Les Quatre de Baker Street, Tome 4

Les Quatre de Baker Street 4Summary: The adventures of the Baker Street Irregulars continue in the fourth volume of the award-winning comics series based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. This time nothing can prepare them for the news from Reichenbach Falls: Sherlock Holmes, the great detective and mentor to the three boys, is no more. Struggling with shock and grief, Billy, Charlie, and Tom face their darkest adventure yet.

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Les Quatre de Baker Street, Tome 4, by Jean-Blaise Djian, Olivier Legrand and David Etien 7.25

Sherlock Holmes is dead!

Thus begins this fourth volume of ‘Les Quatre de Baker Street’.

Following Holmes’ disappearance in the falls with Moriarty, the Baker Street Irregulars dissolve their association, their grief tearing the group apart. And so they each begin to fend for themselves, with Billy wandering the streets, Tom finding refuge with his uncle’s clan of petty thieves, and Charlie landing in a home for young offenders.

But little do they know that Bloody Percy, whom they helped get arrested in the last book, has escaped from prison.

And he wants revenge.

This volume was a bit of a mixed bag for me. While I enjoyed following three stories at once, which in turn helped flesh out our characters even more, I was disappointed that there wasn’t some sort of mystery for the group to solve – to me, that’s the strength of anything pertaining to Sherlock Holmes. Otherwise, it’s just a generic story.

It does tie into the Sherlock Holmes mythology in that Billy manages to get help from Dr. Watson as they try track down and stop Bloody Percy. It’s really nice to include that familiar face in this adventure, but Watson is no Holmes, and there isn’t much detective work involved. So the story lacks the enigmatic quality that Holmes brings.

Another semi-letdown is that it’s starting to feel as though Etien is rushing through his art. While there wre none of the significant issues prevalent in the first two books (and, to a lesser extent, the third one), somehow it felt like quite a bit of the book was sketchy, lacking the definition I’d come to expect; Etien had set the bar pretty high.

In the end, this book had the advantage of three interweaving stories, but lacked the punch of the previous entries in the series. Still, it’s a strong effort by all involved, and I remain a fan. At no point does the series disappoint, though at no point does it bowl you over with its genius, either. It’s just a fairly good set of stories set in Holmes’ London.

I look forward to reading more.

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