Confession: I have been crushing on Sherlock Holmes since I read several of Conan Doyle’s short stories in college. Since then I have read almost all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories and became obsessed with Benedict Cumberbatch (like the rest of the world) in the BBC series Sherlock and hated Robert Downey Jr. in the two Holmes movies! Seriously! The WORST! Did the casting director read even a single Sherlock Holmes story before deciding on Downey Jr?!
Anyway, Hannah bought me this book for Christmas because she wanted to get me a Sherlock novel that actually felt like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and this book did not disappoint. One of the things that makes Sherlock an intriguing character is he seems to care little for anything/anyone but himself but then, every once in a while, you catch a glimpse of his humanity and you realize that perhaps he does have a heart after all. In this story, Horowitz shows Sherlock indeed has a heart and his motivations are more personal than in the Conan Doyle stories. That being said, the book still feels like reading a Conan Doyle story with all of the twists and turns and not knowing how Sherlock and Dr. Watson are going to get out of each scrape in which they find themselves.
As is typical of Holmes stories, female characters are scarce and while some of the female characters simply represent men’s stereotypes of women in the late 19th century, Horowitz is kind enough to give us one female character who determines her own fate/future, at least for a while.
If you love Sherlock Holmes this book is worth a read. It moves quickly and keeps you wanting to find out what is going to happen next which is what I look for in mystery writing. Apparently, I am currently in a mystery mood and have now moved on to reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr and will be blogging about it soon.
Full disclosure: Technically I read this book between Christmas and New Year’s so it won’t count for the Book War of 2018 but I figured it’d be a good place to start nonetheless.