for non-sexual medical reasons.)

Ultimately, the book starts out boring, ramps up a little, and then fizzles. I can't really recommend it, even as something to enjoy making fun of. English
I’m so mad at the author because I struggled all the way through this stupid story just to be done with it BUT IT ENDS ON A CLIFFHANGER, and I’m also mad at myself for falling for such a cheap trick because now I kind of want to read the second book even though this was sooo bad and even if I already know Skye and Holmes are going to eventually have sex and get married and probably have 2.5 children (although not necessarily in that order because Holmes is a Victorian gentleman and Skye is apparently a Proper Lady.)

So we have this Dr Skye Chadwick, an attractive and intelligent Mary Sue with a tragic backstory, who works on a top secret project in an underground government facility. She’s devised a machine that can explore different parallel universes, and that her team uses to observe Sherlock Holmes in all his different incarnations, because Skye is a Sherlock Holmes fangirl and apparently the government has more money than they know what to do with. I don’t know. Sherlock Holmes is yanked from his continuum - a universe in which he existes as a real detective and in which he was supposed to die along with Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls - after Dr Chadwick rushes in to save him, unable to simply look on. Never mind that this could rip the time-space continuum apart. She gets away with just a slap on the wrist because she’s a former-cop and her training kicked in, or something. That’s right, she used to be a police officer! A detective, as a matter of fact. So she’s 38, she’s a Chief Scientist working on a top secret project for the government, she’s spent 20 years working on her pseudo-time-machine project, but she’s also a former police officer. Somehow. But doesn’t that kind of training take time? you ask. Ah, but you see, she wasn’t trained as a police detective. She volunteered! So she was basically… a vigilante with a gun? Because there’s no way that could go wrong.

Anyway. Skye’s superiors are immediately convinced Holmes is from the 19th century because he wears a tweed suit and talks funny. Skye is taken off the project and demoted to glorified baby-sitter. Well, Holmes-sitter. Holmes’s mind is boggled by the amazing inventions of the 21st century, like shaving cream cans and velcro pockets, so it's going to take him a bit to adjust.
To ease his transition he moves in with Skye, who lives up a mountain on a ranch with four horses, after which she looks all by herself, naturally (she’s trained horses for years, by the way. I’m shocked and amazed). Holmes is impressed by the intelligence of this woman, who has the vocabulary and the emotional maturity of a 12-year-old, and can't believe it when she reveals she’s still single because her brain scares men away. Sherlock Holmes finds it so odd that such a clever and charming person might be unable to find a romantic partner. I would’ve muttered something about pots and kettles, but Skye has nothing to say about Holmes’ remarks. The two spend some time together, mostly bonding over horses and going around in a buggy so Holmes doesn’t get too homesick, I suppose. In her free time Skye browbeats Holmes into doing things he’s obviously uncomfortable with even after he tells her he’d rather not, such as insisting he put sunscreen on her naked back while she’s wearing only the bottom half of a bikini – but that’s totally okay because Holmes is a Victorian prude anyway. Holmes can't help but notice Skye is quite attractive and has breasts like mountains* because he’s a “healthy heterosexual male” (Sherlock Holmes, renowned poster boy for male heterosexuality). It just so happens that Skye is a “healthy heterosexual female” and so she couldn’t help ogling Holmes’s jeans-clad rear appreciatively. Need I tell you where this is going? Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Except nothing much happens because Holmes is internally torn and shocked by the thought Skye might not be a Proper Lady. Skye gives Holmes a much needed talk about 21st century sexual mores. After showing Holmes a catalog of women’s clothing to prove him her bikini is actually rather conservative compared to what’s on offer, she tells him that although she takes The Pill it is purely for medical reasons and she’s not like those women who like to have lots of casual sex. Holmes is much relieved after being reassured Skye is still a Proper Lady. After this casually misogynistic chat the two are more at ease with each other.

You know what, I’m boring myself just writing this review. There’s some investigating going on about a spy ring and a mole inside Skye’s team in the meanwhile, but that’s all incredibly boring, so let’s skip to the ridiculous ending.

So remember how our ex-cop/scientist Skye was actually NOT a trained cop? She gets promoted to FBI agent, after NO TRAINING WHATSOVER, because she’s a good shot and apparently anything is possible if you believe in it hard enough. Look, I don’t know.
Skye and Holmes know a couple of spies are going to enter The Chamber where Skye’s machine and equipment is kept. Despite having pulled an infinite number of strings to do an incredible number of probably illegal things up until now, Skye’s superiors cannot give Holmes a gun. They can give Skye a bulletproof vest though. Just not in the right size. The only thing she must not do is turn sideways in case of a shooting, because this vest’s open on the sides. I wonder what’s going to happen. I’m waiting with bated breath.

Skye and Holmes – JUST THE TWO OF THEM – hide and wait to catch the spies in the act. There’s a shooting and - wonder of wonders - Skye gets shot. How could an FBI agent with no training and a bulletproof vest not in the proper size get shot! As she lies bleeding in Holmes’ arms, Skye whispers an explanation with what little strength she has left: “I messed up – I musta turned sideways or something…”



*(I'm not making this up, he literally compares Skye's boobs to mountains in his mind. Not even hills. MOUNTAINS.)


Take a sip every time:
- Skye’s blue/sapphire/cerulean eyes are mentioned
- Holmes chuckles
- someone praises Skye
- Holmes calls Skye “my dear”
- Holmes’ Victorian sensibilities are offended
- Holmes and Skye chuckle/laugh together although nothing amusing was said

Take a shot every time:
- Bad Guys make mysterious phone calls behind the scenes
- Holmes and Skye have coffee
- someone is impressed by one of Skye’s skills
- there’s a pseudo-scientific digression
- the UST between Holmes and Skye gets stifling
- someone feels sorry for Skye
- a random reference to one of Holmes’ adventures is made
- Skye says “cool”

- Holmes thinks of Skye as a “true lady”
- Holmes refers to Skye as “The Woman”
- the words “healthy heterosexual” appear

(You know what, just drink. Drink to forget.)

**Alternatively, keep a Mary Sue Bingo Card handy.
English DNF

OK I bought myself a kindle during Prime Days and I wanted something to start off reading. I have enjoyed reading Stephanie Osborns science articles before and I knew she had written novels. I picked this one because I like mysteries.

That was my problem. This is not a mystery story. I think it might be a romance but I’m not familiar enough with the tropes to be very certain of that. The mystery such as it is, is obvious about half way through the story, I pushed on hoping it would gain speed, but instead it gained more head hopping while the two characters slowly drift closer and closer to each other. There is a definite feel of fan-girl fan fiction to this story as well.

It’s not what I expected or wanted, and I was surprised to find a Sherlock Holmes story not be a mystery. It might be a good romance (slow burn) if that is what you’re looking for but don’t expect a mystery story. English Why, do authors do this? I mean, they write stories thinking they are the main characters. I understand that sometimes main characters have one or two resemblances to the author, but if most of the characteristics of the author go into the main character then it's a bit of a letdown, why, well because you tend to put on the main character your strong points, not your weaker ones, and that takes a bit of the soul of the character, I mean you should be able to relate to them, to feel them human, not think they are too perfect. This was my main concern with The beekeper's Apprentice and I'm disappointed to see this here too, specially knowing how many fans praise this book. I really don't think I'll continue reading the next one in the series since there are more Holmes-books I still need to read, but for now I'll take a Holmes-novels vacation.

As for the author, it's not that I hate her, far from it. She really knows how to write a story. Unfortunately (for me) this wasn't one I enjoyed reading. The first part intrigued me: Holmes in the 21st century. Even though this concept has been done before, there are even two TV series on that premise (one British, one American). The idea that the Holmes from the past came was new for me. The problem was how they do it. If they can see all possible universes and timelines in their machine, then why can't they see the future? Even though if Skye Chadwick (main character and head of the scientific department) has a crush on one of her idols, she could have brought her parents that were already dead, a dead leader, a religious person, I don't know, the possibilities are endless, so when the military decide to spend a lot of the budget to bring Sherlock Holmes, well it feels like a plot hole, ti could have been by accident, but nope, they were watching time again and again his adventures until he died and that's were they saved him.

I could forgive that, but what really shocked me was to see Holmes being such a wasted character. His deduction abilities are there, but when did he fall in love with the first person he encounter? This was like put two people on an island and they will surely fall in love storyline, it felt forced, feel out of character. I'm not saying Holmes is a monster and doesn't have feelings, far from it, he truly loves Watson and even Mrs. Hudson, but he has a special way to show it. Can I imagine Holmes falling in love? Maybe, I don't know, but maybe, can I see him as a family man? Definitely not, he is not like us, that's what makes him a genius.

Holmes doesn't have or doesn't need to fall in love with a teenage girl (another book) or a scientist (this one) in order to portray feelings. I have always felt him human and with flaws, it's just that as I said before this felt out of character for me.

And I'm not even talking about the case, well, because if this is how you discover a mole or terrorist group, then they are pretty much screwed. The terrorists could have destroyed the whole building if they have wanted, they were given the time to do that. I know time had to pass for Holmes to understand he was in love, but they could have ended the case and started another one, but as I said, it felt out of character and forced.

In the final part I was thinking why wasn't Holmes given a bulletproof vest? (not a spoiler, don't worry), everyone else got one, but I understand this was needed for some drama, I just hoped at least I could have liked the ending, but as you can see it wasn't the case, and no, I won't spoil it, it just felt forced (again).

As my final words, I'd recommend this to you if you liked The Beekeper's Apprentice, because in both books Holmes teaches to the main character (woman) his deduction skills, solve a case with them and fall in love with them. Still both books are very popular so you should give them a try and see for yourself. English Dr. Skye Chadwick is brilliant, dedicated and committed to her pet project – The Tesseract. It's purpose? To observe alternative dimensions. As such, the group adheres to a strict hands off policy.
During one such viewing, Dr. Chadwick finds herself unable to adhere to the hands off directive. Jumping into the scenario, she breaks apart two combatants. One tips out of the Tesseract ring and into the future. The other tumbles over a cliff, dying at the base of the waterfall.

Enter Sherlock Holmes. Due to Skye's interference, Holmes is hurled into her reality, his own closed to him forever. Unable to return to his dimension, Holmes must adapt to ours.

The game's afoot when the base security finds that a spy ring plans sabotage somewhere on the base. Wisely, the base commander asks Holmes to investigate. Skye, who is working with Holmes to acclimate him, tags along, helping with the investigation. And therein lies a tale....

Skye Chadwick is a wonderful, caring person. A scientist, she is a stickler for detail. Like Watson in her skills with weapons, she is also like Holmes in her deductive reasoning and observational skills. She is the perfect counterpart to the 'modern' Holmes.

Stephanie Osborn artfully brings the character of Holmes into the 21st Century. Her depiction of his Victorian mores in modern times adds great depth to his personality. She lovingly brings Sherlock Holmes alive.

I highly recommend The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival to anyone who loves a good sci-fi/ mystery. I look forward to reading the second book in the series The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed. English

I felt really bad about not finishing this one. But I just... couldn't. This isn't how dialogue works and I have never described anyone like That in my mind. But I felt bad! Because Stephanie Osborn very clearly loves both Sherlock Holmes and science. I found myself being more interested in the faux-science that she described to get Holmes to the future than the actual plot of the story. Another issue was the length of the chapters. They were so heavy with dialogue and useless description that I just. Couldn't. Get. Through. Them. So I broke my personal five chapter rule.

However! I might go back to this one when I have more patience, because several reviewers said it gets better as the story progresses. English Excellent read, though was a bit disappointed in the ending, or perhaps I should say the lack there of. I hope that the story is continued and resolved in the second book. English Old Holmes rescued and put into the modern world? Count me in!! English When I was in the 4th grade, and everybody already knew me as the kid who could be found somewhere with his nose in a book, I was given a children's version of Sherlock Holmes. I guess I've bought the entire series six or eight times over by now, in various formats. It's a wonder, though, because that first book, which I received in 1962, ended at Reichenbach Falls! Why would they do that to a kid? Well, once I discovered there were more, I just kept buying them. I haven't seen all the old B&W movies, but I have various other visits to the world, such as the Seven Percent Solution and the other one by the same author where London is about to be eaten by bugs. It was coincidental that I discovered THIS series, by Stephanie Osborne, just as I found out Netflix had the 4th season of 'Sherlock' available. I haven't watched it, yet, but I kept seeing Benedict Cumberbatch's face on the Sherlock in this book; not quite as nasty a person, here, though.
Concept: Brilliant scientist Skye Chadwick and her team have discovered a way to access alternate time-streams. Since you have to look at SOMETHING, in order to synchronize the equipment, they pick Sherlock Holmes, who exists in this particular stream just as depicted by Doyle through Watson in the Strand stories. As they view the scene at the falls, Skye loses control for a moment, and dashes into the alternate reality, and rescues Holmes, and Moriarty takes a solo flight.
Everybody is aggravated at Skye, but really: she's a brilliant scientist, it's her project, she's a former cop who saw a murder being committed, so- what are ya gonna do?
Well, you are gonna file out a boat load of forms, is what you are gonna do. And you are gonna get chewed on by people, and, in the case of Skye, you are gonna feel bad for messing up the protocol.
But, but..she HAD to save SHERLOCK! (Otherwise, there is no book that anyone other than a masochist would read.)
Holmes has lost none of his ability to observe and interpret, and as he is being processed through the police section of the Air Force base in Colorado where the action occurs, he discovers that a pair of apparent suicides are, in fact, murders. And the game is, as they say, afoot. Skye acts as his liaison, becomes a surrogate Watson, and she and Holmes fail to express their romantic feelings for each other. They do go to a boot-scootin' beer-drinkin' country bar, but Holmes refuses to take her to a strip club, although both are part of the investigation into the murders. They may be in the here-and-now, but he remains a man of 1890. Or thereabouts.
I ripped through this book with more enthusiasm than I devote to eating home made ice cream. This installment has an AWFUL cliff-hanger, but I excuse that, for two reasons: 1. Reichenbach Falls, and 2. I have the next installments just waiting for me. English Well I liked this book so much better than I thought I would. I came across it at random, and I expected it to be interesting. I ended up completely invested in the characters, and I think it's one of my favorite Holmes remakes that I've ever read. I found it funny and charming, and I really enjoyed seeing Holmes in the 21st century. English