St. Martin's, May 2002, 22.95, 252 pp.
In 1878, a bored Arthur Conan Doyle is a second year medical student in Edinburgh when the brilliant but unbearable megalomaniac Dr. Joseph Bell becomes his mentor (or perhaps tormentor). Though no one likes Dr. Bell everyone agrees he is a genius. His pioneering work in forensic medicine has fascinated law enforcement and academia alike and has led to a success criminal investigation career.
Arthur actually surprises himself when he realizes he relishes solving mystery puzzles and even more shocking at least to him working with' or perhaps better put, for the frustrating Dr. Bell. Arthur solves several mysteries and soon needs to protect Heather Grace, a victim of nightmares following the mass murder of her family. An obsessed Arthur believes that Heather remains in jeopardy from a killer who plans to finish the job unless he can protect the woman he cherishes.
This reviewer's first reaction to this novel was oy vey not another Holmes/Doyle novel. However, that quickly changed from the beginning to thoughts of how entertainingly brilliant is the one sitting read THE PATIENT'S EYES. Holmes fans and historical mystery readers will enjoy the plot that also enables the audience to solve a puzzler. However, the key to what makes this a wonderfully refreshing novel is Doyle, whom David Pirie depicts as a clever intermixing of the ingenious Holmes with the awed Watson.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner