Lauren Wilkinson’s “A Scandal in Brooklyn” is a clever short story that updates the Sherlockian mythos for a more modern and diverse audience. Here, Irene Adler is a Black woman in the midst of divorcing her tech billionaire husband, when a girlfriend asks Irene to help find her missing husband – who has ties to the virtual reality company Irene’s husband owns.
As with the canonical stories, Lauren Wilkinson employs an “outsider” narrative to document the efforts of the detective – in this case Irene, not Sherlock – utilizes to solve the case. This narrator is named Thomas Diaz and he is a gay man who is a longtime friend of Irene Adler. Once they track the missing husband to the facilities of the VR company, they find themselves locked in the building with a host of employees.
The missing man is allergic to bee stings, so when he goes into anaphylactic shock and dies from a virtual bee sting within the new holographic technology the company is developing, Irene knows she must investigate or risk letting a murderer escape prosecuted.
Fans of the Arthur Conan Doyle classics may be discombobulated by this updated version, but will quickly settle in when it becomes clear that the same deductive research skills will be used to solve a complex mystery. There are a lot of characters for such a short story – perhaps one or two too many for the length of the tale – but ultimately, “A Scandal in Brooklyn” is a pleasant afternoon’s distraction. This particular version of Irene and her over-the-top friend Tommy are incredibly likeable and could certainly become recurring characters for the author, should she be interested in creating a series of stories set within the Sherlockian world.
“A Scandal in Brooklyn” is an Amazon Original so it is free for Amazon Prime members and just $1.99 for others.