This Hugo award-winning short story mystery is a shining example of Gaiman’s ability to blur the lines between myth and reality. Specifically, this story stimulates the active listening required for deduction, as in the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle detective stories, while also providing a hint of horror a la H.P. Lovecraft that will spark your imagination.
An unnamed veteran narrator, together with a friend who possesses extraordinary deductive skill, are called upon by an Inspector of Scotland Yard to investigate an unusual murder in the slums of Whitechapel. The friend of the narrator easily deduces the victim to be a German noble, owing to his unusually large number of limbs. Be aware of subtle details, beware of what seems obvious, and do not forget what is left unsaid.
For me, the marriage of these two myths in one story stimulate opposing areas of the brain, so as a reader, I find it challenging to both use my rational Sherlock Holmes mind to filter out extraneous details while not getting carried away with the imaginings of the how the Cthulhu story fit. I love how this story demands more of me as a reader, forcing me to read between the lines in some cases but not jump to conclusions in others.
A unique and fun narrative with exceptional form. Recommended for fans of detective mystery and classic horror and Gaiman!
“I have a feeling,’ he said, ‘I have a feeling that we were meant to be together. That we have fought the good fight, side by side, in the past or in the future, I do not know. I am a rational man, but I have learned the value of a good companion, and from the moment I clapped eyes on you, I knew I trusted you as well as I do myself. Yes, I want you with me.”