Sherlock Holmes is not the only one in the family with smarts and a keen sense for solving mysteries. The top-scoring Basketball player-turned-writer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, just published a story based on the less known, but still popular Holmes crime-solver, Mycroft Holmes. In the novel, entitled Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s older brother has just graduated from Cambridge University and already has a job working for the British government. Mycroft learns of gruesome events in Trinidad from a close Trinidadian friend; people are disappearing and someone is draining children’s blood. Along with his Trinidad-born fiancée, Georgiana, Mycroft sets off for the Caribbean island to investigate. The mystery is thrilling and chilling, with fantastical elements that create an adventure for the reader.
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While this is Abdul-Jabbar’s first novel, he is no stranger to writing. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Abdul-Jabbar stated that he studied History and English at UCLA and had always had a strong interest in nonfiction . His writing career has already taken off, with two autobiographies, a column in TIME, and a number of children’s and nonfiction books. His interest in Mycroft Holmes stemmed from the original master of mystery, Sherlock, and his numerous escapades, as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. After reading Enter the Lion: A Posthumous Memoir of Mycroft Holmes by Michael P. Hodel and Sean M. Wright, Abdul-Jabbar, “realized more could be done with this ‘older, smarter’ character,” he stated according to The New York Times.
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In order to make a historically accurate novel, Abdul-Jabbar did a good amount of research of Britian and the British Empire, and also used his own knowledge of Trinidad, where his family is from. “I know a lot about the culture of Trinidad because my family is from there. Trinidad was also very much a part of the British Empire,” says Abdul-Jabbar. He incorporates racial bias and social struggles in Mycroft Holmes, highlighting the detective’s open-mind in befriending anyone, regardless of race or class, in a time of extreme bigotry. Abdul-Jabbar has also given his co-author, Anna Waterhouse, immense praise for her help in creating the story.
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