My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I am a major fan of Gaston Leroux Phantom of the Opera, and a fan of Sherlock Holmes as well, so you would think that this book, where the great detective meets the opera ghost would be perfect for me.
Sadly, I started to have reservations about this book when I read the “Dear Reader” section. In it, we find out that the narrator is not Holmes longtime companion Doctor Watson, but Dr. Henry Vernier, Holmes’ cousin. Furthermore, this section relates how Watson never portrayed Holmes accurately in his stories, which sent up red flags for me. The whole section seemed to serve as a justification for not writing a Sherlock Holmes story as Doyle would have, especially since Vernier plays out very similar to Watson for the rest of the story.
Worse still for me, nearly all of the beloved characters of The Phantom of the Opera come across as quite horrible people. Well, everyone except Erik the phantom himself. Often times, Holmes and Vernier are simply there as the story plays out similarly to the original Leroux novel, often times only serving to belittle the characters of Raoul and Christine.