The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel

Anthony Horowitz, read by Derek Jacobi. Hachette Audio, unabridged, eight CDs, 10.5 hrs., $29.98 ISBN 978-1-61113-689-0
Jacobi, whose readings of many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories have been impressive, more than does justice to Horowitz’s standout pastiche, easily one of the best ever attempted. The dark and somber plot plunges Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson into the dark underbelly of Victorian London in search of the titular house, the mere mention of which sparks fear at the highest levels of the British government. The detective’s probe overlaps with a murder case linked to the stalking of an art dealer, apparently by an old nemesis from America. Jacobi is unparalleled at making his vocal characterizations distinct: his Watson has an inherent warmth and humanity and is a sharp contrast from his rendition of the doctor’s higher-pitched and higher-energy companion. Even minor parts, such as Holmes’s smarter older brother, Mycroft, a pawnbroker, and members of Holmes’s young assistants, the Baker Street Irregulars, benefit from Jacobi’s considerable gifts. Fans of Doyle’s original stories are in for a real treat, both from the compelling story itself, and this memorable and gripping performance from Jacobi. A Little, Brown/Mulholland hardcover. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/2012
Release date: 11/01/2011
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