Category Archives: Horowitz;Anthony

The House of Silk or The game is afoot!

One of my RA (reader’s advisory) blogs that I check frequently had a list of good mysteries to check out and The House of Silk was one of the books listed (also Revenger which I previously reviewed). This is the only book officially authorized by the Arthur Conan Doyle estate as an official Sherlock Holmes novel. Very prestigious indeed… I’m a total sucker for a good mystery and I really enjoyed this one. Check it out –

Holmes and Watson are at their aparment when they are visited by an art dealer named Edmund Carstairs. He is being menaced by a creepy silent stranger in a …. (wait for it) flat cap from AMERICA (the horror!). When Carstairs is robbed, Holmes is on the case and following the clues. But the clues lead him to find the first body, possibly of the man who was menacing Carstairs. When Holmes puts his Irregulars on the job, one of them winds up dead as well. This one is severely beaten and a length of white silk is tied around his wrist. As they investigate both of these murders, they start to hear about the mysterious House of Silk – a place with connections to the highest levels of government. Will Holmes solve the mystery or ruin himself in the process?

This was a really good mystery. I enjoyed how the author really tried to keep the tone, atmosphere and cadence of the original Holmes novels while adding some more modern sensibilities. Unlike the original Holmes, this one actually starts to feel badly about using young destitute children to do dangerous work on his behalf. Also, Watson starts to develop a conscience, albeit in his old age, about not giving their housecleaner a second thought or the millions of poor, underfed, desperate people in their city. In some ways very refreshing but could be grating for the true Holmes afficionado. All in all, a completely solid mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. It was filled with menacing characters and a palpable sense of danger including creepy opium dens. Definitely an eight shoe book – black stiletto platform pumps – stylish, sexy and goes with anything.

Title : The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

Three Appeals : Familiar characters, great mystery, atmospheric quality

Red Flags : Pretty sanguine as mysteries go but obviously there is some violence

There is a plethora of books out there with Sherlock Holmes as the main character but first check out the originals. There is a reason that Holmes has endured as the greatest detective of all time, they are great novels. It won’t have the same blood and gore effect that most of us are used to but definitely has the awesome crime solving and detective work that I love.

Here are some series featuring Sherlock as a main character :

1) The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

In 1915, long since retired from his observations of criminal humanity, Sherlock Holmes is engaged in a reclusive study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. Never did he think to meet an intellect to match his own–until his acquaintance with Miss Mary Russell, a very modern fifteen-year-old whose mental acuity is equaled only by her audacity, tenacity, and penchant for trousers and cloth caps. Under Holmes’s tutelage, Russell hones her talent for deduction, disguises, and danger: in the chilling case of a landowner’s mysterious fever and in a kidnapping in the wilds of Wales. But her ultimate challenge is yet to come. Soon the two sleuths are on the trail of a murderer whose machinations scatter meaningless clues…but whose objective is quite unequivocal: to end Russell and Holmes’s partnership–and their lives. (taken from Amazon.com) The series has 11 books in it so far. I loved the first book and would highly recommend it.
2) The Infernal Device and Others: A Professor Moriarty Omnibus by Michael Kurland
Since they originally appeared over two decades ago, Michael Kurland’s novels featuring Professor Moriarty – The Infernal Device and Death by Gaslight – are amongst the most acclaimed novels to have arisen out of the characters first introduced by Arthur Conan Doyle. In Doyle’s original stories, Professor Moriarty is the bete noire of Sherlock Holmes who proclaims him to be his mental equivalent and ethical opposite, declares him to be “the Napoleon of Crime” and who wrestles Moriarty seemingly to their mutual deaths at Reichenbach Falls. But indeed there are two sides to every story and, while Moriarty may not always tread strictly on the side of the law, he is also, in these novels, not quite the person that Holmes and Watson made him out to be. (taken from Fantastic Fiction)
3) The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer
First discovered and then painstakingly edited and annotated by Nicholas Meyer, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution related the astounding and previously unknown collaboration of Sigmund Freud with Sherlock Holmes, as recorded by Holmes’s friend and chronicler, Dr. John H. Watson. In addition to its breathtaking account of their collaboration on a case of diabolic conspiracy in which the lives of millions hang in the balance, it reveals such matters as the real identity of the heinous professor Moriarty, the dark secret shared by Sherlock and his brother Mycroft Holmes, and the detective’s true whereabouts during the Great Hiatus, when the world believed him to be dead. (taken from Amazon.com)
There you go readers, dig into some Sherlock.
Have you read any Sherlock? Do you have a favorite?
Trina
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Filed under book review, eight shoes, Horowitz;Anthony, Mystery, The House of Silk