The Case of the Scandalous Ticket

By Benoit Dahan

The Case of the Scandalous Ticket, a novel by Benoit Dahan
Book details Books in the series

The term Graphic Novel is a grandiose one, but well deserved in some cases. A collection of comics in one place helps to reveal the arc, but often I read Graphic Novels that were too short and did not contain enough to be seen as a novel, a short story or novelette perhaps. Inside the Mind of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Scandalous Ticket by Cyril Lieron and Benoit Dahan deserves the title as it is a full Sherlock tale told in the most interesting of ways, through both the story and the visuals. 

Moriarty may never have been Sherlock Holme’s nemesis, this instead may have been boredom, the downtime between cases. Holmes is suffering from a bout of idleness when an intriguing case arrives at his door in the form of a befuddled Doctor, injured, wearing woman’s slippers, and clueless as to what happened. The latest case for Holmes and Watson will lead to an international conspiracy and a world of strange magics. 

Sherlock Holmes is such a great character as he is as much an enigma as he is a genius. What goes on inside that head that allows him to make such logical leaps in reasoning? Conan Doyle hinted at it via the prism of Watson’s words and some recent Sherlock writers have delved deeper into Sherlock’s direct perspective, but in the case of Mind, the reader gets to see directly into the brain and a visual perspective of how the logic happens. 

For this to work two things must be right; a compelling enough adventure and good visuals. Lieron and Dahan have not just produced a good Sherlock story but am excellent one. It has all the makings of a classic story, the strange incident of an otherwise sensible man roaming the streets at night and recalling nothing, but it is more than this. The authors have gone out of their way to capture the classic feel. Meaning some uncomfortable Victorian attitudes about race and imperialism. This novel incorporates some of the flaws of the era to give the book a modern feel. It is both a homage of the originals and a commentary on them. 

All this mindfulness would be for nought if the mystery itself was not compelling. We are taken on a whistlestop tour of foggy London town, meeting all sorts from the dockers to the nobs. Dahan’s art captures all this. The character of the people and the character of the city. The use of colour is key to separating segments of the books, using sepia or other faded tones to denote that a different element of the case if afoot. 

As Mind purports to be a glimpse inside the workings of Holmes, it was vital that this was also captured, and this is Dahan’s greatest success. Part memory palace, part Numskulls, the story panels work from one side to the other through the mind of the detective. We see Sherlock researching his memories, saving clues for later, making, and breaking threads. It is very clever and entertaining way to read a Sherlock Holmes story. 

As a fan of all things Sherlock, from the classic stories to the many new adventures written now that the character is out of copyright, Mind is one of the most entertaining I have read. Not only is it a compelling case, but it uses the story to comment on the times, while still feeling like the era. The visuals really add to the proceedings, and you are even encouraged to search for clues yourself in the book by turning or looking through pages. A joyous addition to the collection of any fan of Sherlock Holmes and his Watson. 

Written on 24th November 2023 by .

You may also like

Mecha Samurai Empire
Divine Heretic
Our Child of Two Worlds
The Others of Edenwell