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The Fall by Annelie Wendeberg
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An intriguing novel with Anna (Anton) at first baffled by her capture, and then, against her will, having to try to develop biological weapons. How she employs her intelligence, quick thinking and even her womanly charms to overcome the problems with which she is faced, forms the substance of a well told and quite enthralling novel that is a credit to the author. Anna is very likeable, very determined, and utterly devoted to overcome the problems that life throws at her. There is only one person who tries to help her, and sometimes the wiles of Sherlock Holmes seem not to be helping.
The development of a form of Stockholm Syndrome (though that term was not known at the time) adds to the complexity of the novel. Looking forward to the next one. ( )
  Alan1946 | Oct 26, 2016 |
In Devils' Grin, the first book of this series, we meet famous epidemiologist, Dr. Anton Kronberg, who turns out to be Anna Kronberg. Anna disguises herself as a man in order to be able to practice medicine in a world in which women are prohibited from doing so. Her specialty is cholera and tetanus. She meets Sherlock Holmes, who despite his fame, is someone she's never heard of before. They work together to solve the case.

In The Fall we pick up three days later when Anna is kidnapped by Holmes' nemesis, Professor James Moriarty. Moriarty needs Anna to help develop biological weapons. She refuses until Moriarty tells her he is holding her father and will kill him unless she complies. The rest of the story shows them developing a relationship where neither of them trusts the other. The relationship takes a strange twist halfway through the book. We don't see much of Holmes in this book but when we do he's still observant, logical and a master of disguise.

I didn't like this book as well as the first one. The story proceeds in a mostly repetitive way. I liked finding out more about bacteriology and the “invention” of biological weapons. I thought the author did a great job of transporting the reader back to England's Victorian era. I also thought Anna lost focus toward toward the last third of the book in a way that was very out of character. The series has a lot of potential and I will probably check out the third book, The Journey, to see if it gets back on track. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jun 5, 2016 |
What fun. A female bacteriologist who hangs out with Sherlock Holmes. Smart and witty. These books should be getting more attention, they're that entertaining! I suggest reading them in order and there are cliff hangers.

Provided by author ( )
  hfineisen | Oct 7, 2014 |
Dr. Anna Kronberg, friend to Sherlock Holmes, is kidnapped by Holmes' arch nemesis, James Moriarty. Moriarty wishes Anna to develop a biological weapon to use in war. This novel relates her trials and tribulations while being held hostage and her attempts to escape or to submit to the wishes of Moriarty.

I don't normally read Sherlock Holmes books, but for some reason this one caught my interest. I found it quite entertaining. If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I suggest you read this book. ( )
  GayleBitker | Aug 14, 2014 |
Annelie Wendeburg

The Fall provides the tantalizing tale of Anna Kronberg, a female bacteriologist at work with the famed Sherlock Holmes, as she is forced to develop germ warfare for the ignoble Dr. James Moriarity, Holmes' evil nemesis. Throughout the story Dr. Kronberg is a prisoner in Moriarity's mansion and at his command in the implementation of his fiendish plot, and worse, he begins to desire her.

This book is the second of what so far is a series of three. The reader must be prepared to go on to Book Three, as central problems that evolve in Book Two are not resolved and leave us hanging. Note that these books are called “thrillers” rather than “mysteries” and revolve around the danger to Kronberg personally and humanity in general more than any cleverness on the part of Holmes or anyone else in solving a puzzle.

Readers will like Dr. Kronberg, as she is a gutsy little thing, surprising everyone around her with her audacity and her capabilities. Holmes may be developed more in the first book, The Devil's Grin. In The Fall he plays mainly the facilitator of Kronberg's attempted escapes and other efforts to foil Dr. Moriarity's plan. The author depends upon the readers' knowledge of Holmes and does not round out his character as much as might be desirable.

Wendeburg's series reminds me of Laurie R. King's mystery series about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. I feel that King was able to ground her characters more firmly in the time period (early 1900s) and the character of Holmes over time was more complex than in Wendeburg's series at this point. I find I prefer a mystery to a thriller as mysteries are more stimulating to the mind.

At the same time, Wendeburg's books are enticing and fun to read. The author has taken care to research the methodology for preparing the bacteria and other related information, so that we understand the science involved. For Sherlock Holmes buffs, here we have yet another series of stories about the man who fascinates so many of us, but more importantly about a woman physician who is brilliant and resourceful. I recommend that you read The Fall. ( )
  KathleenSchmitt | Jun 6, 2014 |
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