The hype surrounding what’s being billed as the first pastiche ever officially approved by the Conan Doyle estate is amply justified in this authentic, if melancholy, recreation of the beloved Baker Street characters by the creator of the acclaimed Foyle’s War TV series. A year after Sherlock Holmes’s death (from natural causes), Watson takes up his pen one last time to recount a case they shared in 1890 that was “too monstrous, too shocking” to appear in print. The opening is prosaic enough. London art dealer Edmund Carstairs asks for the detective’s help after a shadowy figure in a flat cap, apparently an Irish-American thug bent on revenge, surfaces near Carstairs’s Wimbledon home. When a murder follows Holmes getting involved, the trail leads him and the good doctor to a powerful secret society known as the House of Silk. Horowitz gets everything right—the familiar narrative voice, brilliant deductions, a very active role for Watson, and a perplexing and disturbing series of puzzles to unravel—and the legion of fans of the originals will surely be begging for Horowitz to again dip into Watson’s trove of untold tales. Author tour. (One-day laydown: Nov. 1)
Reviewed on: 11/07/2011 Release date: 11/01/2011 Genre: Fiction
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