Sunday, April 28, 2019

Book Review: The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

The House of Silk
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Series: Sherlock Holmes
Publication: Mulholland Books; Reprint edition (October 2, 2012)

Description: London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap - a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.

THE HOUSE OF SILK bring Sherlock Holmes back with all the nuance, pacing, and almost superhuman powers of analysis and deduction that made him the world's greatest detective, in a case depicting events too shocking, too monstrous to ever appear in print....until now.

My Thoughts: Dr. John Watson has one last tale to tell of a case Sherlock Holmes worked on in 1890. Sherlock has passed away and Watson is both elderly and failing in health. Twenty five years have passed since the events he is writing about. Even so, he knows that this case was so sensitive that it is still not time for it to be published. He intends that it be held for one hundred years before publication.

The case begins with Edmund Carstairs, an art dealer, begging for Sherlock's help. He sold some art to an American millionaire but it was destroyed in a train robbery near Boston. The millionaire hires a Pinkerton and posts a reward for the capture of the gang that robbed the train and destroyed the art. While most of the gang was captured, one member escaped and killed the millionaire. Carstairs fears that the surviving gang member will be coming for him next.

Carstair's case is just the beginning of the adventure which leads Holmes and Watson to discover a criminal enterprise that is so shocking and monstrous that it tests both of them almost to their limits. When one of Holmes' Baker Street Irregulars is tortured to death, Holmes brings his intellect to bear on a crime that is closer to him than most of them.

The writing was very much in tune with the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It takes us to Victorian London that comes alive through Watson's lush descriptions and Victorian sensibilities. Holmes is there in all of his glory and Watson is there to chronicle the actions and act as an appreciative audience for the great detective. I liked that this one has Watson looking back and recalling his great friendship with Holmes.

Favorite Quote:
"My dear Sherlock!" Mycroft exclaimed as he waddled in. "How are you? You have recently lost weight, I notice. But I'm glad to see you restored to your old self."

"And you have recovered from influenza."

"A very mild bout. I enjoyed your monograph on tattoos. Written during the hours of the night, evidently. Have you been troubled by insomnia?"

"The summer was unpleasantly warm. You did not tell me you had acquired a parrot."

"Not acquired, Sherlock. Borrowed. Dr. Watson, a pleasure. Although it has been almost a week since you saw your wife, I trust she is well. You have just returned from Gloucestershire."

"And you from France."

"Mrs. Hudson has been away?"
"She returned last week. You have a new cook."

"The last one resigned."

"On account of the parrot."

"She always was highly strung."

This exchange took place with such rapidity that I felt myself to be a spectator at a tennis tournament, my head swivelling from one to the other.
I bought this one Jan. 23, 2014. You can buy your copy here.

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