Author: Anthony Horowitz
Page Count: 314
This book is a bit of an anomaly because it’s an official Sherlock Holmes story that’s authorised by the estate but which is authored by someone other than Conan Doyle. Horowitz has fairly decent creds of his own though, and is probably most well-known for his Alex Ryder books. Weirdly, he’s also been charged with writing a new James Bond novel, and I want to get my hands on that too.
Still, if you’ve read all of the Sherlock Holmes series then these books are worth picking up too, if only because it gives us a bit of a different look at the stories that we already know and love. Horowitz treats them respectfully and doesn’t suddenly do anything non-canon, but what he does do is that he refers back to stuff that Conan Doyle mentioned in the original books. It’s pretty tasteful.
As for the mystery itself, the thing that’s right at the centre of the book, it actually isn’t that great. It just didn’t engage me, and so while I was reading it, I just felt a bit eh about the whole thing. To be fair, there were also original Sherlock Holmes stories that had that effect on me, but at least when I was reading those, I had the upside of knowing that I was working through actual canon Holmes towards a finish line.
So would I recommend this one? Honestly, probably not. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just don’t really see why you’d go to it unless you’d already ticked off everything that Conan Doyle ever wrote. Like, I’d recommend The Lost World over this one. But I guess if you’re a completionist, you’ll do the same thing that I did and get to it eventually. It’s your life, man.