Cari has joined the Dirty Heroes collection. This collection is made up of retellings of various stories and fairy tales. Cari took on Sherlock Holmes and gave him her particular touch in Clockwork Stalker. My husband and I really love Sherlock Holmes, so I was excited about this. In fact, while I was reading this, my husband started binging Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes series. I told him that I was reading a kinky reimagining of S.H. He asked how many times Holmes fucked Watson. LOL. My husband knows me. But nope, no Holmes and Watson fucking. Just lots of fucking. With the word clockwork in the title, it’s a pretty good tipoff that it’s got steampunk aspects, which it does. It also has some Lovecraftian/horror/paranormal kind of stuff going on, which shows up more than you might realize in steampunk stuff.
So, we start out on an airship on its way from France to England. Holmes and Watson are on the ship so that they can find a stolen wife. They are pretty sure that she is on the ship, so they are going to find her. Except that’s not what they find. What they find, or rather, what Holmes finds. He finds a nubile redhead and discovers that her name is Wilhelmina Moriarity. He knows that she’s involved in the missing woman case he’s working on, and so he leaves his card with a note, and leaves. He wakes up with no idea where he is or what has happened, but he has left himself a note that says many things, including forget about Watson and resist.
Wilhelmina Moriarity is the infamous Moriarty’s niece, but she’s not been involved in his crime syndicate. She’s been living in Russia, India, or France, with her late husband or her father. But now that her dad is dead, she’s off to London, because she should have a lot of money in the Bank of England, and she has a machine that she wants to enter in the World’s Fair. It measures a very particular kind of energy, she calls it malignant energy. Only she gets to the bank and finds out that her inheritance has been stolen, which leads to her being stuck in a shitty boarding house, then she gets a note from Sherlock Holmes, which she ignores.
OK, so Sherlock is a huge asshole a lot of the time, but that’s pretty much canon for him. If you look at every single story, movie, show, whatever, from the originals on out, he’s a conceited, know it all jackass. But everyone lets him get away with it, because he really is just that good. (And frankly? I’m not surprised that Doyle did really hate Holmes at one point.) But, Cari being Cari, she takes that assholeishness even further. Her Sherlock has been infected with this malignant energy stuff, and it has done… things to him. All the things. All the kinky, fucked up, debauched, depraved, super sexy things that he can think of. Holmes really isn’t all that into sex, if he feels the need to have it, he goes and finds a prostitute and gets his swerve on. So, wanting to tie a string around Wilhelmina’s nipples and hammer the string into the floor is a whole new thought for him.
Holmes really does go through a long journey in this story, and I like that for him. I like him much better at the end of the book. He really needed the journey, and I think that he’ll be a better detective for it.
Then we have Wilhelmina. She isn’t strictly an innocent, she has been married before, and is relatively aware of how the world works and things work in between and women, but everything that Sherlock wants is totally new to her. She kind of hates to love it and loves to hate it. She’s an extremely smart woman, and very interested in science. I think that leaves her with some blind spots. I think that she doesn’t expect things to be as chaotic as they are in real life. She wants to have a nice, ordered life and do her studies, but then things change. She has a journey to go through too, but I don’t think that her journey is near as transformative as Homes’ is. I think that her sense of self isn’t as set in granite as Holmes’ is, and changes aren’t as much a threat to her as they are to Holmes. I like that she acts as a catalyst to several things. I think that she’s just an awesome character.
Watson isn’t in this story much, but I really didn’t like him all that much anyway, so no huge loss.
I thought it was interesting to find out the name of the person that Holmes and Wilhelmina saw at the club.
OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!