Fogg awakens from his accidental death to find himself at
Garden Rest. He's greeted by Fiona, who assures Nicholas he
chose the place as his afterlife home. Definitely feeling
lost, he wanders until he meets several characters and learns
there are some differences between his new home and Earth,
and even more similarities. People are still alive, only in
a different kind of body. They can have many of the pleasures
of the past, including sex, but residents in Garden Rest are
not immune to murder.
After Nicholas finds a place to stay, he's introduced to the
town council representative and unofficial constable, the
famous author, Arthur Conan Doyle. Upon learning that Nicholas
was a private investigator in his "Before" life,
Doyle asks Nicholas to help him solve a murder. That murder
leads to the discovery of a second body. Then, the frantic
hunt for an elusive killer.
Doyle After Death is a wonderful who-done-it, a delightfully
unusual mystery set in a surrealistic world, vividly sketched
by an author who knows how to create a believable environment
where anything can happen - and often does. I enjoyed Nicholas,
the gritty detective who has no qualms about the failures
of his past and who finds a salvation of sorts in the afterlife.
John Shirley's rendering of Arthur Conan Doyle is excellent,
as Doyle was an avid "Spiritualist" who believed
in the existence of a soul and searched for proof of the afterlife.
What I loved most about this novel are the main characters,
Nicholas and Doyle, who are expertly drawn and have emotions
that make them almost real. Excellent dialogue, sparked with
wonderful touches of wry humor, and a solid mystery plot made
this mystery highly enjoyable.