The House of Silk

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz lived up to its promise. It felt like a true Sherlock Holmes story told by his ever faithful Watson.

The narrative starts at Baker Street when an art dealer arrives unannounced. His name is Edmund Carstairs and he is being menaced by a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. Holmes agrees to investigate, with the help of his Baker Street Irregulars. It’s not long, though, until Holmes and Watson hear of The House of Silk and are drawn into a deeper, deadlier mystery, a conspiracy protected by some of the most powerful men in England.

Sherlock and Watson were the characters I’ve known and loved for years. Watson’s narrative voice is true to the originals, but how much he cared for Holmes really shines through here. He can be a little dull, but he’s loyal and trustworthy. Holmes is his usual brilliant self, complete with his idiosyncrasies, vices, and amazing powers of deduction. The plot is full of twists, turns, and surprising revelations, but I don’t think you have to be a fan of the originals to enjoy this well-crafted mystery. And I do think it had a more modern feel than the original. As Watson says, today’s readers are “more inured to scandal and corruption than [his] own would have been.”

For the Holmes’ fans, Horowitz throws in a variety of well-known characters, including the Baker Street Irregulars, Inspector Lestrade, Mycroft, and even includes a cameo appearance by Moriarty.

I do wish I had read this one instead of listened to the audio. I’ve seen many rave reviews of  Derek Jacobi’s reading, and I do think he was a perfect Watson. His narration was full of expression and he did catch the tone of the novel. It was his Holmes voice though that just didn’t sit right with me. I realize that it’s just because I hear him differently in my head, but that’s how it is.

Definitely an enjoyable book, a good addition to the Holmes stories. A must-read for any of Holmes’ adorers.

4 out of 5 stars

Category: Mystery- Historical

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Published November 1, 2011
10 hours 25 minutes

Book source: Library