I’ve read many more pastiches than Doyle actually wrote of the first consulting detective. I love me some Sherlock Holmes. As one would expect, some are better than others. These two by Anthony Horowitz are among the best I’ve found in years.
THE HOUSE OF SILK
THE HOUSE OF SILK is another of those Watson penned adventures of Sherlock Holmes stored in the dispatch box in the vaults of Cox and Company to be held for a hundred years before publication.
A conspiracy stretching from Boston to London and involving some of the movers and shakers in society’s upper crust. One of Holmes’ Baker Street Irregulars, the newest member, is beaten horribly, his body tossed aside, a ribbon of white silk tied around his wrist.
Holmes is warned off the case by none other than his brother Mycroft who’d received visits from important people after making inquiries for Holmes. As always, he pays no attention and soon finds himself framed for murder, in prison, and a death sentence on him before he can get to trial.
The House of Silk, whatever that may be, is behind it all.
Anthony Horowitz’s new novel is about the aftermath of the incident at Reichenbach Falls. Sherlock Holmes is dead(presumed so at the time of course), as is Moriarty. The author has a few characters from some of the Doyle stories appearing at various points in the tale.
Chief is Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones who, after his embarrassment in THE SIGN OF THE FOUR makes a study of Holmes’ methods, reading every monograph and book the Great Detective wrote. He becomes quite expert in that little trick of deducing a person’s station just by close examination of that person.
Arriving in London just days after the deaths of Holmes and Moriarty is Pinkerton investigator Frederick Chase to look into the death of an undercover agent in Moriarty’s band.
The set-up becomes almost like the Doyle stories with Chase telling the story in first person, Watson to Jones’ Holmes.
It seems America had it’s own version of Moriarty, a shadowy figure named Clarence Devereux who no one could identify. He’d headed to England with the intentions of hooking up with Moriarty.
With the deaths of Holmes and Moriarty, all that seems out the door, but the pair go looking for the identity of Devereux with the intent of shutting him down.
Nicely written with a twist I never saw coming.