I just finished reading “The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes” by Jamyang Norbu. It’s a Sherlock Holmes pastiche which chronicles the adventures of the detective in between “The final problem” and “The adventure of the empty house”. The canon mentions him as travelling through India and Tibet under the name of Sigerson. The book tries to chronicle these years. The book is narrated by “Hurree Chunder Mookerjee” who is a creation of Rudyard Kipling in his novel Kim. He takes the role of Watson from the canon. The book is divided into 3 parts. The first part is in India (Mumbai mostly), the second in Tibet and the third is the finale.
The Indian part is nice. Conjures up nostalgic images of colonial India. Nothing particularly Holmesian. Most of the detectives dialogues are recycled sentences from the canon. Apart from that, he feels like a different person. Once he reaches Tibet Norbu’s Tibetan origins and sentiments are completely unleashed. and the novel quickly changes from an attempt to create a Sherlock Holmes pastiche into a piece that fights for Tibetan rights. The chinese are painted as evil invaders and this picture is re emphasised every where possible. Holmes becomes a Tibetan hero and Moriarty a Chinese villain. While the Tibetan cause is no doubt a noble one, using Sherlock Holmes purely to push forward that point of view is a little tedious. It spoilt the book.
The book has no other really redeeming characteristics and it’s not something I’d highly recommend.