The Final Problem by Petr Kopl

“When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains and however improbable, is probably true.”

Petr Kopl’s beautiful graphic novel is worth it just for the exquisitely painted seven page sequence showing the final battle between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty and the essential role Holmes’ cape played in it. The death-defying perspective of his final two-page spread showing Holmes’ iron grip on life and Moriarty’s decent into hell. No one has done it better!

Imagination must be portrayed by imagination. I am sure this is what Conan Doyle saw when he first clapped eyes on the Reichenbach. Though for him and those early Sherlock Holmes fans, Holmes did not climb up the sheer cliff wall to life until ten years later in “The Adventure of the Empty House.”

Mr. Kopl and I find it impossible to do the Empty House without talking about where Watson was and what he was doing while Holmes was away. For me it is one of the reasons I wrote my novel, Remarkable Power of Stimulus and placed it around the one day and night which was “The Adventure of The Empty House.”

The image of Holmes and Watson resting after their Swiss hike and admiring the falls, Holmes with arms outstretched embracing nature as never before, Watson calling him back from the edge. Petr’s gorgeous painting of the falls which dwarf them.

No worries, both “The Final Problem” and “The Adventure of The Empty House” are represented in this volume and just a few pages separate them. It is clearly evident that these stories are important to Petr, he has taken great care and given us brilliant illustrations. They are memorable images that evoke what I think are the visions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Gretchen Altabef is an MX author of Sherlock Holmes novels. Mondadori Publishing has contracted to translate her novels into Italian. Ms. Altabef strives to emulate Dr. John Watson’s and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary style. The first, These Scattered Houses, is in Holmes’ own voice and resourcefully chronicles the last two months of his ‘great hiatus’. The second in the series is, Remarkable Power of Stimulus. After 3 years away, Holmes finds London awash in murders, No. 221B under siege, anarchists threatening Paris, and the return of Irene Adler. Fully aware he is being watched by Moriarty’s men, Holmes steps out of the cab into Baker Street knowing he will find Watson’s friendship and unerring aim are as dependable as the British Rail.

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