The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed (Displaced Detective, #2) By Stephanie Osborn

The second book in this series was just as fun as the first, and I'm glad it didn't end on a crazy cliffhanger like book 1 (definitely, definitely have book 2 on standby when you read book 1). I'll be continuing with the series, and I can't wait to see what else Skye and Sherlock get up to. Stephanie Osborn This is the second volume in the 4-volume omnibus I obtained from the publisher for review purposes.
Ah-ooo, and Yay-o-lay! The awful cliffhanger at the end of the first volume is resolved! As I knew it would HAVE to be; otherwise, the names of the subsequent parts of the omnibus would have been The Case of the Displaced Detective: Still Dead; Even Yet Dead, and No kidding, Dead. While that might be amusing, it is NOT the sort of joke Stephanie Osborn plays upon her readers.
Skye Chadwick does not die, although it is close. In fact, she and Sherlock spend a significant fraction of this book recovering from being shot and beaten and bitten, all of which makes their conjugal exploits a bit tricky. In fact, I was a bit concerned that their first post-surgical frolic was taking place a bit too early. Certainly, there are gentle ways in which a devoted couple in such circumstances can demonstrate physical affection to each other, as long as one (or both, in this case) isn't suffering from a great deal of pain. However, they seem to throw themselves into each other's arms with utter abandon, mutually determined to wring every last trembling quiver from each other.
At which point, they rest for the minimum amount of time, then do it again.
And again.
And Again!
Until someone knocks on the front door, and they have to put on robes and eat brunch or tea or whatever.
Meanwhile, there are dark doings they have to solve; an evil plot by evil plotters, and figuring out the goal of the gang is the toughest point.
Worlds stand in the balance!
But, for THIS long-time fan of the Baker Street detective. there is a much more significant issue which has to be resolved:
How do we go from the intensely cerebral thinking-machine, to the man deeply in love, deeply involved in a relationship?
Fortunately, here Osborn takes the bull by the horns. Sherlock has to ask himself the question, and forces himself to come up with an answer. And, although it's not QUITE expressed in terms of his famous formula, it's very, very close: when you have exhausted all of the impossibilities, what remains, however improbable, is the truth. In this case, Sherlock must...., I'm not going to do it. I was going to tell you how he reasons his way to a clear solution, but that would be telling. Find it out for yourself. It's core to the story
I do want to make this point: In the canon, Irene Adler is The Woman. The Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock also has a special place in his heart for her, although that is HIGHLY flavored with her physical attractiveness. I believe, however, that it is strictly the intellectual prowess and the sympathetic position she demonstrates in A Scandal in Bohemia that is the basis for the place she holds with him. Dr. Skye Chadwick also is the proprietor of a first class brain, as well as an excellent ethical standing, AND she is a fellow worker. The dots connect, logically; this isn't a violation of Holmes' personality; instead, he is forced to learn a new skill set.
I leave the rest as an exercise for the reader. Stephanie Osborn Originally published at Reading Reality

I adore Sherlock Holmes pastiches, and yes, I know I’ve said that before. Most recently in my review of the first book in this series, The Case of the Displaced Detective: The Arrival.

I’ll also say that the titles for all the books in this series so far are absolute mouthfuls. But so what? If you enjoy watching the Great Detective get thrown into situations that Conan Doyle couldn’t possibly have imagined, well, that’s why so many of us watch Sherlock and Elementary, isn’t it?

But Stephanie Osborn hasn’t created a 21st century Holmes, she’s figured out a way to displace the original -- or nearly the original -- 19th century Holmes from his own time to the 21st century. She’s used a scientific experiment based on Madeleine L’Engle’s tesseract concept (combined with a bit of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next universe) to create the possibility of Holmes being a living man in an alternate universe, and providing an excuse to drag him to our 21st century; to a universe where he only existed as fiction.

Then she turns him loose to adapt to modern life. But not too loose. After all, any project that could manipulate the spacetime continuum to that extent would have to be top secret, and Holmes’ detection abilities relied on his brain, which certainly arrived intact. But he is only human after all, and he has lost his entire support network. Watson, Mycroft, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade and the Baker Street Irregulars are irretrievably back in the 19th century, in a universe where Holmes truly did die with Moriarty at Reichenbach.

Or so it seems.

Holmes turns to the person who brought him to the 21st century, Dr. Skye Chadwick. She is a brilliant physicist, and has also been a volunteer investigator as part of her own past. They work together to discover who, or what agency, has repeatedly attempted to sabotage and infiltrate the tesseract project.

In the process, Chadwick becomes Holmes’ Watson, but much more. She is his co-investigator, and his partner. But she is also the person in whom he can confide, because she understands the depth of his loss. Skye is as alone in the world as he is; her parents died when she was young, and she feels his isolation keenly, even worse, she feels responsible for it.

But as Chadwick and Holmes grow closer, Holmes begins to lose his famous objectivity. The “thinking machine” develops romantic feelings for the woman who saved and changed his life. He fears that if he loses that dispassionate objectivity he is so famous for, he will be unable to act as decisively as necessary to save Skye when the gang of saboteurs still dogging them closes in for the kill.

And he knows he can’t lose her. She is the only one he has. Even if he can’t let himself express what he feels. And even if his seeming coldness hurts her. It’s better that he hurts her a little than that he neglect his discipline and that she be killed by his inattention to some vital clue.

Escape Rating B+: I’m having so much fun reading this series, that I couldn’t make myself stop and went straight on from this one to the next.

That being said, a lot of this story is tied up in the growing romance between Holmes and Chadwick. It is tremendous fun to read, but isn’t quite as action-oriented as the first book. I still had a ball.

The characterization of Holmes as a Victorian, albeit a very unconventional one, adapting to the 21st century, works for me. He enters his new life in fits and starts, some things come easily to him, some things are difficult. Technology is easy, he always pursued the latest methods in his own research. The changes in mores and dress are often difficult. He finds concentrating on the practicalities help, but his reaction to Skye in a two-piece swimsuit is absolutely priceless.

The case here is involves closing the espionage ring that was introduced in The Arrival. The way the story unfolds revolves some absolutely fascinating delving into the Holmes canon stories, including inconsistencies about Moriarty and Reichenbach. It was a great way of resolving the case, and letting Holmes have a sense of closure about his life.

But it did raise one inconsistency in the 21st century world. That being, if Holmes didn’t exist in our universe, how did Moriarty? Read and find out!

Sherlock Holmes is the “most portrayed movie character” according to Guinness World Records. I found myself wondering who Osborn based her description of Holmes upon. I see Jeremy Brett, but your mileage may vary.

At Speed is essentially a continuation of The Arrival. I don’t think a person could read this book without having read the first one. I also don’t think it would be a hardship for anyone who enjoyed new or reinterpreted Sherlock Holmes stories. These are just plain fun. The game is very much still afoot! Stephanie Osborn I was glad I learned in advance that this second book is really an extension of the first, and that if you want the whole story, you need to read both. Otherwise I might have been disappointed that the mystery wasn't solved in the first book.

But I'm so glad I read both and am ready for #3 and #4.

I absolutely love the authentic and unique voice Ms. Osborn has given to Sherlock in this series. It feels real, brings to mind the Holmes I've always loved, but also adds a lovely human quality to the mix. The dialog is impeccable!

Frankly, my favorite part of these books so far has not been the mystery (although that part is fine), it's been the relationship between Holmes and Skye, and the difficulty they've both had in reaching a point of acceptance for their feelings.

Skye has been through hell and back and suffered many losses. Her confidence as a woman is not high to start with - although it should be, as she is an amazing character. Smart, loving, resourceful, and full of lovely morality, she is a dear woman who's filled with angst and barely dares to hope for her love to be returned.

Sherlock takes a while to acknowledge his own feelings - and it is very satisfying when he finally expresses his feelings. LOVED that part, and I'm not a romance reader, but this really affected me deeply. I was cheering him on, telling him to just TELL her how he felt. ;o)

I also adored the part of the story when Sherlock was sent back to his original time and was able to see and say goodbye to Watson, Mycroft, Mrs. Hudson, etc. The new element of Moriarity's replacement was also fun.

Thanks, Ms. Osborn, for bringing us a delightful adventure with well-rounded, beautifully crafted characters. ;o)
Stephanie Osborn Sherlock Holmes like you've never seen him before – in modern America. Through an accident with Dr. Skye Chadwick's Tesseract machine (told in The Displaced Detective – The Arrival) Holmes ends up in our reality. A fictional character in our time stream, in his, he is very real.

Asked to assist in an investigation, Holmes puts his cognitive abilities into high gear to find the master mind behind the sabotage of the Tesseract device. At the end of The Arrival, they have found several of the conspirators, but their leader and a few members remain at large. It's up to Skye and Holmes to find them.

Stephanie Osborn has truly captured the essence of Sherlock Holmes and lovingly depicts him as a man with strong passions. He adapts well to the present, but much of the Victorian Gentleman remains. With the love and support of Skye Chadwick, he manages to find his way in a sometimes puzzling world.
Skye Chadwick is as fascinating a character as Holmes. She's complex, brilliant and confuses the hell out of Holmes on more than one occasion. She is the perfect counterpart to Holmes.

This fast paced novel draws the reader into a world where the improbable is possible. I greatly enjoyed The Displaced Detective – At Speed and highly recommend both books to any readers who like a great mystery and adventure. Fans of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy seeing their hero brought to life and updated.
Stephanie Osborn

Having foiled sabotage of Project: Tesseract by an unknown spy ring, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Skye Chadwick face the next challenge. How do they find the members of this diabolical spy ring when they do not even know what the ring is trying to accomplish? And how can they do it when Skye is recovering from no less than two nigh-fatal wounds? Further complicating matters is their relationship. For the ups and downs between Holmes and Chadwick are due to something more than the occasional clash of demanding, eccentric personalities. Chadwick acknowledges to herself that she has fallen in love with Holmes. Knowing he eschews matters of the heart, however, she struggles to hide it, in order to maintain the friendship they do have, preferring said friendship to total alienation. Holmes also feels attraction - but fights it tooth and nail, refusing to admit to the fact, even to himself. After all, it is not merely Skye's work the spies may be after - but her life as well. Having already lost Watson to the vagaries of spacetime, could he endure losing another companion? Can they work out the intricacies of their relationship? Can they determine the reason the spy ring is after the tesseract? And - most importantly - can they stop it? The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed (Displaced Detective, #2)

This is the second book in Stephanie Osborn's Displaced Detective Series. I found it to be one of those books that I had a hard time putting down. I liked the way the author handled the mystery - as a reader, I had all the information I needed to follow the Great Detective's logic. I also liked the character development. I had no trouble accepting that Sherlock Holmes would have behaved this way, in the circumstances that this novel presents.

As soon as I finished this book, I had to start the next in the series right away. Stephanie Osborn I couldn't wait to start reading this book. It picks up where The Case of the Displaced Detectives: The Arrival ends.

Holmes and Skye are hunting for the members of a spy ring that is out to sabotage Project: Tesseract, which Skye is the lead scientist for and the technology that brought Sherlock Holmes to our universe from another universe or continuum as it is called in the book. The Case of the Displaced Detectives: The Arrival ends with Skye getting shot by one of the spy ring as she and Holmes try to apprehend him before he can end The Chamber. The Case of the Displaced Detectives: At Speed picks up right where The Arrival ended.

Now, Holmes and Skye must investigate the attempted sabotage and try to find out who is behind everything while Skye recovers from the shooting. They spend a lot of time on Skye's ranch and later in a secure location provided by MI-5.

This is another fast paced story as Holmes and Skye work together to solve the case as well as growing closer to each other. They also stumble around each other as Holmes accustoms himself to twenty first century society and Skye confronts her issues from her past.

I enjoyed this book and am off to see if the library has the next book in the series.

FTC Notice: I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via the Virtual Book Tour. Stephanie Osborn The second book in Stephanie Osborn's Displaced Detective series continues the adventures of Sherlock Holmes as he adjusts to our current world. I found the book wonderfully written. The author has a great feel for the personality and intellect of Holmes and it shows in her portrayal of the great detective. The character's voice is very distinct and,in my opinion, exceptionally well done. She also has a great gift for detail, so much so that I found my mouth watering whenever the characters sat down to eat or had tea. A thoroughly enjoyable book. Stephanie Osborn The Case of the Displaced Detective: At Speed by Stephanie Osborn is terrific. A well-written second book in the series, this episode sees Holmes and Skye meld even closer as they solve the case. It is very fast paced, with some prestigious guest stars. I was on the edge of my seat until the very end. It was terrific to read as Holmes developed into a more modern character, while keeping his basic moods and mannerisms. Really, just too much fun. Stephanie Osborn

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