A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin is a nostalgic book. It is about relationships and contrasts. Using language beautifully, it explores the twilight of Sherlock Holmes life, work and living conditions. While still participating in solving cases, at the constant request of his admirers, Holmes, in 1947 at age 93, lives in his comfortable stone cottage in Sussex. There, his housekeeper and her young son are both cared for and provided for by Holmes.
If you are a philosopher or a lover of bee culture, you will be particularly attuned to the lovely weaving of Holmes confusion of thought processes as he delves deep into his memory bank, sometimes unsure if the dilemma he faces is one of entomological reminiscences of bee culture or the present day situation he is facing. Fortunately, Holmes milieu are sympathetic, polite and culturally adapted to respect, tolerate and appreciate aging. In 1947, life in a small English village was predictable, stable and pleasant. When Holmes travelled to consult and visit with his Japanese friends and colleagues, his visit is predicated on a history of the friendship, so his hosts tolerate and makes allowances for Holmes quirks of disposition.
Although A Slight Trick of the Mind was the basis for the recent film about Holmes, those relying on viewing the movie, rather than reading the book, would have missed a sensitive and lovely experience of the evocative poetic language and mystical sentiments of Holmes unusual experiences.