This is not a happy book. I didn't like it very well. I found it quite depressing, to be honest. I'm not saying it's a bad book, because it's not. It's perfectly readable, and other people might really like it. There's a movie version in the works, starring Ian McKellen, which is how I first heard of this and why I read it.
Anyway, A Slight Trick of the Mind is about an aging Sherlock Holmes who is slowly losing his memory. He's in his nineties and succumbing to the ravages of age, just like anyone else. He's living in Sussex, tending his bees, mentoring his housekeeper's son, and trying to finish writing up an account of a case he worked on back in London decades ago. He also spends time reminiscing about his recent trip to Japan, and the author weaves those three sections of his life together to form a cohesive whole by the end.
But, like I said, I didn't like this book. Seeing a character I have loved for twenty years as a frail, failing old man was very hard for me, and I will not read this book again.
Upon arriving from his travels abroad, he entered his stone-built farmhouse on a summer's afternoon, leaving the luggage by the front door for his housekeeper to manage (p. 3).
Particularly Good Bits:
His ears registered the low, concentrated murmur of the hive -- the sound of which, in that moment, refused to summon his isolated, content years cultivating the beeyard, but, rather, conveyed the undeniable and deepening loneliness of his existence (p. 186).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for themes of death and loss.