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