cover image Sherlock Holmes: The Spider’s Web

Sherlock Holmes: The Spider’s Web

Philip Purser-Hallard. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-785658-44-0

Inspired by the works of Oscar Wilde, Purser-Hallard’s sequel to 2019’s Sherlock Holmes: The Vanishing Man again displays the author’s remarkable facility at conjuring the spirit of Conan Doyle’s originals. One night, Lord Goring, a member of London society, arrives at Baker Street and implores Holmes to accompany him to a house in Mayfair, where a fancy ball has been disrupted by the discovery of a corpse. An unknown man lies dead in the back garden after falling from a balcony. Since the dead man is clutching a brooch with a spider design on it belonging to Goring’s wife, the nobleman fears the police will suspect her of pushing the man to his death. When Holmes arrives at the scene of the crime, he encounters Lady Bracknell, Algernon Moncrieff, and other Wilde characters who can’t help displaying a gift for wit (“I consider it unconscionably presumptuous to fall to one’s death from the balcony of a perfect stranger”). Watson fans will applaud his major role in the subsequent investigation. Sherlockians and Wildeans alike will embrace Purser-Hallard. (Aug.)