Friday, August 9, 2013

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye: The World's Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible's Ultimate Mysteries, by Len Bailey (foreword by Warren W. Wiersbe)

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye:
The World's Greatest Detective Tackles the Bible's Ultimate Mysteries 
Author: Len Bailey 
Foreword by: Warren W. Wiersbe
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Publication Date: May 7, 2013 
I really, really enjoyed this book! Since it's a book about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson travelling through time to solve Biblical mysteries--complete with Bible study questions and notes on scripture--it's sort of fan fiction on multiple levels. Because of that, I feel I should disclose my own bias--i.e. where on the fan-fiction fan spectrum I fall. 

First of all, I LOVE mysteries, particularly Sherlock Holmes. Actually, I have a particular fondness for modern day mysteries set in Victorian London and written in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (so, fan fiction, essentially). That alone was enough to make me want to read this book. But I'm not Christian (despite my frequent reviews on Booksneeze), so I may not exactly be the target audience for this book. BUT here's a little secret: I actually love reading religious books, albeit in a non-religious way. I even have a degree in Religious Studies. So I've done my fair share of Bible reading, even though it was in a classroom more than a church.

Okay, now that I've alienated the atheists and the Christians alike, here's my review:

I really, really liked this book! The tone was just right to appeal to the Sherlock Holmes fan in me and the pace was that great combination of tension and intrigue. I honestly did want to know what conclusions Holmes and Watson would come to about each of these Bible "mysteries." I even found the bit about time travelling fun, what with them calling the device "The Needle's Eye" and all. (Get it? As in "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to reach the kingdom of heaven.") 

As the introduction to the book suggests, I read the book in order, simply enjoying each story as a mystery short story, only occasionally referring to the notes in the back or the Bible texts in question. But for the more serious Bible student, each chapter also has a series of study questions at the back of the book, with specific Bible passages to read and discuss. You can read those first and then compare your thoughts with the conclusions that our intrepid detectives make. It's pretty fun, actually.

Books like this are the reason I love the Booksneeze program. I may not be Christian, but I do love to expand my reading horizons and take chances on books I may not otherwise read. Though I have a feeling the Sherlockian in me wouldn't have been able to resist this one for long.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not otherwise compensated in exchange for a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Garment of Shadows
The Sherlockian
Dust and Shadow
The Brothers of Baker Street
The Story of the Voice

The Voice Bible
You Got to Be Kidding!

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