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Sherlock Holmes Pastiches and Reviews: 
"The Case of Emily V. by Keith Oatley"


Dedicated to the World's First Consulting Detective:  Sherlock Holmes!

Here is the latest featured review of a Sherlock Holmes Pastiche:  The Case of Emily V. by Keith Oatley.

To see a listing of 100's of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches with abbreviated reviews, please visit,
List of Sherlock Holmes Pastiches

The Case of Emily V. by Keith Oatley

Reviewed By Scott Harker


Wild frontier
Publisher:  Minerva, Copyright 1993, First Edition.

The Case of Emily V. by Keith Oatley is an odd novel - less of a Sherlock Holmes adventure mystery, than a character study. This is a literary novel that involves Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Dr. Sigmund Freud and a patient of Freud's. It was the 1994 Commonwealth Prize Winner for Best First Novel.

The Story:  A young woman has caused the death of her "step father" on a mountain near to where she teaches in Vienna. Her guilt over this incident evetually leads her to become a patient of Sigmund Freud's. As the sessions progress interesting psychological truths are revealed about Emily V., but she dare not reveal the root cause of her guilt.

Meanwhile in Merry Ol' England, Sherlock Holmes is anything, but merry. He is deep in another of his bouts of melancholy. Dr. Watson is at his wit's end on how to help his friend, when he learns of a new medical science of the mind being developed by a Doctor in Austria. He reads as much as he can about the subject and then decides that he must get Holmes to visit Sigmund Freud in person.

As events would have it, the "step father" of Emily V. is an important English diplomat and his unexpected death has caused Mycroft Holmes to wonder if German spies killed him. Mycroft asks his brother Sherlock to investigate, which fits Dr. Watson's desires perfectly. He and Holmes are soon on their way to Vienna where Dr. Freud resides.

Now there are two investigators looking into the death of the diplomat:  Dr. Freud is looking into the mind of the woman who caused the death, while Holmes and Watson are searching for physical clues and suspects...


The Writing:  The writing is well-crafted, but be prepared for an intellectual exercise. The narrative switches from the diary of Emily V. to the notes on the medical case by Dr. Frued as well as the interpretation of events by Dr. Watson.

This is much like reading the chronicles of one of Sigmund Freud's real cases. We receive insights into the thinking of the Great Psychologist as well as the Great Detective as both the life and the mind of Emily V. are examined.

This is literature where the characters reasons for acting are as important as the plot elements. Still the writing is strong enough to overcome any lack of adventure normally present in a Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

The Rating:  ... I am giving this novel, a rating of 4 "Pipes." It is good story. And while I may not agree completely with how Holmes is protrayed in this book, the viewpoints provided about Holmes from Watson, Freud, and Emily V. are worth the read by itself. And if you have ever had an interest in Dr. Freud and his work, this novel, too, will be of interest to you.

To purchase this book on Amazon, visit:  The Case of Emily V

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News About Sigmund Freud

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The Independent

Why Freud was right about hysteria
The Independent
In fact, they would fit neatly into the pages of Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer's Studies On Hysteria, written over a century ago. You might think our understanding has advanced since Freud, or, rather more fashionably, that Freud was just wrong. But ...



Hampstead and Highgate Express

Face of Sigmund Freud seen on a biscuit in Hampstead - Heritage ...
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There was the famous tabloid story of a man spotting the face of Jesus in his Kit-Kat.

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Slate Magazine

How to Listen to and Support Victims of Sexual Trauma
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Before Sigmund Freud founded psychoanalysis, he was a neurologist whose growing interest in psychiatry led him to study hysteria. “Hysteria” was a catch-all term for a number of symptoms, both physical and mental, believed to only affect women; the ...



Daily Mail

Professor Frederick Crews suggests that Sigmund Freud was a fraud
Daily Mail
His accusation that Freud 'wrenched his patients' histories into alignment with his theory' could be levelled at the author, who wrenches every detail of Freud's doings and writings into alignment with his theory of Sigmund as an incompetent monster.



Los Angeles Times

The beautiful Airstream myth and painful RV reality of life on the road
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This school of sales was invented by Sigmund Freud's nephew Edward Bernays, the “father of PR” (foremost among those addressed by Hoover in 1928) and an engine of early consumerism. Bernays drew on his uncle's work to sell products by appealing to ...


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