The Final Solution (2004)

by Michael Chabon

Pulitzer Prizer winner Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay) wrote The Final Solution as an homage to the Sherlock Holmes tales he loved since boyhood. Itís 1944, and Holmes has been retired for 30 years, living as a solitary beekeeper on the Sussex Downs. Itís not the murder outside the nearby vicarís home but the fate of a stolen parrot that draws Holmes (who is never called by name) back into detection. The parrot belongs to a mute, nine-year-old German boy who is escaping the Nazis by living at the rectorís home. No surprise: in finding the parrot, Holmes discovers the murderer.

In addition to ably imitating Arthur Conan Doyleís style, Chabon has managed to cover several themes in only 144 pages: losses caused by the Holocaust, family separation and dysfunction, parental guilt, and (unusual for Holmes) acceptance that some mysteries are unsolvable.


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