by Kaoru Shintani; adapted by Shanti Whitesides
published by Seven Seas Entertainment; $16.99 US
Seven Seas’ decision to release this series in double-sized omnibus form seems even smarter now, since the first half of this book is taken up by one long story, that of “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. It’s one of the classic Holmes stories, but frankly, all I remember of it is that it includes a giant dog. That’s on display here, so I’m satisfied. It’s a fun reread, and the manga design suits the character types well, from the sharp-edged features of Mr. Holmes to the doughier British gentlemen around him.
Due to her connections, Lady Christie Hope gets access to the reading room of New Scotland Yard, invited by Inspector Gregson. That research venue provides an excuse for the writer pulling out new bits of knowledge for Christie to cite, things she wouldn’t otherwise know, given her age. She’s soon off to Dartmoor to catch up with Uncle Sherlock and Dr. Watson, where thanks to a variety of coincidences, they finally solve the case.
More disappointing is the opening exploitation shot of our eight-year-old heroine, naked and draped over the side of a bathtub. Her maids promptly tell her off for trying to look “fetching”, but it seems as though the artist is trying to both have the cheesecake and negate it at the same time. Thankfully, the rest of the book gets back to her looking cute, not sultry.
Other stories in this book include “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”, “The Five Orange Pips”, and a flashback to Nora’s background. Nora’s one of Christie’s maids, the less literate but more spunky one who wields a whip. Her childhood, as shown here, was a terrible one, as an orphan taken in and taught to be a criminal by gypsies. We learn more about the other maid, Annmarie (she’s the one with the guns), in the Pips story. Unfortunately, combining the two — the original mystery and her backstory — makes for a crowded, abbreviated tale. I suspect some of those flaws stem from the source material, though. Overall, the two maids, with their violent-if-they-need-to-be protectiveness, provide some light-hearted excitement.