Reviews for The Ghost Map
BlondieLocks chapter 2 . 2/2/2013
Another successful chapter, Giry! Your pacing is great, and the way you allow the tale to unfold feels natural and realistic. I particularly like how you have the habit of bouncing between scenes and showing us the various going-ons of daily life for either Watson or Sherlock, and I like how we get to see what each of them are doing.

You still do a great job of subtly highlighting the emotional strain Watson moving out has had not only on Sherlock, but so it would seem Watson, himself, as well.

You did a great job of tying Oliver into this second chapter, and I’m greatly looking forward to Sherlock’s embarking on this peculiar bout of cholera. I’ve no doubt in my mind that that water pump surely must have some role to play in this, and I see Oliver himself seems to be suffering from some stomach indigestion. I certainly hope he’s doesn’t fall prey to the disease.

One minor typo I found that could use with some quick fixing:

Nothing interesting every seemed to happen anymore- ‘Every,’ should be ‘ever.’

“He sighed. What was wrong with the population of London criminals? The mere fact that they were being very uncooperative was displeasing to him.”- Also, this was one particular element to your story I really enjoyed. You balance a lot of aspects well here, and I feel this was a great example of perfectly timed comedic timing. The humor was not overbearing nor was it under-stated, and it was thoroughly appropriate of Sherlock’s internal monologue. I got a good chuckle out of this.

Again, excellently crafted chapter, Giry, this is shaping up to be one enthralling ride.
persevera chapter 13 . 2/2/2013
I really like Mary. While doctor's wives are usually portrayed as long-suffering, she makes the best of her situation. When her husband needs to be with his friend, she comes to stay too, in cramped quarters, helping the housekeeper. Her reward is an adoring husband, who'll treat her tiny cut with all the care he'd give to a gaping wound. They're all the good things about a Victorian couple, without the negative.
The conversation between Holmes and Watson seemed a little stiff. I think it's because they addressed each other by name too much. It seemed to slow down the interchange. I understand that they're both formal men, but they're still friends.
This has been a great little foray to another time and place. I look forward to the end and your next one.
BlondieLocks chapter 1 . 2/2/2013
Giry! This wasn’t a slow start at all, in fact, I greatly enjoyed this first chapter, as it has left me wanting more! And I only have praise for your writing, as it is always a joy to read and so well crafted!

First, I wanted to start by saying that I loved how you opened this chapter. You get at that dull, mundane atmosphere of University classrooms, the intimidating teacher’s desk and imposing speaker’s podium so well, and I love how you brilliantly contrasted John Watson’s former role as student with his current role as presenter. The fact that he could remember once sitting in those seats, thinking how preposterous the notion of taking notes really is sometimes, was such an interesting role-reversal for him and helped, for me at least, set the tone for what is relatively more or less Watson’s new life.

Your handle on descriptive words is also phenomenal, my love, in that you know how to set mood, atmosphere, tone, and scene all too perfectly well. The description we got of Sherlock’s home was warm and cozy and easy to imagine while not without the mention of the absence of Watson’s personal affects. Also, while I’m not *terribly* familiar with the Sherlock series, I am somewhat familiar with it, familiar enough to see amazing character depth and those brilliantly subtle hints of aversion Sherlock had to the mention of Mary’s name. It is a relatively well known fact the discord between Sherlock and Mary, and I thought you did an amazing job with inserting only the subtlest suggestions that Sherlock was not, in fact, please that Watson had moved out, nor was he particularly keen on seeing Mary other than perhaps for some morbid form of entertainment. You also did a great job at *showing* Sherlock’s loneliness without his friend, as opposed to telling us.

You ended on an interesting note; a new character whose role in this story is not yet known. I like that you left off on just a bit of a mystery, and I do wonder as to that suspicious water pump. I’m not quite sure how Oliver wasn’t more suspicious than he already was. This was a great plot device to keep your readers engaged and interested, as it certainly worked on me and I do wonder what else I can expect from you!

Three mistakes I found throughout the story I thought you’d like to know about:

"As well they should," chuckled Holmes, thumbing through the stack with an expression of mild interest. He held up one piece of paper to the light of the gas lamp. Squinting slightly, I realized that it was a diary page that I had obtained specifically for this lecture.”- Outside of the quotations you defer to using the first person instead of the third person the story has thus far been told in. I assumed this was just a mistake.
There's a pump down there if you're that desperate"- You forgot to add the period after ‘desperate.’
All right, miss. I'm going."- You forgot to start the quotation marks before “All.”

With that said, this was truly a pleasure and a joy to read. It certainly kept me captivated and I’m rendered intrigued by your great writing, Giry! Until next time!
Edhla chapter 6 . 2/1/2013
The flashback is an important plot point, but it... just makes me sad. Oh, Holmes, you did care and you did try and you do feel bad and now I feel bad and let us all sit and feel awful :(

"So why couldn't they find what they sought?" Because they're the Peelers, that's why :p Nice to see Lestrade. Poor sod. He can never catch a break. Ever.

GREGSON! :D

Wow, that's one hell of a paper cut you got there, Lestrade. *Files away idea for Sickfic challenge* ;)

I love that, as in canon, Lestrade's sophisticated crime-solving technique is to get cross and bitch at everyone. Bless.

"Inspector Lestrade," he said bleakly by way of greeting." Oh, Holmes. Darling. And Lestrade's not-getting-it-'cause-he's-slightly-dim response just breaks my heart. (And I love his reaction *after* he realises Wiggins is dead. Gregson's functional enough for this sympathy thing; Lestrade's fixit method- again- get angry. Wonderfully consistent.)

That ending with the two coppers is bromantic. To me. It is bromantic and I love it and what a fantastic ender. I love this. I cannot fault this chapter.
Edhla chapter 5 . 1/31/2013
I thought about this all-damn-night.

I love that after the drama of the last chapter, you open with something incredibly domestic- painfully so! Oh, Mrs Hudson. Dear.

... OMG Mrs Hudson better be okay! It's bad enough that you have Wiggins dying because of work Holmes asked him to do for him... oh, Holmes :( This is giving me ALL THE FEELINGS. BEST. SICKFIC. EVER. GIRY.

Stupidest critique ever: "millisecond" drew me out of the story as a little un-ACD, but I might be wrong on that, and it barely detracted from OMG!CARING!HOLMES! **Flails**

And we're brought to the map, and Wiggins' somewhat-annoying last words (we'll forgive him for being a little obtuse at the time ;) ) And how much Holmes cares about his Irregulars. Oh, my heart.

"Holmes turned away before Watson could offer him any comfort." This is such perfect characterisation. I love you.

And Mary. Good grief, are you trying to kill me, woman? *Cries*
Edhla chapter 4 . 1/31/2013
I am reading on, BECAUSE I HAVE TO DAMMIT.

Of course, Watson was going back to Baker Street. And of course, Holmes is a lot less touchy-feely about Watson's feelings than Mary is. Bless.

How long DOES cholera take to incubate before you manifest? Damn, it offed Kensington awfully quickly. Scary stuff.

This is all so very, very clever. I'm going to bed, after this- but I actually just want to research cholera all night.

Minor quibble: "not even bothering to fake" seems a little non-ACD.

And the deluge of cholera begins. I am seriously worried for our heroes, here. Nasty way to go- or nasty even if you recover. It's a lovely bit of nervousness for the reader.

Minor quibble again: "Has anyone else come to our practice?" he asked"- unless the capital on "He" is an ACD quirk I don't remember.

OMG.

THAT ENDING.

STOP HIDING, THAT WAS A SHOWSTOPPER OF AN ENDING FOR A CHAPTER. IF I WASN'T ABOUT TO PASS OUT FROM EXHAUSTION I WOULD BE READING ON.

Oh, dear Lord. I love this. I love your characterisations. I love this Mary more than I loved her in canon. I love the subtlely awesome characterisation of her *running*- which was not, as we both know, something Victorian ladies of good breeding did in public (or often *could* do in public, considering what they were wearing.) Nyaaaaargh! I love, love, LOVE this. Squee.
Edhla chapter 3 . 1/31/2013
I keep missing you in tag, but that isn't going to stop me, because seriously, I cannot and have not stopped thinking about this story. Really. I just have to read moar.

Also, I love your picture thingamy. Very atmospheric and appropriate.

"The constable saw him first." What a great opener. And I love that this constable, at least, is compassionate toward the poor- those in 19th century London frequently weren't, but I'm sure you know that :)

Ghastly- and awesome- description of the guy; and it's really just striking home to me now- ugh, Cholera is yucky and not at all a romantic affliction to have.

"Splattering the stones with sick." See, like that :p That's fantastic alliteration, btw.

Watson really wasn't the world's most enthusiastic doctor, was he. And I love the constant mentions in canon that his work really wasn't all that absorbing and he could generally skive off when he felt like doing something more interesting :p

Minor quibble: "not looking at the constable who looked" is a little repetitive.

Back to the squee: I love a competent medical man. Really, I do.

Fantastic, awesome, brilliant and quite extraordinary descriptions in that part, my lovely. I am so very, very jealous of you xx

Oh, Mary. You lovely creature. You really did not deserve to get offed in the hiatus. Mind you, your sole role in life tended to be "oh, John", but you know, I kind of like that, and on that note, blaming himself? OH, JOHN. :(

Lovely, pensive and low-key ending. MOAR. I demand more. (Am I seeing things, or is this only 14 chapters? MOAR!)

xx
Green Phantom Queen chapter 6 . 1/29/2013
This has gotten personal. To see Holmes wanting revenge on the monster creating this epidemic means that things have gotten bad and stuff has hit the fan.

Now that we have the map, we can clue in on to what's going on. I'm loving how you write all this drama and suspense though. I couldn't write a mystery and such like you've been doing.

I think Lestrade's line on Wiggins is him being in disbelief. I mean, if you heard someone is dead, you'd want to know whether or not it's a truth or lie. I'm also liking how Gregson is giving a theory on the cholera spreading, but Lestrade is right. You can't just fake investigations to give people hope-they'll find out sooner or later.

With the map in possession, we can surely figure out what's going on right?
Edhla chapter 2 . 1/29/2013
I am kind of disappointed that Watson's wife didn't call him James. I'm just saying ;) It's such a pity that ACD didn't care more about her, really. Not only because of what it said about her, but what it also said about Watson.

Minor nitpick: I've been trained up well with commas now ;) "It was only about half ten in the morning, but he was bored"? "Ages" struck me as a little modern, but I'm sure there are others who can tell you much better than I can about that.

I'm of the opinion that if Holmes suddenly started eating three square meals a day and sleeping eight hours a night, he'd become dreadfully, horribly ill immediately. But I do love that, as ever and always, Mrs Hudson refuses to accept that he's a big boy and can look after himself (because that's questionable :D )

Oh my gosh. Kensington's a posh-boy. I love that you paid off the slightly contradictory description of him in the last chapter and I LOVE HOLMES' REMARKING ON IT LIKE THAT. He's such a glorious show-off. This is brilliant.

Query: should "Lord" be capitalised? I'd write it so, but I've been known to be wrong before, so...

"No one has ever noticed my ring before." *Facepalm* London's populace aren't too bright, it seems. Come on, people. OOOOH SHINY. :p

Damn, you weren't kidding about a "microbial level." Oh, Giry, Giry. This is so clever. This is such a clever plot. So clever. Squee.
Edhla chapter 1 . 1/26/2013
Oooooh! This is meaty. This is something I can sink my teeth into. This is fantastic. I am so glad I found this...

As possibly a complete aside, I have loved the title of this fic for some time. So incredibly evocative.

Love your low-key beginning... low-key, but ominous. You raise every student's excellent point about scribbling notes- though there's shorthand- and "all lined up like meat on a butcher's rack" is fantastic.

I'm not completely aware of the Sarah Lewis cholera case, but Dr. John Snow- wasn't he that guy who advocated that Brits should quit drinking the (cholera-infested) water, and start drinking beer instead?

I have no idea how I remember that.

World's smallest nitpick- 'gigantic' seems out of place; perhaps consider a different word?

I love that you cut straight back to Baker Street, thinking in terms of "jump cuts" rather than struggling through transitions. It's a clever way of writing.

I also love their banter about the lecture; it may or may not be relevant to the rest of the plot (not sure yet) but I don't particularly mind either way- it establishes character and relationship, and it's fly-on-the-wall natural.

Ohhhh poor lonely Holmes :( He needs a hug.

And then you've jump-cut again, in another very effective switch both of location and character, and of mood. Your description of the rain is wonderful, and I love the little details you give us of Kensington... "half-starved, hollow look." Win.

You're to be applauded for his dialogue. I have no idea if that kind of dialect is authentic or not, but it feels authentic, and feels like ACD, and that's the important part :)

I like your portrayal of the young woman very much- on the one hand there's the Victorian guff about her being extraordinarily beautiful and having jet-black hair, but on the other hand, she's also less than posh, less than even-tempered, and she's emptying a bucket into a sewer. It's splendid characterisation.

Wow, the ending with Kensington is... ominous, to say the least. I sort of hope, for the sake of the young woman, that it's not as ominous as it might be (but if it is, drama ahoy, and that's what I like- either way, win-win!)

Regarding your A/N- this is a perfect beginning, detailed and measured without being "slow", and you have every reason to be dead impressed with yourself. Thank you so much for writing this xx
persevera chapter 12 . 1/22/2013
I love your description of the atmosphere in Camden House. It's beautifully written and evocative.
Interesting that you chose to write Holmes's emergency treatment primarily for Lestrade's indirect point of view. The one who had the real action during that period would have been Watson, but it might not have been as interesting as Lestrade's reflections.
It's funny that Holmes imagined Watson with Moran. Was that just because he was so addled or is there a reason that he might not completely trust Watson, who just saved his life.
Lestrade's right about Sherlock's ego and arrogance being more than irritating and inconvenient for everyone. It almost got him killed.
A very good chapter.
persevera chapter 11 . 1/18/2013
[The muscle spasms were only growing increasingly worse]-this is a little awkward with both only and increasingly. The sentence is much better with either one of them alone.
A very tense chapter. Moran is completely amoral. Even thinking of killing Mary takes a level of callousness that's hard to imagine. I got the impression though that Holmes considered Moran beneath him, that he would have been more...deferential to Moriarty.
I liked that Holmes knew what to expect from the injection because of his experience with cocaine.
It might be explained in the next chapter but, at the moment, I'm confused why Watson said it would be better if he and Lestrade went to the house alone and why Lestrade so readily agreed. But that just makes me curious to continue. So...good strategy.
Green Phantom Queen chapter 5 . 1/18/2013
Poor Sherlock. There are things that even he is unable to fight against. The prevention of death against disease being one of them.

Wiggins reminds me lots about my mom who died a few years ago via cancer. She struggled to fight it for as long as she can, but in the end, it won. To see this ally of Sherlock and Watson passing away to this epidemic-which sounds like it's being intentionally released-is just heartbreaking. Someone is going to pay for this. Dearly.

Things have just begun. That's all I can say.
ballofstring66 chapter 14 . 1/17/2013
You're just a tease. Wonderful epilogue. I particularly enjoyed the glimpse into Lestrade's homelife and his wife and children. A reminder of how much he had at stake.

Watson and Holmes dialogue sparkled and again reinforced the genuine and deep affection for eachother these two have.

Moriarty came across as very sinister and I loved how the match lit his dark eyes. I could visualise it. However I am bereft at the loss of Yorick. Will move on to your next fic mow I've finally finished this one. Fab.
ballofstring66 chapter 13 . 1/16/2013
"Of course, Mr. Holmes," said Watson softly. "Your brother is my brother as well."
Very moving line - you've really captured Watson's feelings for Holmes here in a nutshell. Beautiful.

The joy here is in all the little domestic moments - the shelling of peas and the silences bewteen the two men. Life goes on even after such momentous events and this is a wonderful picture of exactly that happening. It almost seems like it must all be over so I can't imagine what is going to happen in the next chapter. Thoroughly enjoyable as always.
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